Choosing tyres for my 15×7 AMG Penta wheels

My new 15″ AMG Penta wheels did not come with tyres.   Choosing a set turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought.

The big downside of the 15s over the 16s is the tyre availability.     The table below outlines possible sizes I could have considered.    They are all compared to the overall circumference of the original wheel/tyre combination.

Tyre SizeRevs per KMDifference
205/70 R14496Standard
205/65 R15492+0.8%
205/60 R15508- 2.4%
215/65 R15482+ 2.8%
215/60 R15498- 0.4%
225/60 R15489+ 1.2%
225/55 R15506- 2.4%
235/55 R15498- 0.4%

The easiest and most obvious choice would have been one of the 205 sizes.   Both are a fairly standard tyre size still used by many mainstream cars.   As an example, 205/65R15 is the standard size of the later R107 models with 15″ wheels.   I have the Michelin Energy XM2 tyre on my 560SEL in this size and it seems like a good tyre.

However, for the AMG wheels I wanted something wider with a bit more grip.   Certainly, looking at old AMG catalogs, they mostly offered the wheels with wider tyres.    I was immediately able to rule out two sizes – 225/55 and 235/55.  There were no tyres at all available in those sizes.

The next most obvious size would have been 215/60R15.   This is only 0.4% different to standard, so had the least speedometer impact.  However, when looking for tyres in this size, the availability of anything I would want to use was terrible.   There were some light truck/van tyres available, but they would have given the 450SLC a terrible ride.   There was one model that looked promising at first – the Radar Dimax classic tyre.   This tyre is advertised as specifically designed for classic use.  While I didn’t find any reviews of their classic tyre, I found pretty poor reviews of Radar tyres in general.   I couldn’t find anyone who had tried these tyres at all, let alone liked them.

Finally, I settled on 225/60R15.   These seemed closest to the size AMG would have used then new for 15″ AMG Penta wheels.   I was able to verify with somebody who used this size with Penta wheels on a 450SLC, which gave me confidence.

The tyre selection was not great in this size either, but there were a few options.    In the end I went with the Hankook Kinergy Eco2 K435.  The Eco2 name put me off a bit, as I assumed they were probably optimized for long tread life and fuel consumption vs performance.   However, they got by far the best reviews I could find in that size.   It also helped that there was a buy three, get four deal on at the time.

15The tyres are now mounted and ready to go on the car.   I also have the correct centre caps ready.   The 450SLC is about to go in and have the front subframe mounts changed, so I’ll fit the new tyres after that.

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