WILL FORMULA 1 TYRES TURN A TOYOTA MR2 INTO A TRACK WEAPON?
Here at SXdrv we absolutely love the idea of trying new things, especially when people tell say those new things are not going to work. Funny thing though, like when this same crew added Pirelli Formula 1 tyres to a Caterham and some comments that followed told them that it wasn’t going to work well and they should have known that from the tyre specifications. The thing is, while on paper the facts say one thing, it’s just so satisfying trying it for yourself to get real world data. The Caterham is almost an open-wheeler and so while some custom hubs were needed to get the wheels on the car, it didn't look too out of place because we’re used to seeing these kinds of cars in race-ready track spec wearing semi-slick or intermediate tyres. While watching that video we kept picturing the Pirelli Formula 1-spec tyres on an actual run-of-the-mill streetcar.
Formula 1 rubber is the pinnacle of tyre manufacture, there’s no other motorsports that puts so much research and development into tyres. The forces that Formula 1 cars push on to the tyres while trying to find mechanical grip at 300km/h is mind-boggling. Different compound tyres are used for different tracks to give the cars different feedback, there are 5 compounds that are weirdly named C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5. C1 is the hardest tyre available and is designed for circuits that need the highest energy load through high speed corners and on rough surfaces with high ambient temperatures. C2 is more versatile yet still rather hard, also rated for tracks with high high energy loads, speed and associated temperatures. The C3 tyre is the balanced one for both performance and durability, it is one of the most common compounds and is the one to choose for a street application like Miami or Monaco. Compound C4 is more for the shorter tight and twisty circuits and offers fast heat build-up and amazing peak performance, but being soft, they wear much faster. The fastest to wear out is the C5, it’s both the softest and the fastest tyre made is really soft and is the fastest compound Pirelli has ever made.
The size of these purpose-made Pirelli P-Zero makes them a little hard to test on a normal road car that has wheel arches, the front set measures in with a very chunky 305/675R13, while the rears, which is where F1 power is churned out, come it at a nice and wide 405/675R13. Of course there aren’t any factory 13-inch rims that will fit some of these tyres, and so some proper race-spec Formula 1 BBS wheels were used in the testing, but the crew had to fist sort out the hubs and adapters to accommodate. Unlike the Caterham, these massive Pirellis do look very out of place on a Toyota MR2, but at the same time we love the way it looks. Maybe it’s because we love the whole experimentation side of things, but that does look rater epic. In F1, the cars are ridiculously fast and they can generate the heat needed to make the tyres work at their optimum in a single warm up lap, if not quicker. A Toyota MR2 is ever so slightly slower and so getting the tyres up to optimum operating temperature is just never going to happen. But we like that the guys from Driven Media tried it.
Take a look at the YouTube video about that time some guys who fitted a set of Pirelli Formula 1 tyres to their Toyota Mr2 below: I Put F1 Tires on My Car to Make It FASTER | Driven Media.
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