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Exige Sport 410 Tyres - Cup 2 Substitutes

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For those having the same problem as me trying to find a CUP 2 replacement. Below  is what I found out on my searching for tyres on sale here (The US has many others).

Cup 2 in our sizes do not exist anywhere in Europe it seems. This is as supplies have dried up in particular due to  a carbon black shortage , its what gives the grip and 90% apparently comes from Russia (or did at £60 a ton). Its now £300 a ton, also Michelin start winter tyre production in 5 weeks time so its possible, no CUP 2 tyres until next spring.

After a lot of searching and watching of tyre test videos (none of which really relate to our type of cars), reading reviews I ended up getting Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres in 265 35 ZR18 97Y and 215 45 ZR17 91Y These were in total £540 from Camskill (Brian there is very helpful) so not bank breakers, so will be used until I can get Cup 2 again.  chose these as I wanted road tyres that might do the odd track now and in winter and they got good reviews generally and are a Michelin Pilot Sport 4S equivalent with stiffer sidewalls and just a 7mm starting block depth. On track next week so will be interesting.

 Tyres looked at and my simple interpretation of reviews.

Fast summer road/ the odd trackday

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S , not far off the cup 2’s in performance but unavailable.

Michelin Pilot Sport 5 and 4 . Good road tyres for most cars, comfortable but a bit soft on steering

Continental Sport Contact 6 or 7   Not in our sizes.

Bridgestone Potenza sport (rated up with the Michelin 4S)

Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport (Not in our sizes)

Nankang NS-2R  £580 (Possibly ok on the road as well but I couldn't find much about them).

Pirellis P zero  I don’t not look at them as had those at the beginning and personally did not rate them.

More track orientated

Toyo R888R  Not so good in the wet as an all round tyres and strangely, didn’t do so well on track in reviews as some of the fast road tyres above.  maybe they only suit light cars .Only W rating if you wanted them.

Yokohama ADO8RS  not as good as the old AD08R apparently, only W rating if you wanted them.

Yokohama A052, Good track not all weather. Over £1100 for 4.

MRF motorsport . In our sizes are meant to be very good. Around £900

Nankang AR1 Good track not all weather

Avon ZZR     Good track not all weather

Avon ZZS (Not in our sizes)


I’m sure there may be many more but hope this may help some.

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Thanks very much, Martin. Although I am sorted out for the time being - courtesy of two new years from Tex (thanks again!) this is extremely useful info.


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  • 1 month later...

Just as an update, the Bridgestones are a very good road tyre and not bad on track but have stiff sidewalls and flack some feel making them a bit edgy when pushing hard. 

If possible I would stick to Michelins of some form as they give a better feel and hopefully soon, (though most likely not until spring) be able to get cup 2's back on the car.

Martin S


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Bridgestones are great for the road and track. Cup2 is fine, especially because it can easily be warmed up quite fast. I switched to Cup2 rears from the TrofeoR and A052, because this was the only proper semi-slick on stock. I don't like it, due to the soft side wall. Car is so elastic and jumpy I can't trust. I used same damping settings as for the A052, so sure I could mitigate the elastic feeling a bit with the settings. So Cup2 is just not worth it for me. But it seems that is just personal preference. Quite a lot of drivers prefer softer side wall 😃


For example I was few seconds faster on TrofeoR compared to the Cup2. But it's not that the Cup2 is few seconds slower, it's just about the trust. If you trust the tyre (tyre feedback), you will be fast. So... it's up the the driver preferences. 

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I used to think Cup 2’s were a good track tyre but with all the issues on supply I switched out to Nankang AR’1’s.

Night and day in terms of grip and also added benefit of the outer tyre wall not disintegrating.

Certainly not a tyre for deluges but overall a great dry weather tyre and a fair bit less expensive 

Width is slightly less than Cup 2 so best to run their 295 ( they don’t do a 285) however on fronts went 215 but 225 would have been ok

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3 hours ago, Tex said:

I used to think Cup 2’s were a good track tyre but with all the issues on supply I switched out to Nankang AR’1’s.

Cup2 sidewall is so soft, that its shaking during high G-force turns. Have you changed damping/rebound setting when migrating to the AR1 for the track? If so, what are your preferred settings?

1 hour ago, rs200evo said:

anyone know of suppliers with stock in these sizes, of the AR1's or AO52's? I cant seem to find any......

I've ordered 295 for the AO52 and AR1. Seems easier to get. 

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I use 2 different track settings and not totally sure which works best

1 was from Meteor Motorsport who are the only UK servicing agents for Nitron, other than Nitron . The other is from Suspension Secrets who did a full geo/camber set up for me. 

I sometimes use as a base and then fine tune.

Used this one today at Castle Combe which is quite a lumpy circuit but not ultra high speed but with frequent wheel lift 

Front Compression  Low - 10

Rear Compression   Low - 20

Front Comp High - 12

Rear Comp  High - 13

Front Rebound - 5

Rear Rebound  - 6


Front Camber -  -1.6

Rear Camber -  -1.8

Front toe - 0.5mm in

Rear toe - 2.5mm in


Interested to hear your thoughts 

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You are running quite softer rebounds, which I was planning as well, but not there yet (other mods first). My high speed damping is a bit stiffer (2 clicks more), low speed damping is significantly stiffer than yours. I am fighting with the nose diving under heavy braking and am trying to mitigate the dive with the low speed damping. But is seems that the low-speed damping frequency/speed is still higher than the braking frequency/speed. I am exploring the idea of stiffer springs now...


But back to the topic; in general, stiffer damping is better for the Yokohama A052/ TrofeoR (guess will be the same for the AR1 as well), softer damping (especially high speed) is better suited for the Cup2. Rebound was more or less the same for both. At least from what I saw. Oh, and those experiences are based on a fast track, no wheel lifts.

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This thread has been so useful to me, thanks all.

 I haven’t been able to source Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2’s after trying pretty hard. I’ve used R888’s in the past on a different car and I was impressed with the grip levels but I couldn’t find them in a 285/30-R18 so after reading this thread I decided to go with the AR1’s in an 295 and a pair of 215’s for the fronts so matching rubber all round. @Texseems to be impressed with them, they’re quite a bit cheaper than the Michelin’s and I only ever drive the car in the dry so I’ll see how I get on with them. I’ll stick with them if I like them or by the time they need replacing the Cup 2’s might be back in stock in a 285

 Great thread very useful, thanks. 

Simplify, then add lightness

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I just fitted 225/45 and 295/30 in my 410


-1.6° camber (all shims out), there's a bit of rubbing on the backor the right side with the wheels fully turned 


-2° camber (max the excentric can do) no rubbing at all

And by the way, what an impressive tyre the A052...

A few pictures of cup 2 285 vs A052 295






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