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tire report: dunlop d80v4

a few weeks ago, Zafer wrote:

> Talking about all-season H rated tires, you can also consider Dunlop D60 A2.
> I have them on two of my cars, including my '87 5000CSTQ and they are great
> especially on wet roads.

>I haven't compared
> the Dunlop D60 A2's with the Comp T/A or the Pirelli P500, so I can't claim
> they are better, but the Dunlops did beat the Comp T/A HR4s in wet tests.

well, i just put dunlops on the v8, not d40's, not d60's, but d80's.
officially called d80v4's.  it is marketed as a "touring" tire, with
very low noise, good wet performance and good ride qualities.  it is
also VR, M+S rated and 200-A-A (on the dunlop scale).  i have not come
across any article or any net.experiences on these, so i just took a
chance and got them, based largely on gut feeling and how well
received all the other dunlop tires were.

my criteria for the p600 replacement was in descending order of priority:

1) quietness
2) wet performance
3) reasonable wear characteristics
4) dry performance

WA state allows studded tires, and the concrete highways are heavily
pockmarked, so tire roar is significant and very very tiring if you do
it day in day out.  plus, the achilles heel of all german cars is poor
road noise insulation.. the v8 is better than the other audis, but
still quite unbearable with these roads..  i figured that since the
car had such vast reserves of grip in the dry and wet, i could forgo

after 2 days of running in i found that it worked best with 40 psi
up front, down from 42 that i ran on the p600s.  ok, so how good
are they?

i drove in today in combination wet and dry roads.  i have to say that
wet performance is at least equal to the p600s if not superior.  i am
still taking it easy in the wet, will report more in the future.  on a
curved, 2 lane "45 mph" highway on ramp today, i blew past a hard
charging rabbit gti at about 75... (heh heh)  grip was excellent.

on another on ramp, a suv cut in front of me and slowed waaay down..
(grrr) i decided to pass on the inside lane.. this time i found that
while the grip was still good, the sidewalls were noticeably less
stiff than the uncompromising ZR rated P600s, so the steering felt
slightly mushy going into the turn.  what i'll need to do is to be
smoother in entry and let the tire settle down into the business of

for more mundane driving, the tire is spectacular.  the reduction in
road roar is in orders of magnitudes.. (after all, decibels are
measured on a logarithmic scale isn't it :-) ) tire roar has been
almost completely eliminated except on the worst surfaces.  if one
examines the tread pattern, there are some radical touches here and
there.  for example, on the outer blocks, the size of the blocks vary
by as much as 2.5:1.. i.e. the largest block around the circumference
of the tire is 2.5 times bigger than the smallest one.

ride quality has also improved, though less spectacularly as tire
roar.  as a result of the reduced roar, bump-thump becomes the
dominant form of road noise.  also, the steering is very marginally
less talkative as before, but it's been worse when i followed the
factory inflation pressures for the P600s.

overall, i am very happy that it met and exceeded my most important
requirement.  the slight loss in sidewall stiffness and steering feel
is to me, well worth the enormous gain in quietness.  i recommend this
tire for consideration to any 5000/100/200/v8 owner.