We all agree that a Porsche is a finely built, quality high performance sports car. While your engine may purr and your seats and suspension may provide the comfortable ride Porsche is known for, those are not the most important parts of your car. What is?
When you are done huphalumping, stop to think a moment. The only thing between you and your car and that hard, unforgiving pavement are your tires. The correct tire and tread for summer or winter driving on your Porsche not can, but does, make all the difference in the handling of your car and the safety of your ride. This is especially true when executing braking and turning, both highly dependent on the condition – and right – tires on your car.
Porsche is well known for its exacting standards for tire recommendations for its vehicles, and always has information posted for approved manufacturers and which tires are best and approved for every single model. Porsche utilizes the “N-spec” approval system, a designation for meeting and exceeding their standards for tire quality and overall performance. As we all know, though, tire tread designs, materials, and tires themselves have changed over time. (When is the last time you saw gangster walls in your local run of the mill tire shop?) That is why Porsche regularly and systematically tests hundreds of tires and posts a list of approved manufacturers and specific tires for every single year and model of Porsche all the way back to 1959. (For you puritans, the list is available in German and English, or run it through a good translation program for your home tongue.)
The good thing about this is that at least in the U.S. nearly every tire they recommend can be purchased through Tire Rack or another recognized retail outlet. If you are unsure or need to get new tires, something that needs regular inspection and attention on any sports car, the link below will give you an updated list for every Porsche model and what is recommended:
You can also always contact your nearest authorized Porsche service center or dealership and they will be happy to look up the information you need at no cost. Porsche would much rather have you call and ask than trust such a critical decision for your safety and that of your car on the average Ralph at the tire place down the street who most likely will try and sell you the most expensive S or T or R they have or can get – whether it is sized properly to your car, the tread to the driving conditions, and the tire, period, to your driving habits. Polly asks please, do not wait until your tires are worn even close to slick (and dangerous). The life you save may very well be your own, or someone’s son or daughter.