It’s time to give the passionate MotoIQ readers an MKIV Supra update, which today involves a set of Nitto NT01 tires. Over the past 12 months I’ve been so wrapped up getting my new automotive dealership business off the ground that I haven’t been able to feed my passion for cars, let alone give any love to Project Supra.
Sadly, I have to report that Project E46 BMW M3 left my household last January to make room for my new business endeavor. Fortunately, the BMW has stayed in the family. It turned out that, during a visit here (Kansas City) from California, my father decided to buy it and take it back with him. I’m just glad I’ll be able to see it from time to time; as that is one awesome car with an engine I’ll forever be amazed with (EDIT: he sold it to a nice gent in Seattle, WA three days after this article went live. He loved the car but said the clutch was a little too much for his 71-year old leg, and therefore decided to keep his similarly powered SMG. Sad times. Bye bye, Project E46 M3).
The Supra is still with me, however. Every now and then I’m asked if I’d sell it, but until I get offered a price that would make me want…well, “want” is the wrong word…more like “willing” to let it go, I have no interest in doing so. While I feel like I’m pretty much finished modifying the Supra, and don’t have plans of making it more powerful, I’ll be adding some bits here and there to further enhance the driving experience.
The latest addition to the long list of the modifications is a set of Nitto NT01 tires. You may recognize these tires from a recent tech piece on Project GTR (R35). To be honest, unless I’ve attended a press gig on tires, and been given gobs of geeky tech information to write with (and I’ve been to a few of these events—they’re awesome), I’ve found it hard to get excited to write about tires. Yeah sure, they’re pretty much the most important modification on the car, where the “rubber meets the road.” Yes. Of course! But that doesn’t mean they’re always the most exciting components to write about. Today, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to eat my words, thanks to the Nitto NT01.
Since I’ve been out of the game so long, and these tires are so good, I feel like I’ve missed some major development in the tire technology world. You know that scene in the movie Shawshank Redemption, where Red gets out of prison after 50 years, and can’t keep up with the world? That’s how I felt when I first got into the Supra with these newly-mounted tires . They’re nothing short of amazing. Were other tires this improved as well? What just happened?
Keep in mind, I didn’t upgrade from any street tire to the NT01. Both the M3 and the Supra were rolling on the BFG G-Force Rival—the 200 UTQG tread-rated tire that started the “extreme summer performance” tire category and opened up the doors to street-rated tires for racing over the past few years. The Rivals were way grippier than all of the Summer high-performance tires I’d experienced. I had even attended the BFG Rival press event years ago at the NOLA Motorsports park and was blown away by how close the Rival performed against BFG’s R1 R-compound tire on the racetrack, skidpad, and autocross. They had everything there to objectively compare, including G-force testing. I knew these were good tires. I can’t imagine what the press day for the NT01s must have been like, however. The little experience I have in them so far…it’s laughable. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder about the limits of my driveline components now (hint).