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An In-Depth Look at the new Tires for the 2013 GT-R

Nissan Chose the New Dunlop SP SportMaxx GT600 Tires for their 2013 R35 GT-R

The Dunlop special race developed SP Sport Maxx GT 600 were chosen by the Nissan race engineers as the official factory equipped vehicle, and we’re taking a closer look at it

The 2013 Nissan GT-R will be hitting showroom floors across the globe later this Spring, and when it does it will feature a bevy of performance upgrades. Oft publicized are its increased horsepower and retuned performance suspension, but maybe equally important to its performance are the new Dunlop tires Nissan has selected to outfit it with.

With 545 HP and 463 lb-ft torque, it took some special rubber to connect that power to the asphalt at all four wheels, and that’s where the new Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT 600s come in. These new tires, designed specifically by Dunlop to put the Nissan GT-R in to motion, feature a myriad of new technological features innovated by Dunlop. The creation and innovation of these tires brought Nissan to form an agreement with Dunlop to make them not only the official tire of the Nissan GT-R, but also original equipment exclusively available for the R35 GT-R.

Of course, this pairing of vehicle and tires comes at no surprise, as both parties have particularly strong performance racing heritages and each also feature incredibly efficient and advanced modern technology to power themselves well beyond the capabilities of their most direct competitors. The features of the Nissan GT-R R35 have been publicized heavily in the past, so I won’t focus on those, instead I’ll take a more direct look at these new tires to see what they offer the vehicle.

Dunlop begins construction on these tires by utilizing a silica-reinforced tread compound and solid center rib design to help maintain tire integrity and grip, even at higher speeds. This leads to increased driver feedback, and, coupled with the Dunlop asymmetric tread pattern being used provides equivalent performance in both wet and dry conditions. The point of contact between the tire and rim utilizes a unique shape–different from the standard contact point seen on most modern tires–with a rounded bead portion for greater surface area of contact.

Other technologies incorporated in the tire (and taken directly from the official press release announcing the pairing of these two companies’ products, with my added notes to the side):

  • Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology (DSST): a patented, reinforced sidewall construction designed to temporarily support the weight of the car after a loss of air pressure. – This is better than a standard run flat as it forcibly maintains sidewall pressure upon quick pressure loss, which means a blown tire on a course won’t result in an immediate loss of vehicular control.
  • Combined Tire Technology (CTT): allows for less tire weight and a rounder cavity shape which helps improve ride comfort. – Does just that. Not really any track or performance benefits from this, and not even sure how much benefit it will give to ride comfort.
  • Jointless Band Technology: a continuous spiral fabric ply helps maintain the tire’s shape, enabling smooth performance at high speeds. – This aspect is huge, and it’s not Dunlop exclusive. All of the premiere road/track tires being produced today (like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires found on top-end Corvettes and Porsche 911 GT3s) utilize some form of this technology. Increased rigidity at higher speeds means less tire form warp, and results in greatly enhanced grip both at take off with high torque application, as well as during handling at higher speeds.
  • Multi-Pitch Tread Design Technology: helps reduce noise for a quiet ride. – Woohoo. Because there are so many complaints about road noise in the GT-R (?).

All in all, these tires are a fantastic set-up and a great addition to the 2013 GT-R. A vehicle as incredible as the R35 deserves some amazing tires to outfit it with, and it looks like Nissan and Dunlop have found the right set for this car.


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