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MTM R8 GT3-2: a super sports car fitted with Michelin tyres

Sport Published the 30/08/2011 by Jack

For several years, Michelin has been working with renowned tuners such as Novidem, MTM or AC Schnitzer, the aim being to highlight the importance of tyres in the customisation of a vehicle. We put this to the test at the Michelin Pilot Performance Days, testing an MTM R8 GT3-2.

Custom Audi R8 by MTM tuners Copyright © : Michelin

In its original configuration, a sports car must above all offer uniform handling. The aim of the manufacturer is to make its performance accessible to the average driver. This balance can be disrupted when the car passes through the hands of a tuner to enhance its sporting performance.

To avoid this risk, the tuner must adapt the axles, the brakes and the tyres to the mechanics and the transmission fitted.

In this field, Michelin has been working for several years with renowned tuners such as Novidem, MTM or AC Schnitzer. The manufacturer thus intends to highlight the importance of tyres in the customisation of a vehicle.

We were able to put this to the test at the Michelin Pilot Performance Days, held this summer in Estoril (Portugal), at the wheel of a superb MTM R8 GT3-2 fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup.

560 bhp of rear wheel drive power

The MTM R8 GT3-2 is an Audi R8 converted to rear-wheel drive (full front-wheel drive has been abandoned). This radical change in transmission requires huge engine preparation. With a compressor, the V8 has a total power of 560 horsepower.

To control such a beast, the braking system has been oversized (8-piston stirrups) as has the original suspension, replaced with a Bilstein B16.

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres 

The tyres were also adapted. The original fittings (235 x 40 R18 and 285 x 35 R18) are merely a vague memory. The MTM R8 GT3-2 is now fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup in 245/30 ZR 20 and 315/25 ZR 20. 

The difference in width of the tread between the front axle (235) and the rear axle (285) says it all. With more than 30% increased engine power and the conversion from full front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, it was essential to oversize the tyres. The choice of Pilot Sport Cup, the sportiest of the Michelin range, was logical given the unusual demands of this car.

An effective and uniform test 

With a customized car, the tyre acts to unify any optimisations. It guarantees its efficiency and active safety. On the Estoril circuit in Portugal, where we tested it, the MTM R8 GT3-2 seemed both effective and uniform. The tyres were well suited to the suspensions: on the dry, we noted no unusual or excessive handling issues. Traction was excellent, with a slight oversteer however coming out of the bends: not exactly surprising with such power!

  

The MTM R8 GT3-2 in figures 


> 560 horsepower at 7750 rpmtorque: 580 Nm
> 0 to 62 mph: 3.9 seconds
> maximum speed: 197 mph
> Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup (245/30 ZR 20 and 315/25 ZR 20)