Project NSX: Part 4 – We track test KW Suspension, Volk Wheels and Nitto Tires in Pursuit of a Track Record

Project NSX 25 Hours of Thunderhill M3
The NT01 helped me win the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2008.  With the proven success on the NT01, I was looking forward to trying the NT05.

It’s crazy to think that the NT05 has been around for almost 5 years now.  MotoIQ was part of the team that helped to conceptualize the tire when it was proposed in the mid-2000’s.  Nitto’s NT01 has been the tried and true R-compound tire that works great as a track tire on everything from lightweight sports cars to heavy sedans, and its quite versatile for its tire longevity and wet-weather performance.

Project NSX NT05 Tires
Selecting tires for Project NSX is a tall order since our goals are to be the first naturally aspirated NSX to turn a sub 2:00 time at Buttonwillow 13CW with stock aero on street tires.  The NSX is known to have both a tire width and diameter stagger.  Our car will be using the widely successful 235/40-17 and 275/35-18 tire sizes.

Project NSX NT05 tread
The NT05 is Nitto’s answer to the extreme summer performance category and is one of the pioneers of what has turned into a crazy category of pretty much streetable race tires.  The tread pattern features a continuous center rib to maximize tread contact and stability.  While the two large circumferential grooves look like they take a lot of rubber away, the NT05 actually has one of the best tread to void ratios of any street tire on the market with 67.4%.  The reinforced solid tread blocks on the outer shoulders of the tire reduce tread squirm and improve tire longevity and grip.

The NT05’s compound uses a lot of silica and a special blend of polymer additives to create a flexible and resilient tread material that is exceptionally in both wet and dry conditions.  The tire’s casing is made of two plies of polyester with a high turn-up, which increases the sidewall stiffness and improves handling by quickening steering response.

The NT05 is extremely quiet on the street, especially for a high performance tire which could be due to the two wide circumferential grooves.  The stiff sidewall does transmit some harshness, but it does not cause the car to wander or track on the road.

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