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Does McLaren 'under-tire' its cars?

  • No, the standard sizes of tire are good for the car

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • No, standard brands of tire are good for the car

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • No, standard composite/models of tire are good for the car

    Votes: 7 25.9%
  • Yes, the standard sizes of tire are sub-par for the car

    Votes: 11 40.7%
  • Yes, standard brands of tire are sub-par for the car

    Votes: 10 37.0%
  • Yes, standard composite/models of tire are sub-par for the car

    Votes: 6 22.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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2012 MP4-12C
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's a criticism I've seen a fair amount of, and wonder what folks think.

In terms of sizes, composites/models, and quality of standard brands of tires, does McLaren 'under-tire' its cars?

What do you think? You can pick several options when you vote.
 

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An interesting question. I don't think so, though.

To put things into context, these are stats for overall tire width divided by weight for a couple of competitors (mm/t):

MC20: 620
992 Turbo S: 661
Aventador SVJ: 662
Ferrari F8: 669
Huracan: 677
600LT: 689
Cayman GT4: 708
C8 Z06: 713
AMG GT BS: 723
720S: 728
765LT: 741
992 GT3: 748
991 GT2RS: 764
992 GT3RS: 800

The Mclarens, although they use relatively narrow tires, are still about average to slightly above average. Of course, would getting a bigger contact patch help with lap times, etc? Sure, you could always make the tires wider, but it's a balancing act between more grip and a host of other considerations like: tire noise, overall width of the car, turning circle, tramlining, steering effort, perceived agility, etc. Apart from getting more grip, all the advantages are with the narrower tire. This is, again, where light weight really helps you because it allows to you have a narrow tire and still get a lot of grip. And even so, Ferrari is using the same 245/305 (as on the 720S) width on the F8 (and even the much heavier 296), Lamborghini is using the same width on the Huracan and Maserati is using the same width on the MC20 - which are all heavier! If some people are getting understeer in their Mclarens, it's down to the setup, not the car being "under-tired".

As for the tire choice and compound, it's true that the top stock option on the Mclarens - the Trofeo R - is not as grippy as the Cup 2 R, but that's mostly bragging rights/magazine testing issue. The standard tire that most people will drive on - the P Zero - is fine. Are there better options? Again, concentrating purely on performance, I guess so, but it's smaller than most people think. The best tire in the segment at the moment - the Continental SportContact 7 - is not being offered as the default option on any supercar that I know of, so you could say that all the current cars are "under-tired".
 

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I believe during the Senna test, Chris Harris made quite a few comments that the front tire width was holding it back, so I guess anything is possible.
That's the thing, isn't it. When you say the tire width was holding it back, it's compared to what? Compared to the 650S GT3 car he was testing it against in that instance and which comes equipped with 333mm tires in the front and 353mm in the rear? Compared to the widest tire in the universe? If under-tired means the car could get more grip with a wider tire, then every car in existence is under-tired. If under-tired means having less grip than the majority of competitors due to the tire being too narrow - which is the only reasonable definition - then it's not.
 

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2016 570S
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In my opinion, specific to the 570S only (since I own a 570S and haven’t driven any other Macs), the rear tire width is narrower as compared to the 720S for 2 main reasons. (1) Baby Macs cannot compete with big brother and (2) the narrower tire allows the car to be a bit more squirrelly around corners etc.

However, look at the incoming C8 Z06 with 13 inch wide rear wheels. I really feel wider wheels and tires make a huge difference in performance and appearance. I put 15 mm spacers on my stock rears and the car looks much more aggressive. But it still doesn’t change the fact that they are 10” rears.
 
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An interesting question. I don't think so, though.

To put things into context, these are stats for overall tire width divided by weight for a couple of competitors (mm/t):

MC20: 620
992 Turbo S: 661
Aventador SVJ: 662
Ferrari F8: 669
Huracan: 677
600LT: 689
Cayman GT4: 708
C8 Z06: 713
AMG GT BS: 723
720S: 728
765LT: 741
992 GT3: 748
991 GT2RS: 764
992 GT3RS: 800

The Mclarens, although they use relatively narrow tires, are still about average to slightly above average. Of course, would getting a bigger contact patch help with lap times, etc? Sure, you could always make the tires wider, but it's a balancing act between more grip and a host of other considerations like: tire noise, overall width of the car, turning circle, tramlining, steering effort, perceived agility, etc. Apart from getting more grip, all the advantages are with the narrower tire. This is, again, where light weight really helps you because it allows to you have a narrow tire and still get a lot of grip. And even so, Ferrari is using the same 245/305 (as on the 720S) width on the F8 (and even the much heavier 296), Lamborghini is using the same width on the Huracan and Maserati is using the same width on the MC20 - which are all heavier! If some people are getting understeer in their Mclarens, it's down to the setup, not the car being "under-tired".

As for the tire choice and compound, it's true that the top stock option on the Mclarens - the Trofeo R - is not as grippy as the Cup 2 R, but that's mostly bragging rights/magazine testing issue. The standard tire that most people will drive on - the P Zero - is fine. Are there better options? Again, concentrating purely on performance, I guess so, but it's smaller than most people think. The best tire in the segment at the moment - the Continental SportContact 7 - is not being offered as the default option on any supercar that I know of, so you could say that all the current cars are "under-tired".
After driving a Pure 720 on track, I think this is spot on, it's about setup rather than width. I plan to ask some questions at the next event, but my strong suspicion is that the 720 I was driving was not set up the same as stock. The car was strongly biased to the front, and there was no detectable understeer before the rear started to rotate. For me, it was awesome, totally controllable with steering and throttle input. Completely different from my 570, and required a complete change in driving style.
 

