Friday, 28 February 2014

Jaguar E-Type Tyres - the best Tyres for a Jaguar XK-E from Vintage Tyres for Classic Tyres

General Thoughts
The first thing to remember is that with the E-type, Jaguar was revolutionary and pushed the boundaries of what a British car could do in a way not often seen.  They chose partners to work with to develop components that were beyond the competition in order to make the E-type the sensation it was.  When it came to tyres, at this time Jaguar formed a close alliance with Dunlop.  Together they chose the Aquajet, code named CB73, it was “state of the art” and a truly iconic tyre design of the 60s and 70s, and it offered performance for the E-type in excess of the competition.  For this reason, in most cases it is hard to recommend anything beyond a Dunlop for an E-type – they go together like bread and butter, and are usually the best choice, it was after all “the tyre Jaguar chose”; though we also supply direct from the manufacturers Avons, Michelins, Vredeteins and many more.
 For general road use we believe it is a  mistake to “over-tyre” an XKE – whilst it makes sense to fit a 185VR15 radial to your series 1 instead of a the crossplys if you drive your car regularly and prefer it on radials; on any e-type wide or low profile tyres will not only ruin the ride and handling, but will not work so well with the suspension systems and will often foul.


Specific choices
When the series 1 E-type came out, it was fitted with crossply tyres, and if authenticity in both appearance and performance on an early car is important, then there really is only one choice – the Dunlop Roadspeed RS5 was the OE tyre, and is now the only crossply with appropriate performance capabilities for an XKE and is still available today.
When refining the series 2, Dunlop worked closely with Jaguar for development of the CB73 (known as the aquajet thanks to its unique water clearing ducts that “pump” up to a gallon of water a second away from the contact patch).  It was chosen by Jaguar as the best choice radial when the cars were new, and it still is today – still made in the original moulds in England, these days updated with modern compounds and rated V(150mph) for speed thanks to continued development, and thanks to its popularity it can be made in larger batches than the other options, keeping the price competitive. 
It is a similar story when it comes to the series 3 V12 E-type  - Jaguar chose Dunlop to develop the “ER70R15” version of the aquajet, and it remains a supreme choice for these cars today.
There is more information on the Aquajet in a blog post here: http://vintagetyretalk.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/dunlop-sp-sport-aquajet-tyre-icon.html
There are other period choices for your series 2- The Avon Turbosteel is a V rated steel belted radial made in the England and a good alternative, while the Pirelli Cinturato is an older design at a higher price than the correct tyre.  The 185HR15 Vredestein is a European made tyre at a good price, whilst owners of US spec cars may wish to fit a white or red band tyre, and the Universal option is the one to go for in these cases as it has a pattern reminiscent of the original equipment tyre.
There are several high performance tyres available for the series 3 – whilst the Dunlop remains the tyre of choice, in the equivalent 205/70VR15 size Avon make the CR28 in England at a great price; the Michelin XWX whilst not an original pattern has high performance, as does the Vredestein, though both of these options are fairly expensive. 
If you race or hillclimb your E-type then the Avon CR6zz is an excellent choice.  Retaining a period tread pattern, the internal design of these tyre by Avon Motorsport is actually very high tech, using modern design elements such as steel breakers and modern compounds to offer excellent performance and grip.  Bear in mind that whilst road legal this tyre is designed primarily for motorsport, and therefore no compromise is made when it comes to longevity and wear.

Series 1

Adv
Disadv.
640H15
Original Equipment, Only Suitable Crossply, Made in England
Some people prefer to fit a radial these days
Series 2



185VR15
Original Equipment, Best Appearance, Recently Upgraded and Very High Performance,
Popularity ensures larger volumes so excellent price, Made in England
185VR15
High performance, period appearance, made in England
Jaguar chose Dunlop
185VR15
High performance
Later tread pattern (introduced in 70s), more expensive than Dunlop and Avon,
185HR15
Kerbing Rib
Lower speed rating than some, Later tread pattern, more expenisve than Dunlop and Avon, J
185VR15
Period appearance
Older design of radial, high price,
185HR15
Competitive price, Made in Europe (Holland)
Lower speed rating than some
185HR15
Available with Red or White Band, Appearance
Lower speed rating than some
Series 3



ER70VR15
Original Equipment, Best Appearance, Recently Upgraded and Very High Performance,
Popularity ensures larger volumes so excellent price, Made in England
205/70VR15
Made in England, High Performance, Good Price
Later tread pattern
205/70VR15
High Performance
Later tread pattern
205/70VR15
Good performance, Made in Europe (Holland)
Less competive on price than it was,
205/70VR15
Period appearance but very high performance for track days and racing as well as road legal
Primarily designed as a race tyre so no compromise made for road use when it comes to wear and longevity

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