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.