Tires (Summer/Winter/All-Season)

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by Puppethead, Sep 7, 2020.

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  1. Caconym

    Caconym New Member

    FWIW - I don't have my SE yet, but I'm a big fan of winter tires over all-seasons. I've used Bridgestone Blizzaks and Michelin X-ICEs on a Honda Civic hatch, a Honda Fit (amazing snow car), and the little insight in the picture. They seem to be about equal. Others around here swear by the Nokians, but they are a bit more spendy. We get about 150" of snow a year, and even living in the mountains with a long 20% driveway never felt like we need AWD.

    There is one issue, though. It's really helpful in the Hondas to be able to switch off traction control for low speed snowy stuff. On the worst days TC can bog the car down when you want a little wheelspin to grind up a hill, for instance. It may be that TC is just more clumsy in an ICE car, especially in combination with a manual trans (all ours are), but has anyone had experience with real snow driving in the SE? How does the TC behave in really slick conditions?
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I had no trouble getting 195/55R16 Michelin X-ICE Snows last winter. Michelin at least did make them. I have the Hakkapeliittas for our Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, which we drive in EV mode 99% of the time. They are much noisier than the Michelins. The Hakkapeliitta tread pattern is more aggressive than the Michelin, but I was very satisfied with the performance of the Michelins in deep snow.

    What surprised me is how the SE's anti-wheel spin feature reduced the power to the wheels to match the available traction while driving in deep snow. When I floored the accelerator the car just crept forward with no wheel-spin. It felt sort of like trying to accelerate while driving through thick mud.

  4. Carsten Haase

    Carsten Haase Well-Known Member

    Michelin's naming makes this a bit confusing. Did you get the new "X-ICE SNOW" tires or "X-ICE XI3" snow tires? I previously had the XI3 version and they were fantastic so I'm confident the new "SNOW" version will be at least as good. Not sure what the difference is but the tread pattern looks a bit more aggressive.

    Michelin doesn't have any 195/55R16 winter tires on their website for either of those so I guess they discontinued that size.
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    You're correct, I have the XI3s. I didn't know there was a newer X-ICE SNOW tire.
  6. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    See the Traction Control thread for explanation of the modes. I did serious snow driving in my SE last winter, and sometimes you need to turn it off in order to get the wheel spin needed.
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  8. Teddydogno1

    Teddydogno1 Member

    I received the last of the 4 take-off wheels and tires from my eBay purchase. They arrived staggered...1 on Tuesday, 2 Wednesday and the final one today. They are gray Revolites and appear to be basically brand new. I don't see any scuffs on the wheels and the tires have zero wear. I believe the seller that they were taken off a brand new car (bought from a BMW dealer in Florida).

    The bad news is that the tires are Hankook Optimo H426B run-flats. These are all-season tires with the M&S rating (not severe Winter duty). I did want A/S for 3-4 month use here in the Puget Sound area, but the Hankooks have really poor wet-traction reviews at Tire Rack. I can only hope that they aren't as bad as many reviewers say. We get a lot of "wet" around here!

  9. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Driving in deep snow felt more like my previous FWD cars after turning down the traction control (you can't really turn it off), but I don't believe I was accelerating any faster than when the traction control was fully engaged. I guess if you needed to burn through the snow beneath your tires to get to the road surface for some traction, turning down the traction control would be the only way to do that.
  10. Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    I prefer my SE's center caps to the duct tape on these wheels in the video. These wheels/tires must be worth $10K apiece and they couldn't make a Michelin center cap for them?

    Do those wheels go out of balance after they accumulate a gob of mud or a rock in just one area? Will Michelin come up with a new svelte version of their bulbous, air-filled mascot, Bibendum, made from vanes of gray plastic?
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  13. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Didn't this get discussed in the Michelin Airless Tires thread? The video covers the balancing is done at the factory since the wheels are attached to the tires, and never go out of balance.
  14. GetOffYourGas

    GetOffYourGas Well-Known Member

    I was under the assumption that the lack of sidewall was just for marketing the prototypes, and that the final product would in fact have some kind of (non-structural) sidewall. Otherwise, yeah, those tires are going to fill up with rocks, mud, snow, you name it.
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  15. Carsten Haase

    Carsten Haase Well-Known Member

    I really wish we got a choice of tires when ordering... I have way too many tires in my garage!


    205/55R16 X-ICE Snow winter tires will be going on the stock wheels as soon as I can get the new wheels on.

    New wheels/tires are: 17x7.5 ET50 OZ Superturismo LM with 215/45/17 BFGoodrich Comp 2 A/S plus tires.

    Shock clearance is a bit tight with only 2.5mm between the tire's rim protector and the shock so I'm getting some slim spacers before driving with them.
    MichaelC likes this.

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