It seems like I have an arsenal of all-wheel drive sport compact cars at my disposal as of late. Don’t be jealous- none of them really belong to me. This 2009 Mitsubishi Evolution X MR has been the DC Sports demo car for the past couple of years and I somehow convinced Will Law to trust me with it for a couple of weeks to test out some new tires. The second car I managed to get a hold of was also an Evo X, but owed by Moe Durand from Mitsubishi Motors.
Much like everything else on your car, picking out tires can get to be a real headache. There isn’t an all around tire that can do everything you need, although there are some that come very close. If you live in a drier climate like I do in Southern California, things get a bit simpler because you don’t have to worry about traction in heavy rain or snow. Well, except for the 10 days a year that it actually rains here. You could go with a very solid street tire that also provides good grip for the track. For the most part, these would stay on your car all year because of the lack of seasons here. Now once you get into the colder, damper, and icier areas of the world, then you might have to splurge for two sets of tires. One set for the summer and one set for the winter snow. To be honest, I don’t even know how people drive fixed up cars in the snow anyway. Body kits getting broken off, chipped paint and rust damage…it’s a sad sight to see. Fortunately for this Evo X, I can stick to some high performance tires and not have to be bothered with the logistics of bad weather conditions.
The first tire option for the DC Sports Evo X was the Toyo Proxes R1R. After talking to the people at Toyo and explaining the car to them, the R1R was their top recommendation. Considering that the Evo X is probably one of the few perfect street and track car combos, the R1R is designed for both. Categorized as an Extreme Summer Tire, you pretty much know what to expect with R1Rs. Autocross inspired, this tire is a very grippy one that provides optimum traction for all types of driving. Yeah, the Evo is AWD, but every little bit of bite helps out on the track or around a freeway bank. The unidirectional tread pattern helps push water out of the way in the rare occasions that we have a storm, although that much water is more likely to be caused by some idiot running into a fire hydrant or a water main. For sizing, we went with a 265/35R18 all the way around for our Volk Racing wheels and then drove through the streets and highways of Los Angeles. Without a doubt, it brings the traction that every enthusiast wants and expects from a high performance tire. However, what people tend to overlook when street driving are the bumpy roads and potholes. Usually low profile tires will allow you to feel every bit of the road, and that’s not a good thing. The R1Rs did a great job absorbing the shock from all the road flaws that California officials are too cheap to fix. You get a smooth, quiet drive while still being able to hammer on the throttle with confidence, not that I recommend it.