The Black Hole of Awkward Timing Known as High Performance Tires

My 370z needs new tires. The tread depth is technically legal, but driving in the rain is scary, and they don’t grip very well under hard launches. They’re also 19-inch wheels, which apparently nobody is selling in the best, most grippy street tires right now.

Tires might seem like the most boring part of the car, but they’re the only part that touches the ground (well, usually . . . ). They’re also something that tends to get a little bit better every year.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11’s were my first choice. I had them on my RX-8, and they were great. Problem is, they’re slowly introducing the RE-11A’s and pulling the older RE-11’s from sale. Which would be all well and good if they actually had RE-11A’s in 19-inch sizes. The originals are going or gone in 19-inches, and the new ones haven’t been introduced there yet.

Then there are BFGoodrich g-Force Rivals, and the Dunlop Direzza ZII’s. The Rivals don’t seem to come in 19-inch sizes yet, and while the Direzza’s do, they’re not in the widths I want.

Bridgestone Potenza S-04s are a step down from all the above, but they are in the right size.

Two or three months from now, I’m sure this will all be worked out, but I can’t wait that long. I have an event coming up and I want sticky tires for it. The question might come down to the S-04’s slightly less sticky compound being made up for with a slightly larger contact patch.