Table of Contents
Are BMW M3 Tires Different?
Many people wonder if the BMW M3 requires different tires than other 3 Series BMW vehicles. The truth is a bit more complicated than a standard yes or no answer, so we’ll break it down for you here. In short, the BMW M3 doesn’t absolutely require different tires, but it’s beneficial to choose specific types.
The BMW M3 is a high-performance precision car that can achieve very high speeds and fast acceleration. As a result, the tires are subjected to more force in acceleration and braking than standard BMW 3 Series vehicles. Additionally, the top speed of the M3 is higher than the speed rating of many tires, which means you’ll need special tires to achieve those speeds without risking a blowout.
BMW M3 Tire Speed Rating
The top speed of a standard late-model BMW M3 is 155 mph. Speed is governed by an electronic limiter, as the vehicle could achieve much higher speeds without it.
An M3 with the optional M Driver’s Package can achieve a top speed of 180 mph, and some car mods can increase it further. As a result, you’ll need a tire with a higher than average speed rating if you want to hit these speeds.
Tire speed ratings are denoted with a letter and usually range from H to Y. An H speed rating is good up to 130 mph, which is the rating many stock and replacement tires have. H-rated tires are not sufficient if your want to hit top speed in your BMW M3.
A standard BMW M3 with a 155mph limiter could safely use W-rated tires, which are rated for 168mph. If you have the optional M Driver’s Package, you’ll need Y-rated tires to hit your top speed safely. Y-rated tires are good for up to 186 mph.
Best Tire Types for the BMW M3
What kind of tire is best for your BMW M3? It all depends on where you live. Weather is the most important factor to consider when choosing a tire and tread type, and it’s especially important if you drive a sports car like the M3.
For warmer climates that don’t get snow, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, or Phoenix, a set of max-performance summer tires is ideal. These tires are designed for warm weather and dry pavement, and they offer the best road contact and handling.
For a more typical American climate, like on the East Coast, where snow happens occasionally, you’ll need an all-season or A/S tire. Summer tires are utterly useless in even the lightest snow, so an A/S tire is essential if you want to drive at all during the wintertime.
All-terrain tires, or A/T tires, aren’t usually viable on an M3. These tires are designed for driving on dirt and gravel, which is not something the BMW M3 is suited for. For all intents and purposes, M3 drivers will be best served with an A/S or summer tire.
BMW M3 Front and Rear Tire Differences
It may come as a surprise to learn that the M3 uses different sized tires on the front and rear. This is because the rear tires need more traction and thus are slightly wider. On a typical late-model BMW M3, the front tires are 265/30ZR20, and the rear tires are 285/30ZR20.
Best Tires for the BMW M3
We looked for tires that are designed for high-performance vehicles and especially good on the BMW M3. These tires are designed for grip and precision, which is exactly what the M3 needs to reach its full potential. Here are five of the best BMW M3 tires on the market today, along with current pricing.
1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Summer Tires
Michelin is one of the best-known tire manufacturers in the performance tire industry, and they don’t disappoint with their latest models. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is one of the best tires for the BMW M3, thanks to its superior grip and dry pavement performance.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is a max performance summer tire designed for dry pavement, though it has some modifications that make it safe to use in the rain. If you look closely, you’ll notice channels running along the length of the tread. These channels help the tire shed water, which prevents hydroplaning.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires feature an asymmetrical tread pattern. Over the years, asymmetrical tread has become a favorable design for summer performance tires as it increases traction and grip. The outer edges of the tire have additional bite, which helps with braking and acceleration.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S earns the number one spot on our list because it was designed with the help of performance car makers who needed an all-encompassing tire for their vehicles. The tire uses many of the same advancements used in racing tires and brings them to you in a DOT-approved street summer tire.
You can purchase a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires from Tire Rack for between $341.99 per tire and $374.99 per tire.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is a premium performance summer tire that provides the best grip and value for your M3.
2. Falken Azenis FK510 Summer Tires
Here’s another summer tire that’s designed for performance vehicles like the BMW M3, and it’s a lot more affordable than much of the competition. The Falken Azenis FK510 is a tough tire with great grip and surprisingly good longevity.
Falken Azenis FK510 tires are designed for traction on dry and wet roads—as long as the pavement is warm. They handle well on water but aren’t designed for cold weather and should only be used in fair conditions where snow is impossible.
