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Why your tire speed rating matters

Most tires are capable of going well over the speed limits we have learned to live with in Canada. That said, for drivers who intend to drive on a track, or drivers who visit Germany and drive on the famous Autobahn who want to make sure their tire can safely handle higher speeds, tire speed ratings definitely matter.

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More importantly, tire speed ratings don’t just tell you about how fast a particular tire can go, but they also give an indication of comfort, stopping power, grip and thread life. You see, the higher the speed rating, the higher the grip and performance of the tire, but the thread life will be much lower.

The tire speed rating is the last letter on the tire spec which looks like this: P 225/55/R18 97T.

There are 14 tire speed ratings in total.

L : maximum 120 km/h

M : maximum 130 km/h

N : maximum 140 km/h

Q : maximum 160 km/h

R : maximum 170 km/h

S : maximum 180 km/h

T : maximum 190 km/h

U : maximum 200 km/h

H : maximum 210 km/h

V : maximum 240 km/h

Z: maximum 240 km/h +

W : maximum 270 km/h

Y : maximum 300 km/h

(Y): maximum 300 km/h +

Thank you to Atlantic Mazda for their help with this article.

 

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