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Brera - Tyre wear 25K+ and other observations

Having read numerous horror stories about tyre wear on the Brera I thought it may be worth giving details of my experience and observations.
I bought my car a 2007 2.4 – 210 SV about a year ago having opted out of the company car scheme and electing to run my own car for business purposes. My work involves long distance travel to a number of remote locations around the UK and is probably about 90% motorway with the majority of the rest on ‘interesting’ A and B roads – which I know well. The car was fitted with 18” multi-spoke wheels shod at the front with what appeared to be virtually new 245- 18 Hankooks and at the rear with Pirelli P Zero Neros. I didn’t measure the tread depth on the rears but there was clearly plenty of meat on them.
Shortly after getting the car I fitted it with a tuning box from Diesel Tuning UK which was easily fitted in about 20 mins and has some scope for fine tuning. Though I haven’t had the car on a rolling road I understand that the performance has been increased from 210PS – 400Nm to around 250PS – 480 Nm. With a slight improvement in ‘indicated’ fuel consumption from around 36mpg to a little over 38mpg - although I understand that the metering with a tuning box can read slightly optimistically.
The tuning box by dint of the increased torque makes a huge difference to the cars performance and the way it is driven. The pulling power from just over 2000rpm is dramatically improved to the point where wheel spin in third is a distinct possibility on anything but a dry, firm surface. Acceleration in fourth is also very impressive and there’s even some left in sixth.
So, back to tyre wear - I have just replaced the Hankooks at the front having covered 25,400 miles in my ownership and still just this side of officially legal. True, the wear is very uneven with plenty of tread still left on the outside, due obviously to the significant negative camber with which these cars are set up. I also had the geometry checked at the same time and was told it was ‘bob-on’ factory settings. I’ve shifted the rears to the front and fitted new P Zeros aft.
Some of you will be assuming that the car is piloted in ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ mode – nothing could be further from the truth and without wishing to imply any bravado, I am a very spirited ex-competition driver with best times for well-known roads which I am constantly seeking to improve. I have owned and driven a lot of what would be termed performance exotica and frequently near the limit. However, I am aware of the nature and limitations of the Brera, the reasons I bought it and how to minimise the downsides. I needed a reasonably economical, performance car which would cover long distances at high speed in reasonable comfort – the fact that it was also drop dead gorgeous to look at may have also swayed me a little. On the down side it is a very heavy front wheel drive car, particularly so with the 2.4 lump. All of this mitigates against what I would call squirty, scruffy driving. The car has to be set up for bends and the optimum line chosen to minimise scrubbing off speed and rubber so that the velocity can be carried through the bend. Smooth ‘n slick not only wins races - it saves money. The Brera has to be recognised for what it is – a beautiful, competent GT which, if driven sympathetically can be both very rewarding and reasonably economical.
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Good write up! Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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thanks for your thoughts, can you recommend and advanced driving course?
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Interesting post - as someone who also enjoys the odd rapid drive through the 'twisties' I can highly recommend getting in touch with Peter Cambridge (guy behind the Brera S development).
He set up my chassis geometry through Prodrive in Warwick and it has really bought the car to life.
Best £150 I've ever spent
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That's great news, Brerabit!

Just bear in mind that your new PZero fronts are likely to last closer to 10K. You can easily get 30-40K out of them at the back, but not at the front. Trade off is they handle great, pull and break really well. I'm guessing the Hankooks are a lot longer lasting but less sporty.
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(Post Link) post #6 of 8 Old 02-09-11 Thread Starter
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I'll let you know Commanderfish.
Hopefully in about 12 months time ...
I did quite a bit of research on the tyres before I went for the P Zeros having previously enjoyed very sticky but short lived Yoki's on a previous car. The general consensus in tyre revues, trade publications etc. even on this site, was that the Pirellis are average to good on tyre wear and certainly at least as good as the Hankooks.
However, I totally agree with you on handling and feel and I also understand they've tested better at the margins i.e. emergency braking, aquaplaning etc. although fortunately so far I have to take their word for it.
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Hehe I was reading that and before I got to the end was thinking if you were a competetive driver you wouldnt be overdriving and scrubbing the front tyres to death through understeer in a Clarkson FWD manner!

Then got to the end and noted that this is exactly the case!

You will no doubt, like me, a former single seater competitor (who isnt very good on track with FWD..) be quite hard on the tyres with later braking though.

I dont get as many miles as you do on Pirellis' - 14K max, but my driving is more mixed and the stop start is quite good at tyre wear, my geometry is reasonable as well and they wear more or less evenly, within 1.0mm or so at the end of their life.

The Pirelli's are though by far the worst tyre I have ever encountered (Yokohama Advan's excluded) in the ice, snow, slush absolutely useless, which was good last year as we had them on both cars!
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I'll be the first to admit that my type of mileage is very kind to tyres and I know if I did more urban, stop-start stuff the braking and acceleration alone would have a significant impact especially with all that urge when they're struggling for grip and the subsequent momentum which, unfortunately, has to be arrested from time to time. My main point though is that the car is good at what it does - which isn't being asked to change direction suddenly and scrubbed around tight bends on a trailing throttle - all that weight on FWD is inevitably going to get expensive. However, if driven with anticipation, subtlety and a blatant disregard for white lines - mostly of the dotted variety, it's surprising how much speed you can carry through if you use the cars weight and inherent stability to advantage. If you need an urban go-kart, the Brera should be well down your list but if you're looking for an elegant, high-speed coupe it's definitely up there - especially with an estimated Brera to Audi TT ratio of around 50:1.
I'm about to set off for the south of France for a couple of weeks and I'm already smiling at the thought.
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