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'15 650S Coupe, Aurora Blue
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This is getting down to splitting hairs between street and track and talking about levels of driving skill that "most" of Mclarens' owners won't have/achieve or use the car for.... If we are talking about street driven cars ONLY, then I think the tires are at a very high level. It's only when pushed hard (harder than the typical consumer) that the tires show they are the limiting factor of the car...
 

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2012 MP4-12C
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is getting down to splitting hairs between street and track and talking about levels of driving skill that "most" of Mclarens' owners won't have/achieve or use the car for.... If we are talking about street driven cars ONLY, then I think the tires are at a very high level. It's only when pushed hard (harder than the typical consumer) that the tires show they are the limiting factor of the car...
I know I disagree with this, at least at one point, but not sure if it still holds. The original pZeros on the 12c were pure poop. Just awful. And the ps4 (and I think their precursors) were enormous upgrades to those original pzeros and even the corsas that originally came as an option.

That said, I’ve heard the pirellis were substantially upgraded and now I’m not sure what the better tires are, but my point is, those stock tire options were awful, both on street and track, and the average driver did easily appreciate the upgraded tire.

Today, perhaps that is no longer the case?
 

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'15 650S Coupe, Aurora Blue
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I know I disagree with this, at least at one point, but not sure if it still holds. The original pZeros on the 12c were pure poop. Just awful. And the ps4 (and I think their precursors) were enormous upgrades to those original pzeros and even the corsas that originally came as an option.

That said, I’ve heard the pirellis were substantially upgraded and now I’m not sure what the better tires are, but my point is, those stock tire options were awful, both on street and track, and the average driver did easily appreciate the upgraded tire.

Today, perhaps that is no longer the case?
Yeah, I guess my experience with them is post "Pure Poop" versions of the Pirelli's.... :ROFLMAO:

FWIW, I would NOT buy PS4S's again! And these are on ones that were produced in 2022! They are fine when driven normally, but when pushed mine are still unpredictable...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, I guess my experience with them is post "Pure Poop" versions of the Pirelli's.... :ROFLMAO:

FWIW, I would NOT buy PS4S's again! And these are on ones that were produced in 2022! They are fine when driven normally, but when pushed mine are still unpredictable...
You’re not the first to complain about this, and I wonder if they changed the ps4 formulation at some point, as the reports from older versions to now have drastically changed. Mine are still really good and still pretty decent even on track (obviously not nearly as good as a real full track tire).

Sadly I have to replace mine soon as they are ~4years old and getting closer to worn out. Sadly because there seems to be no consensus on what the “it” tire is to replace them with and I’m not sure what to get next…
 

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Sadly I have to replace mine soon as they are ~4years old and getting closer to worn out. Sadly because there seems to be no consensus on what the “it” tire is to replace them with and I’m not sure what to get next…
I am going with the GY F1 SC's (NOT the R's) as soon as I get off my lazy ass.... :rolleyes:
 

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A general point:

Always consider compound prior to increasing size. As others have mentioned, increasing size means weight. The Vette Z06 is using the wide rears for traction to gain max 0-60 time. It's a stat they wanted to really focus on based off all the marketing thus far for the car. Only increase section width if you must....focus on the compounds first.
 
2012 MP4-12C 2018 720s
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I believe during the Senna test, Chris Harris made quite a few comments that the front tire width was holding it back, so I guess anything is possible.
I do believe this to be accurate myself.
Yeah, I guess my experience with them is post "Pure Poop" versions of the Pirelli's.... :ROFLMAO:

FWIW, I would NOT buy PS4S's again! And these are on ones that were produced in 2022! They are fine when driven normally, but when pushed mine are still unpredictable...
Who'd have thought an all season offered sub-par performance on track compared to track tires.
 

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I do believe this to be accurate myself.

Who'd have thought an all season offered sub-par performance on track compared to track tires.
Who said I was on the track smart-a$$? Once again, you run your mouth without thinking.... Some of us CAN drive a car hard enough on the backroads to find issues with these tires!! :rolleyes:
 
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Let me just say, there is a history with him making snide remarks that don't even apply to the original comment(s) and today it got the better of me.... ;-)
My points still stand. You can't compare track and non track tires in performance metrics.
 

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So that depends. I run R888r’s on the street in two other cars. They are for all intents and purposes a street tire that is very capable on the track. The vette uses the same r compound STOCK on their car for the reasons I mentioned above. Look at the new Nissan z and it’s review rollout for an excellent example of the opposite, terrible tires cost it it’s reputation in reviews.

as soon as run through these trash P’s, I’ll be moving to the cup 2’s and will probably beat all the 12c benchmarked times with a draggy with the exception of brooks @dragtimes.
Back to the point. Cheater tires are an old school advantage. Always think about compounds first before section width. Section width has other ramifications near the edge of the handling envelope that are less than desirable UNLESS you need the width. Which you absolutely shouldn’t.
 
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