We’ve bit the bullet and are upgrading our lowly 16″ tires and wheels that accidentally came with our 2015 long term test car to something much more aggressive. We’ll get to the wheels later this week. But first up is deciding on tires. This is normally an easy decision for us. Basically go to Tirerack and buy whatever Michelin’s latest max performance summer tire is. However we’ve done that plenty over the years. This time we wanted to go a slightly different route.

As always MINI’s recommended tire sizing limits some availability. But we weren’t going to be sticking with the recommended sizing. If there’s one thing that MINI’s tend to lack it’s contact patch. And our being shod with the tiny 195/55-16s had it even worse than most. So we decided to slightly upsize the width of the tires as we’ve successfully done on F56s in the past. This was also our chance to move into a larger wheel – and that means 18s. In our opinion almost a mandatory given the height of the F56s belt-line. Then there’s the question of run-flats vs normal tires. No surprises if you follow MF at all you’ll know we’ve decided against run-flats due to performance, feel, comfort and price.


After some conversation with our friends at Tirerack and a healthy look at tire comparisons we’ve ended up with a max performance summer tire that should last longer than the fantastic Michelin Pilot Super Sports (despite what tread ware ratings say) while performing as well in wet as they do in dry. Enter the Continental Extreme Contact DW. With a 4.5 star rating after almost 1000 reviews it’s a well known and well loved tire. Tread ratings say it should wear well while achieving nearly the same dry performance.

We should know more this weekend as we take them (and our new wheels which will talk about later this week) for a quick road-trip.