Buying A Street Tire For The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE15
I knew that my 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE would need a set of street tires before I ever signed on the dotted line last year. That’s because this track-ready muscle car comes from the factory with specifically-engineered Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires that are super sticky and barely road legal. Incidentally, not all buyers understood this detail, resulting in Chevy issuing a recall.
That recall was not for the tires themselves, but for an amendment to the owner’s manual, which specified the hazards of using the stock tires on wet roads. Simply put, driving on the Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires in anything but sunshine is far from ideal. After all, the factory Goodyears have a five thirty-seconds (5/32) thread depth when new. By comparison, most street tires measure eleven thirty-seconds (11/32) when new.
Taking the above into consideration, along with the fact that I do the overwhelming majority of my driving on the street, I decided to purchase a set of Cooper Zeon RS3-S tires. Primarily due to availability, I went with a 325 square setup, meaning that all four tires will be the same size as opposed to a staggered set up wherein the rear tires are wider than the fronts.
|Tire||Width||Aspect Ratio||Tread Depth||Treadwear|
|Front Goodyear Eagle F1 OEM||305||30||5/32||100|
|Rear Goodyear Eagle F1 OEM||325||30||5/32||100|
A side-by-side look at both tires shows just how profound the difference is, both in terms of the tread depth and the tread pattern – both of which are vital to wet performance.
Prior to buying the Cooper Zeon RS3-S rubber, I was concerned about “grooving” – which was reported by some who have had this tire. However, I’m happy to report that I haven’t experienced this issue. It’s also worth noting that the 325-square setup did not result in any rubbing, which is great news.
Prior to the COVID-19 fiasco, I was able to get a full sense of what the Coopers are capable of during an HPDE event at Pocono Raceway. The biggest difference is a loss in maximum grip compared to the stock Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber, which was to be expected. After all, one is a sporty street tire while the other is a streetable track tire. In fact, the biggest difference in handling was the introduction of some understeer.
Now that coronavirus-related restrictions are being lifted in the state of Pennsylvania, it shouldn’t be long before I find out how much better the factory Goodyears are at the track. The plan is to get a second set of factory wheels and mount the trackable Goodyear rubber on those, and swap the wheels myself prior to each track day, rather than having to go to a shop to swap tires.
I’m going to continue enjoying the Coopers for now, and will provide an update after a back-to-back track run with the Goodyears. So be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more stories on this 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, as well as the latest Camaro news, Chevrolet news, and 24/7 GM news coverage.
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Interesting you experienced increased understeer. you went from a staggered setup, to a square set up. If anything, I would think that that would introduce oversteer. You’ve increased grip at the front end of the car relative to the rear end
It could be that the softer compound made a greater difference than the width; the Goodyears could pull thru a tight line while the Coopers would lose their grace.
I’m pretty sure the OEM rear tire size for a 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE is 325/30 19. Not the 315/30 you listed in your chart. Good luck with the new rubber.
That’s correct, it is 325. Thanks for the catch.
I don’t know why people buy this vehicle and then complain about the tires. I own a 2018 ZL1 1le here in Orlando and drive the I 4 to and from Tampa, Daytona and Miami and been caught in very heavy downpours, even this 4th of July weekend when we cruised from Orlando to Melbourne to Daytona and back. we got heavy thunderstorms. All you do is get in right lane and relax at 55 mph. Don’t drive the speed limit ,drive the weather conditions. When you have so much horsepower that will spin tires in dry condition at will, you definitely got to respect in rain. No matter what tires you have. Never had a problem with these tires in rain ,if so my wife would have made me switch them or she wouldn’t drive with me. Got over 10 thousand miles on tires and still has some tread left. Will buy same tires again.Tires were made especially for this car and I will not neuter it.
“All you do is get in right lane and relax at 55 mph” – because not all of us want to do this.
“here in Orlando and drive the I 4 to and from Tampa, Daytona and Miami…” – some of us live in places where it gets so cold that the OEM tire would split. Rain isn’t the only form of precipitation.
“Got over 10 thousand miles on tires” – can’t neuter a dog that doesn’t have any balls.
Understeer would be the result from your swap. The front tyres are fitted to a rim designed for a narrower tyre. You are getting tyre roll, which is reducing the footprint on the road. The result will be understeer. Also you have noted the sheer lack of grip which is understandable. You need to look at the Michelin range of sport tyres. There are some serious rubber in their lineup , A Pilot Sport 4 S would suit your road habit with outstanding grip and superb wet performance. There are a few more tyres above a PS4S that would arguably be better than the Goodyear. This is a comment based on me using Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres for road use, and Pilot Cup tyres ( Porsche Cup Race tyres. – Serious Grip !! ) for track use. Note keep the tyre / rim sizing combination correct as per manufacturer’s recomendations. The tyre will only perform best if it is supported correctly. Just trying to help !
“You are getting tyre roll, which is reducing the footprint on the road. The result will be understeer.” – thank you for this, I’m now curious to try the same tires out with the OEM sizing to see what changes.
I don’t agree. A 325 tire is OK for 11-12″ width wheels per the manufactures recommendations. There are so many other factors in play….ambient temp, tire pressure, track temp, how hard they are pushed, the fact that he only had one time to compare and that it was on different days. And, although I don’t know the driver of the vehicle, if he’s not experienced with different vehicles and tires under different conditions, this is really not a valid comparison just to determine relative differences in front/rear balance. Not to mention that the Goodyear tire is a tire in a different class if you know what I mean. A one inch difference in wheel width, and being still within the manufacturer’s recommendations, just isn’t enough.
Did you go with the square setup so you can rotate the tires ( front to rear ) or was that the only size available ?
They were the only size in stock at the time.
GM should offer an option for customers who want a more daily driver tire for the ZL1. Im guessing there are more daily drivers if this car then track drivers. The Coopers or Michelin Pilots would be a great option.
The ZL1 is not equipped with the tires – they are only included with the 1LE package when paired with the ZL1 model.
ZL1 front: 285/30ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3
ZL1 rear: 305/30ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3
ZL1 1LE front: 305/30R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R
ZL1 1LE rear: 325/30R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R
The difference being 3 vs 3″R”.
Hey that’s awesome info, thanks for passing this along!
To refine the point, the tire roll means the vehicle under-steers because the vehicle is not turning in due to g force, the roll allows the vehicle swing out. Tire roll doesn’t reduce footprint, think drag car less pressure rear tire rolling more rubber, that’s tire roll extreme. Straight ahead though. The less width of the tire means less flexibility, tighter feeling control. But remember any extreme is bad, think say steel wheels. Thus the best place is going to be the sweet spot, or somewhere in the middle. This is because the universe is a set of relationships that you can’t get around, Physics and Economics an example. Opposite sloping regression lines math understands the best place reduces the amount of objective negatives to the population. Since everything is a form of a relationship, this sweet middle spot is proven math. Anytime you place too much emphasis on one variable in the relationship equation, the result is always less. Thus sweet spot rules. Objectively.
Have a 2015 2SS needs tires. Stock Pirelli ties worn at 30K. Thus shopping today. Between the Michelin mentioned and the Continental Extreme Contact Sport. Michelin wet stopping 128′ feet, 108′ dry. CECS 133′ wet 109′ dry. Michelin slightly better, car garage queen only driven sunny days.
Went CECS because of the price difference, and had time to wait.