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Speed Rating. When Z-speed rated tires were first introduced, they were thought to reflect the highest tire speed rating that would ever be required, in excess of 240 km/h or 149 mph. While Z-speed rated tires are capable of speeds in excess of 149 mph, how far above 149 mph was not identified.
Tire Speed Rating Chart. For tires with a maximum speed capability higher than 240 km/h (149 mph), a "ZR" may appear in the size designation. Tires with a maximum speed capability higher than 300 km/h (186 mph), require a "ZR" in the size designation. Consult the tire manufacturer for maximum speed when there is no service description.
W speed rating. A W speed rating means the tire is approved for speeds up to 168 mph (270 km/h) under optimal conditions. W speed rated tires land firmly at the performance end of the tire speed rating spectrum. Ws are suitable for performance coupes and sedans, and even street driven exotic sports cars.
On the sidewall of every tire, you'll find one of these speed rating codes: M — Up to 81 mph. N — Up to 87 mph. P — Up to 93 mph. Q — Up to 99 mph. R — Up to 106 mph. S — Up to 112 mph. T — Up to 118 mph. H — Up to 130 mph. V — Up to 149 mph. W — Up to 168 mph. Y — Up to 186 mph. Z — (See Below) What does 'Up to 99 mph' really mean? Tires with a Q speed rating can safely sustain speeds of up to 99 miles per hour.
Definition of Tire Speed Ratings A tire's speed rating is an indication, expressed as a letter code on the tire sidewall , of a speed the manufacturer expects the tire to be able to sustain over a long period of time without coming apart.
Tire speed ratings range from A (the lowest) to Y (the highest). But the chart is not completely in alphabetical order. For example, H is between U and V, with the common perception that H stood for “high performance” at one time. As manufacturers continue to add speed to their vehicles, tire speed ratings evolve to match the speeds.