I recently needed to pick up a new set of tyres for my daily driver, and having seen that Toyo have released the successor to the T1Rs, I thought I’d give them a go given they look like quite a well thought out departure from the old (often referred to as lethal) T1R design.
Given the forecast over the weekend of the MX5 Spring Rally @ Elvington, i figured this would be an ideal time to give them a test across a range of activities and weather!
Test Setup: Turbo NB MX5 (circa 220whp), 15×7.5 Ultralite F1s, 195/50/15 Tyre Size, 26psi cold
Price for 4x: £133 delivered
1st: Motorway (Wet, damp, and dry)
This is going to be easy to sum up. They were better than their price point would have you believe. Road feel was decent enough, comparable to a RainSport3, with a similar amount of noise. Straight line grip and low-G lateral stability were both excellent too; could drop down a gear and plant it without lighting them up whether rain, shine, or “moderate moistness”
TLDR; Good enough
2nd: Town & Light country roads
In town they’re “fine” if not unremarkable. However, show them a twisty B-road like the ones Barnsley had to offer, and you start to feel the soft sidewall. Steering input was noticeably softer than my alignment and usual tyres typically provide me. No worse than a RainSport3, but also no better.
TLDR; Could be worse, could be better
SUPER soggy inputs once they start getting hot, and the tread moved about a LOT. I even threw a few more PSI at them to try and stop the sidewall flexing so severely which whilst did improve things a little, not enough to make them passable.
At the limit, their breakaway is at best “okay”, but it doesn’t take a lot to put the car into a 4 wheel slide. Anyone who saw the car on the autotest track will be able to attest to that!
Turn in gets worse too, so you end up having to push the cars weight about to get it to do what you want, which whilst GREAT fun, is by no means fast.
Back to back testing with some friends on the circuit with similarly specced cars had me about 3-4 seconds off their times on AD08Rs where I’m usually within a second or so of them.
TLDR; Oh dear…
4th: Circuit Testing
I’m not saying these tyres are lethal on track, but I would want to make sure my life insurance policy was up to date, and maybe invest in some track-day insurance.
They’d break away under braking (not even HEAVY breaking, just “heavier than you’d break on the road” breaking). As such, I struggled to get any heat into my brakes which really hampered my ability to get the car operating how I wanted it to.
Once you started to get things somewhat hot, the car ends up feeling far floatier and wayward than its suspension, bushings, and alignment should allow.
After putting the better part of 550 miles on them over a weekend; I definitely don’t HATE them. They very much have their place, and for £133 for 4x; you could do a LOT worse.
For a daily-driver, they’re a strong improvement over the old T1Rs. Hell, for drift fodder or even auto solo work they’d be decent. Once you get acclimatised to their behaviour, they are good fun!
But if you’re doing anything semi-serious (competitive autotest, circuit driving, sprints etc) then I would highly suggest looking elsewhere.
TLDR; A good improvement over the T1Rs, and if they’re right for you; a good purchase!