It’s a given that, as a rare or exotic car owner, it’s both time consuming and costly to find the right parts. It just goes with the territory that you probably won’t be able to find parts at your local big-box parts store, and aftermarket versions of those parts are going to be all but nonexistent.
It’s likely that the right tires will be a little scarce, too, and running your exotic ride on off-brand or sub-brand rubber is not ideal for all kinds of reasons. Stick with us as we walk you through how to match your rare ride with the right tire size.
First and foremost, you’ll find that many of these vehicles have staggered sizes, meaning the rear tires are bigger than the front tires. The reasons for staggered tire sizes on high-performance vehicles is a pretty simple one: the larger contact patch of the rear tires can deliver more torque and power to the pavement without breaking loose. Bigger tires can also deliver more grip in the corners, before the vehicle’s traction control or vehicle stability control (VSC) takes over.
That’s the simplest reason why supercars need super tires, so let’s find you the right fit:
Ferrari 812 Superfast
While Ferrari is usually associated more with sleek roadsters and convertibles, the 812 Superfast is a 2+2 grand tourer with a mid-engine and RWD. Introduced in 2017, the 812 Superfast is powered by a 789 horsepower 6.5 liter V12; according to Ferrari, the Superfast’s top speed is well north of 200 mph and it can get to 60 mph in a neck-snapping 2.9 seconds.
Obviously a car like the Ferrari Superfast needs a set of tires that can handle that sort of power and performance safely.
In front, the Superfast is shod with 275/35R20 tires, and runs on 315/35R20 in the rear. Remembering that you should always run the same brand/model of tires in front and back, here are our top picks:
Tire Makes/Models Top Picks
- Pirelli P Zero Rosso: the P Zero Rosso is an ultra-high-performance (UHP) summer tire that’s engineered for vehicles with VSC systems. It features a super-sticky summer rubber formulation, asymmetric, directional tread pattern and an excellent balance between comfort and performance. If you’re wanting racetrack performance in a summer tire, the P Zero Rosso can certainly deliver.
- Conti ExtremeContact Sport: The sticky tread compound, five circumferential ribs, asymmetric tread pattern and extra-stiff casing of the ExtremeContact Sport deliver excellent traction in wet or dry conditions. This summer tire is designed for ride quality, road manners and handling in the same package. Shorter braking distances, traction and cornering ability -- how can you go wrong?
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4S: The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S was developed in cooperation with teams from Audi, M-B and Porsche and includes features like a dual-zone tread compound, Variable Contact Patch, tuned inner tread filaments and Michelin Acoustic Technology, a layer of sound-absorbing foam in the tire casing to keep road noise low. Put it all together and you’ve got an excellent combination of a comfortable ride, low highway noise and precise performance.
- Pirelli P Zero PZ4: The P Zero PZ4 is another summer UHP tire, but includes a different shoulder design, tread pattern computer-tuned to cut road noise and a carbon black-enriched tread compound that all make it a better fit for luxury grand tourers. And as you know, there’s no question that a quieter ride can make all the difference in your overall driving experience on long trips.
Introduced in 2015, the Ford GT is a mid-engine two-seater sports car that’s inspired by the legendary Ford GT40 of the 1960s. The latter-day Ford GT is loaded with innovations in technology and materials (superplastic-formed frame, aluminum body panels, friction-welded center tunnel) and is powered by a 5.4 litre aluminum modular V8. This 550-horsepower engine is capable of propelling the Ford GT to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and blasts it through the quarter mile in a shade under 12 seconds.
Up front, the Ford GT is rolling on 245/35R20 rubber, with 325/30R20 in the rear.
Tire Makes/Models Top Picks
- Continental ExtremeContactSport DWS06: This all-season UHP tire from Continental is another super-grippy tire that features innovations like chamfered grooves, a sophisticated, dense sipe pattern, Tuned Performance Indicators molded into the tread and a rubber formulation that’s engineered for year-round use. If you’re living in a place where you might have occasion to take your Ford GT out in light snow or wintry conditions, the ExtremeContactSport DWS06 is an excellent choice.
- Pirelli P Zero: The P Zero is OEM on Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Porsche and many other makes, for good reason -- its S-shaped tread design, longitudinal grooves and three solid central ribs provide excellent handling and road manners, great wet or dry traction and resistance to hydroplaning. If it’s good enough for an OEM tire on those vehicles, you’ll love the Pirelli P Zero’s performance on your Ford GT.
- Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2: The Pilot Sport Cup 2 is essentially a racing/competition tire that’s street-legal, making it a great fit for a powerful car like the Ford GT. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 features Michelin innovations like their Bi-Compound rubber formulation, Variable Contact Patch 2.0 technology and twin steel belts reinforced by a layer of Twaron cord.
The limited-production Lamborghini Aventador is named after a breed of fighting bull, but does it leave up to its namesake? We think so. This outrageous exotic offers wild styling with a 690 horsepower V12 for blistering performance. How blistering, exactly? 2.9 seconds from 0-60, ¼ mile in 10.5 seconds, top speed of 217 mph and over a full G of cornering ability on the skidpad.
In front, the Aventador rides on 255/30R20s; in back, it’s equipped with 355/25R21 tires.
Tire Makes and Models
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4S: (see above)
- Pirelli P Zero: (see above)
- Bridgestone Potenza RE050A: With the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A, you get an asymmetric tread pattern, large tread blocks, stable shoulder elements and a continuous circumferential rib to even out wear, especially on cars with negative camber. That’s all with a high-grip UHP tread formulation and fabric-wrapped twin steel belts for a great combination of ride quality, handling and traction.
- Bridgestone Potenza S007: The S007 was developed as an OEM tire for the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta -- it’s up to the challenge of that V12 Ferrari’s tremendous horsepower, torque and handling ability, with a low-rolling-resistance tread formulation, asymmetric tread design, ultra-rigid tread blocks and wide circumferential grooves. It’s the kind of tire that inspires confidence thanks to its unyielding grip in wet or dry conditions.
- Yokohama Advan Apex V601: The Advan Apex V601 has many of the features of the V105, with a tread pattern and variable-pitch grooves that are computer-tuned to cancel sound waves and lower road noise. If you’re the kind of driver who takes your Lambo on long drives, you’ll be sure to appreciate a quieter ride.
- BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S: The BFGoodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S delivers true UHP performance in an all-season tire. Its tread compound is engineered to stay flexible at sub-freezing temperatures (unlike summer tires and most UHP tires), with an aggressive V-shaped tread design, angled lateral and longitudinal grooves, squared-off shoulders and wraparound tread blocks for surprising year-round traction.
Wrapping Things Up
If you’ve got an atypical car, you probably won’t be surprised to find that it needs some unusual tires. But, the most important thing you need to know is which tires will be able to live up to your car’s performance potential. Because, after all, what’s the point of having a high-performance car without being able to ride it right?
While the price tag may be steep, the tires we listed for these three supercars are truly race-bred tires, capable of remarkable cornering and steering response and stable enough to provide safe handling at extreme speeds. Like we said from the start -- it all goes with the territory and it’s the price of admission for owning a car like a Ferrari, Lambo or Ford GT. The good news is that, as performance and engineering keeps advancing with supercars, so too will the capabilities of super tires so you can rest assured that you’ll always find your perfect (if not hard-to-find) fit.