June 25, 2001

An important part of the Electric Imp's mission is to bring the power and excitement of electric cars to the public. To do this, the car needs to be street legal. Therefore, it's tires need to be DOT approved, but we would like the closest thing to racing tires that we can get.

We speak to Hoosier Tires about our project. They have some tires that should fit our needs.

The minimum wheel size that the Impreza L can fit is 13 inches. Any smaller and there are problems fitting over the brake calipers. The largest rim is 18 inches. This is where the tire diameter begins to become too large for the wheel well.

Larger wheel rims allow you to fit bigger brake calipers to improve braking. Since we expect to do much of our braking with the Regenerative system, this should not be something we need. A larger diameter tire also means more rubber and slower wear than the same tire in a smaller diameter.

The Electric Imp will be heavy for a race car and might use up the tire quickly. On the other hand, The smaller diameter the wheel tire combination, the lower the center of gravity. Lower center of gravity generally means better cornering.

In the end, we decide to start with the P225/50ZR-14 Compound R3SO3. This tire has a diameter of 22.7" and gives us a good safety margin on weight. Testing will help us check our choice.

P225/50ZR-14 Compound R3SO3

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