while driving a
Subaru WRX Type RA
(205/50 R16) on
mostly country roads
Probably a moot point, given these tyres are discontinued, but hey.
My freshly imported Subaru WRX Type RA came fitted with a new set of these tyres in 2018. I had heard they were a good performance tyre and they did look the part, with their directional "V" tread pattern. However, I found them decidedly average in the dry and particularly poor in the wet, unpredictable, with low levels of grip. I felt my 280hp rally rep was getting down the road despite these tyres, rather than with them.
In fact, during one particular downpour, I managed to spin all four wheels in all five gears! Admittedly, as a Type RA, it has a low ratio box, but still. Inside the car, there was a lot going on. Like a Kung fu tribute to Colin McRae and yet outside, progress down the road was ... unremarkable.
At this point I decided they had to go, as they were ruining the car and as I was only doing 2,000 miles a year as a weekend chariot, they were going to last forever.
However, I checked the tyres pressures the next day and they were particularly low. So I added some air and things improved. This got me thinking and with a bit of research on the net, I found many people recommending a few extra psi for the T1R.
I've now settled on 4psi over oem pressures and things have improved significantly. In the dry, the car now feels up on its toes, with good levels of grip and very progressive on the limit.
In the wet, I'm still slowly building up courage again, but recently I was unable to spin any wheel in any gear and while lateral grip still isn't huge, it does feel a lot more progressive and predictable.
So I decided to keep them.
I also recently bought an MR2 Roadster from an old boy, who had been put off mid-engine cars, following a hairy moment in the wet. Funny enough, I found he was running Toyo Proxes T1R, although this time it was harder to resolve. The wheels and tyres were far from standard sizes, so the oem pressures were meaningless. Eventually, I had to re-calculate them using tyre load tables, before adding my 4psi. In the meantime, I once again found that low and very high pressures would result in tail happy antics, at no speed at all, on just mildly damp roads.
I have now managed to reach acceptable levels of grip by adjusting the pressures, but on the MR2, it's still not good enough. The tyre widths and profiles are just too wrong, so I'm looking at a set of Maxxis Premitra HP5, as they test well apart from wear and fuel. Neither of which bother me on a second weekend car and I can get close to the staggered oem set-up, while keeping the bigger alloys. Have you ever thought you're over thinking things?
So the moral of the story; if your stuck with old Toyo Proxes T1R, check you recommended oem pressures and the oem tyre load. If your tyres have a different load rating, adjust your pressures using a pressure load table to find the pressure that carries the same load as the oem pressure/rating and then add 4psi.
Finally, I noticed a few people on this page reviewing the Toyo Proxes TR1, which is a completely different tyre and has its own review page. Just saying.