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Hello...
I am taking delivery of my A5 Sline at the end of March...I have a gift certificate to Tire Rack and was wondering if anyone here knows when is considered the best time to buy winter tires and rims?

Should I order now? Also What do you reccomend for sizing? I have never had a four wheel drive coupe before thus find myself at a loss for the best winter setup.

All help is appreciated....I have never been so excited to get a car before....

Thanks
 

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Being in Canada I would go with 18" Dunlop WinterSport 3D's. I get way less snow here and can get away with the 19" Dunlop's. The is a S5 owner in Colorado running 18" tires and he loves them.

Do a search on winter and you will get several threads on this subject already.
 

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One big question to resolve is what size rims do you want? The A5 can take down to 16" wheels, while the S5 can take as small as 17".

I'm tempted to look into a 16" package myself, because of a few inherent advantages. A taller sidewall may lose me some cool points in the winter, but it will be more pothole-resistant. And snow is great at hiding potholes.

Also, the recommended 16" tire size is 225/55-16. The narrower 225 tread is better for snow traction than the stock 245, which will have more of a tendency to snowshoe. Granted, a 225/50-17 would work, as well, and it's on my list of options.

Finally, a 16" wheel and tire package will be considerably less expensive than a 17" or 18". Large-rim, low-profile winter tires get rapidly more expensive. I've been searching around the Tire Rack, and the price of a 225/45-17 tire can be nearly twice the price of the same make and model 245/55-16.

If your driving habits lead you to be less aggressive in the winter months (even on dry pavement in the cold), then you won't miss the cornering performance by going with a smaller rim. With that in mind, the only reason to keep the big wheels is vanity. And in my opinion, if you care that much how your car looks, you shouldn't be driving it on snowy roads to begin with. A salt-covered car with nice wheels is still a salt-covered mess. Cars all look like crap in February, and it's unlikely you'll ever step back into knee-deep snow and say "but look at those rims!"

My plan is to get a set of decent-looking 16" or 17" wheels and some Bridgestone Blizzaks. I've had good luck with Blizzaks in the past, and think that pairing them with quattro will be unbeatable.
 

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It's hard to add anything to aerodave's excellent response, but I'll try. I have had Blizzaks on my A4, and they really are unbeatable. At one winter driving school I was stopping in 20-30 feet less than guys with other tires.
 

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Having personally used Dunlop Graspic DS-1, Bridgestone Blizzacks, Dunlop WinterSport M2's, M3's, and 3D's. I can say in the written order they are better in snow. However in opposite order better in cold but dry. As 90% of my winter driving is on cold/ dry roads. I find the WinterSports to be best. However the DS-1 were phenominal on snow pack. However forget about turning on dry roads. There was just no grip whatsoever as the tire would flex way to much. Also there was a ton of road noise.

It comes down to your normal winter conditions. I hear that Nokkian (spelling?) tires are the best in all snow/ ice/ hard pack conditions but will wear out in weeks on dry roads.
 

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I can't understand why people want grip in the snow. I thought the whole purpose of snow was so that you can slide your car round like a rally driver at 12 miles per hour and try to do 360s? If not, then who invented snow and why?
 

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Im the S5 in Colorado I've had Blizzacks, Pirelli's and now Dunlop Winter 3D's.
Blizzacks are great in the snow, but on dry pavement kinda loud and cornering
wasn't great. Pirelli's were pretty good in the snow and dry . The treadwear
and price weren't good. Dunlop's so far I like them good in the snow and dry.
Just make sure a 16 inch wheel will clear the brakes.

I paid $1200 for 18inch wheels and tires,TPMS from Tirerack in Nov
 

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I put Dunlop SP WINTER SPORT M3 245/40 R18 97V on my A5. Great grip so far, but some seat vibration between 120kph and 130kph. Wheels have been re-balanced twice but the vibration is still there
 

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One big question to resolve is what size rims do you want? The A5 can take down to 16" wheels, while the S5 can take as small as 17".

I'm tempted to look into a 16" package myself, because of a few inherent advantages. A taller sidewall may lose me some cool points in the winter, but it will be more pothole-resistant. And snow is great at hiding potholes.

Also, the recommended 16" tire size is 225/55-16. The narrower 225 tread is better for snow traction than the stock 245, which will have more of a tendency to snowshoe. Granted, a 225/50-17 would work, as well, and it's on my list of options.

Finally, a 16" wheel and tire package will be considerably less expensive than a 17" or 18". Large-rim, low-profile winter tires get rapidly more expensive. I've been searching around the Tire Rack, and the price of a 225/45-17 tire can be nearly twice the price of the same make and model 245/55-16.

If your driving habits lead you to be less aggressive in the winter months (even on dry pavement in the cold), then you won't miss the cornering performance by going with a smaller rim. With that in mind, the only reason to keep the big wheels is vanity. And in my opinion, if you care that much how your car looks, you shouldn't be driving it on snowy roads to begin with. A salt-covered car with nice wheels is still a salt-covered mess. Cars all look like crap in February, and it's unlikely you'll ever step back into knee-deep snow and say "but look at those rims!"

My plan is to get a set of decent-looking 16" or 17" wheels and some Bridgestone Blizzaks. I've had good luck with Blizzaks in the past, and think that pairing them with quattro will be unbeatable.
Are you sure that S5's can go down to 17"? I am ready to pull the trigger on my order, but want to make sure I am not getting 4 wheels that won't fit. Where can I find this information? You have been quite reputable in the past, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the first to do this on an S5.
 

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Not having an S5 owner's manual handy, I actually based that information on the Tire Rack's web application, which lists 17" sizes as acceptable options for the S5. They're pretty reliable, but it's something that might need to be independently verified.
 

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Speaking from 108 degree Arizona...

What's snow?
 

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hehehe, living in Arizona that's a good point...

I've been driving last winter with a lot of snow on the road, and my Vredestein Wintrac xtrem have been absolutely incredible.
The best of that tyres is that the speed code is W, what means you can drive the car with dry floor almost like with summer tyres, and I haven't had to change the rims because they sell that tyre in 245/40-18" size...

I advice you those tyres for people like me who are going up to ski stations every weekend, and stay several weeks skiing along the year.

The only tyre I could dude about being better than those are Michelin Alpin Sport or Pirrelli Sottozero, but no more...
 
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