Almost rattle and
squeak free - one
more to go!
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Another (cautious) recommendation for the Acceleras if you don't want to spend big money. I put the 18" version of these (the PHI) on my 159 SW as a cost-saving exercise earlier in the year and after 5000 or so miles on them, this is what I've found:
1) Very sensitive to correct pressures - make sure you don't let them drop too far! Grip in all circumstances drops away noticeably.
2) Dry lateral grip - about 90% of what you'd expect of a premium tyre. Very progressive breakaway. Surprisingly good turn-in and communication through the steering.
3) Dry traction / braking - as for lateral grip.
4) Wet lateral grip - not as good as in the dry but not lethal either. Probably no more than 70% of what you could expect from e.g. a Michelin Pilot Sport. Again the tyre communicates breakaway well and is progressive so you get plenty of warning when its limits are being reached.
5) Wet traction / braking - here's where the low price of the tyre becomes obvious. Wet traction is awful! In all circumstances, wet traction is much worse than that of a good premium brand. It's very easy to provoke wheelspin as the tyre is unloaded (with weight transfer rearward under acceleration). I have noticed that this is very dependent on the nature of the tarmac though. On some wet surfaces, there's very little traction, on others it's ok. This sensitivity to surface conditions is much greater than with any premium tyres I've used. Braking performance in the wet is also noticeably less confidence-inspiring than premium tyres, but the difference is a lot less marked. Heavily loaded (with weight transfer forward) the tyre seems to work reasonably - it's just when they're lightly-loaded that they're horrible!
In summary - yes, you will get better performance (sometimes significantly so) by buying premium tyres. But... the Accelera is perfectly OK if you want to save money and you accept its limitations (and adapt your driving style to suit).
Ian from Manchester, UK
(Certifiable Car Nut)!
Current Alfa: 159 Sportwagon 2.2 JTS
Previous Alfas: 156 2.5, 164 3.0, 75 3.0
Other Current Cars: Porsche 997S Gen-2 PDK, BMW Z4 sDrive 23i