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Tyre Speed Ratings - Have You Checked Yours



Have you bought a used TVR? Have you checked the speed rating of it's tyres since you purchased the car?


The speed rating of a tyre is the maximum speed that it can safely operate if the vehicle and tyres are running at their approved load capacity.

The rating is shown as a letter and each letter represents a different speed. The system is based on the European use of kilometres. The speed ratings are established by engineers who run the tyres in ten minute increments until the desired speed has been met. In imperial terms, the difference between each letter is approximately 6mph.


Example speed ratings by letter are outlined below:


L = 75mph/120kmh

M = 81mph/130kmh

N = 87mph/140kmh

P = 93mph/150kmh

Q = 99mph/160kmh

R = 106mph/170kmh

S = 112mph/180kmh

T = 118mph/190kmh

U = 124mph/200kmh

H = 130mph/210kmh

V = 149mph/240kmh

Z = 149mph+/240kmh+

W = 168mph/270kmh

Y = 186mph/300kmh


As in the below example, the speed rating can be found on the tyre sidewall as a single letter. The speed rating will always be indexed as a letter and usually always follows the load rating on the sidewall.


V, Z, W, Y and (Y) are for performance cars. L rated tyres are primarily for off-road and light commercial vehicles. Q is primarily for winter 4x4s. R is primarily for heavy-duty light trucks. S and T are primarily for family saloons and vans. U is primarily for saloons and coupes. H is primarily for sports saloons and coupes.


Most family cars will have a tyre speed rating that is higher than the car’s actual maximum designed speed. This is mainly for safety reasons and so that the performance of the tyres always exceeds the maximum performance of the car.


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