Like the Michelins listed above, the Falken Azenis FK510 tire uses an asymmetrical tread pattern with a unique feature called ACP. ACP stands for Adaptive Constant Pressure, which allows the tire to mold to the road in varying load conditions such as hard braking and acceleration.
ACP technology is a huge advancement in tire technology and also greatly improves handling and safety when on the road. Additionally, the tread itself is designed for superior road contact and handling. Voids between tread blocks are minimized, and water-shedding channels are wide to reduce the risk of wet road accidents.
You can pick up a set of Falken Azenis FK510 tires from Tire Rack for $230.00 to $264.00 per tire, which is surprisingly affordable.
Falken Azenis FK510 tires are a great and affordable summer tire for your BMW M3 and a low-cost option for replacing factory tires.
3. Michelin Pilot Alpin Winter Tires
But what about colder climates? Are there any performance tires for the BMW M3 that are safe to use in the snow? There are—and the Michelin Pilot Alpin is the industry leader. These top-quality winter tires are designed for performance cars that also need a safe tire for their superior speed and handling.
These tires utilize a sunflower oil-enhanced rubber compound. The addition of the oil is not only eco-friendly, but it helps the rubber remain supple when ordinary tires would stiffen up from the cold. These tires are known for their ability to remain stable and reduce stopping distances in snow and cold conditions.
The Michelin Pilot Alpin is a true snow tire, and it meets the requirements for severe snow service. In addition to their superior winter performance compounds, this tire also features ZAF technology. This design element introduces serial polyester reinforcements to the ply, adding strength and increasing rigidity.
The Michelin Pilot Alpin is a high-performance tire, meaning it’s designed to provide good handling without sacrificing winter safety. It features an asymmetrical tread pattern, which we’ve already seen on other performance tires. Internally, strength is added through the use of dual radial steel belts.
Michelin Pilot Alpin winter tires are available from Tire Rack for between $401.42 and $438.54 each, and they come with a standard six-year/30,000-mile warranty with some restrictions.
Michelin Pilot Alpin tires are best for BMW M3 owners who live in climates that get a lot of snow, and they still provide great summer performance.
4. BFGoodrich G-Force A/S Plus Tires
BFGoodrich, or BFG, is well known for its specialty tires. In this case, the BFGoodrich G-Force A/S Plus makes our list as one of the best and highest-rated all-season tires for the BMW M3. This high-performance tire is designed for speed and precision, and it’s also highly affordable.
The G-Force A/S Plus tire features a directional tread pattern, which is a bit of a departure from the asymmetrical tread we’ve seen so far. Directional tread is another tire innovation that’s widely used by performance cars, as it increases wet weather traction and stability.
G-Force A/S Plus tires were designed by BFGoodrich for winter and summer performance, and they’re safe to use in almost all conditions, including light snow. The tread pattern itself features a large drainage channel for water-shedding, along with sharp side voids to give the tire that extra bite.
BFG G-Force A/S Plus tires are also exceptionally strong, thanks to BFG’s ETEC system. ETEC utilizes nylon spirals and twin radial steel belts for added strength and rigidity. Overall, these tires are an excellent choice in areas that experience distinct summer and winter seasons without the extremes.
You can purchase a set of BFG G-Force A/S Plus tires from Tire Rack for between $182.99 and $197.99 per tire.
The BFG G-Force A/S Plus is a great all-season tire at a highly affordable price, and it’s suitable in almost all climates.
5. Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S Tires
Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S tires are a leading all-season tire that’s exceptionally common on German sports cars. The tire was designed specifically with performance vehicles in mind, and it features a unique asymmetrical tread pattern with minimal void spaces.
The Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S features a distinct five-rib tread pattern, which evenly spaces tread blocks. At first glance, the tire barely looks asymmetrical because of the large water-shedding voids between the tread blocks. But each tread block has a unique pattern that helps distribute load and increase traction on all road surfaces.
These radial tires are made using an all-season rubber compound that’s designed to stay supple in hot weather and relatively cold conditions, making it safe to use in light snow and on 30-degree days. Additionally, silica-infused rubber helps keep the tire sticky even when it's wet out.
Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S tires are designed with a two-ply cord for strength and rigidity, along with high-strength steel radial bands. These bands help prevent puncture and keep the tire from deforming beyond spec under hard acceleration and braking.
You can purchase a set of Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S tires from Tire Rack for $223.99 (front) and $247.99 (rear).
Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate A/S tires are a great all-season tire with a traditional look and a long lifespan, and they’re a popular choice with BMW M3 owners.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding