Before even acquiring the Skyline GT-R R33, I had already decided on the Falken tires and Volk wheels. Fortunately, I had ordered them ahead of time because both were back-ordered from Japan 3 and 4 months, respectively; but they were worth the wait.
If you read our Part 1 introduction, you know what acquiring this GT-R has meant to me. For decades, I tortured myself with videos and web searches that kept me yearning for an R33. We’re talking watching these videos so much that I can replay every frame and sound in my head–even now–over twenty years later. These are old enough that they’re not on Youtube or anywhere online anymore (at least I couldn’t seem to find them). After an arduous search in my basement, I found the DVDs that I burned back around 2000! I even uploaded one of them onto Youtube for your viewing pleasure, because that’s the kind of guy I am. It’s on Page 4. And you’re welcome.
Okay, enough about my endless obsession of the Skyline GT-R. Let’s talk some wheels and tires!
While we will be discussing the all too familiar Volk TE37 wheels by RAYS wheels, let’s first get to really should be one of the most important upgrades to a car, period–the tires.
The Extreme Performance Summer (EPS) tire is one of the latest categories introduced by Tire Rack. I can’t seem to find much information online regarding this class, but when I was first exposed to it at a media tire gig back in 2013, I remember hearing about these tires being developed for the sole purpose of a“street touring” class in SCCA racing. These tires had to have a minimum of 200 UTQG treadwear. Essentially, they were filling the gap between the old-school “Max Performance” summer tire and the full R-compound road racing tires. This made the EPS tire category great for the weekend track warrior who wishes to drive to and from the track on the same tires (as opposed to swapping wheels upon arrival and leaving the track), and even use them year-round on the street, weather permitting. Since I was only planning to drive the GT-R on Kansas City’s nice days (hey, we have plenty, too), these tires were perfect this car.
The Azenis RT660 features a two-ply construction and a polyester casing that Falken calls its “Crosshatch Carcass” design. This provides a very firm contact patch and sidewall, which is to enhance the tire’s overall handling and high-speed stability. The tire is also reportedly built with a couple of wide, steel belts to support the tread area, and is reinforced with two polyamide cap plies to further enhance these aforementioned characteristics.