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Range is oh-so important when it comes to electric vehicles, but if you don’t mind driving around in a less efficient Bolt sometimes, there’s always the option to change out the tires for a more dynamic and fun drive.

That’s exactly what Green Car Reports writer Jeff Jablansky did last week. He swapped the stock Michelin Energy Saver A/S Selfseal Green X tires from his Bolt EV with a set of aggressive and grippier Riken Raptors. Of course when you switch from low-rolling-resistance tires to something that can better handle the Bolt’s 266 pound-feet of instant torque, the fun factor goes up.

He claims the swap changes the “entire dynamic of the Bolt—for the better. No more squealing through turns or wheel spin at traffic lights. There’s a slight reduction in range, and I’m curious how it will affect overall efficiency. But, man: what a positive difference!"

Of course the Bolt’s range does take a hit. Though no specific numbers were provided he did originally estimate a loss of around 10%, which brings the Bolt EV’s original rating of 238 miles down to about 214 miles. The percentage was later updated to 7%, giving him a range of around 220 miles.

Perhaps manufacturers will offer better EV tires in the future, tires that won’t compromise fuel economy whilst improving performance.
 

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Let's not forget, if you get a nail in one of these swapped-out tires, you get a flat. You're then SOL and will need to call for a tow.
 

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So what's the new news?

That for those who drive hard, stickier tires are more fun and less range has been covered here a dozen times already already.

jack vines
 

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Since the Bolt is FWD, I think I'll skip any attempts to make it sportier. The torque steer drives me nuts. I hate trying to rein in the angry sled dogs as I rocket down the street. If it were RWD with a LSD, then yes, I'd likely think about sticky tires.
 

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I haven't noticed the torque steer either, but perhaps thirty years of driving front wheel drive cars has made me immune to the effect. On the other hand, I have driven at least one rental car with rear wheel drive that wanted to swap ends on snowy roads.

Can you be more specific about which Riken Raptor tires you installed? There are a variety of types and widths. Obviously, the silly high speed tires aren't needed on the Bolt, as it tops out at 93 mph.

Has anyone actually tried to fit a space saver spare tire into the well in the rear of the car? It looks like a wheel around 19" to 20" outside diameter will fit. Some other work would be needed (remove unused weld studs, framework to replace the rigid foam and to accommodate a jack and jack handle) but it could be done. What similar car has a space saver spare with the same lug nut pattern as the Bolt? It may be possible to get one at a wrecking yard.
 

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Since the Bolt is FWD, I think I'll skip any attempts to make it sportier. The torque steer drives me nuts. I hate trying to rein in the angry sled dogs as I rocket down the street. If it were RWD with a LSD, then yes, I'd likely think about sticky tires.
It's pretty clear that I'm driving differently than everyone else because I keep trying to detect this "torque steer" that y'all speak of and always fail miserably...
Oh, there's torque steer. I have rocketed around flat parking lots (no crowning) and definitely get torque steer. It's slight, but the car does want to veer in one direction. It's an initial veer based on which tire grabbed the pavement first and will change depending on how "dirty" the parking lot was. In parking garages, I haven't gotten torque steer most likely because of cleaner/smoother floors. Why am I rocketing around so much? Cause plenty of space, sounds cool, and I want to wear these OEM tires down faster to get Pirelli Cinturato P7 Plus replacements...

Has anyone actually tried to fit a space saver spare tire into the well in the rear of the car? It looks like a wheel around 19" to 20" outside diameter will fit. Some other work would be needed (remove unused weld studs, framework to replace the rigid foam and to accommodate a jack and jack handle) but it could be done. What similar car has a space saver spare with the same lug nut pattern as the Bolt? It may be possible to get one at a wrecking yard.
I think others in the forum already tried but couldn't fit it. Besides, wouldn't a 20" be really bad for driving on given OEM tire diameter is 25.5" (per Tire Rack)? FYI, a fullsize tire on a 6.5" wide wheel fits under the false cargo floor. Throw a smooth tire cover on it and you can fold the rear seats down no issue.
 

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How many times do I need to say it. Tire plugs people!

A nail in the tire can be repaired in less time than it takes for a tow truck to arrive.
Check your plugs, mine stuck together and I was only able to use them after much work to cut off a usable piece.

If I didn't have access to tools and I would have been SOL on the road.
 

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Yes, the OD of a space saver spare is significantly less than the standard tires. That's why it says to limit travel to 50 miles and 50 mph on them, especially if it's a front (drive) wheel. Reduced braking (even worse than the stock tires!), and the differential will not be happy about all differential rotation of the wheels.

I looked up some space saver spares on the web, and it looks like one with a 15" rim is the biggest that would stand a chance of fitting in the well. But it's possible that a rim this small may not clear the disc brake rotor. So the idea of putting a space save spare in the well may be off the table.
 

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Instead of putting a space-saver spare on the front of a front-drive car, the idea is to swap the rear wheel forward, and put the spare on the rear.
Of course, this only matters if you want to stay alive.
6^)
 

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It's pretty clear that I'm driving differently than everyone else because I keep trying to detect this "torque steer" that y'all speak of and always fail miserably...
I don't think you are stepping on the accelerator hard enough. Try this- go to an empty parking lot, take your hands off the wheel and then trod down on the gas pedal all the way. You will witness ugly torque steer. You will also witness the traction control trying to rein in the madness by applying the brakes to whatever wheel is spinning faster causing even more goofy behavior.

It's OK, I didn't buy the Bolt to be a sports car and I don't want to rain on anybody's fun with the car, it's just not my cup of tea for a performance car. For that the power should be delivered to the ground from the rear and with limited slip.

Ignore me. Carry on...
 

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What's the weight of those Riken Raptors?

I want to get powdercoated black 2017 or 2014 Volt wheels.. not sure which is is the lightest.. and find a lighter summer tire.

Any suggestions for a light weight combo?

Thank in advance.
 

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What's the weight of those Riken Raptors?

I want to get powdercoated black 2017 or 2014 Volt wheels.. not sure which is is the lightest.. and find a lighter summer tire.

Any suggestions for a light weight combo?

Thank in advance.
The best wheel for our bolt is from a Chevy Cruise Eco diesel, the bling one with many spokes. its about 17.5 pounds over our 23 pound wheels , fully forged. Not sure about after market rpf1 ? do they make some that fit our bolts ? I have Advan RS2 on my track Infiniti G35 Coupe ;)
 

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The best wheel for our bolt is from a Chevy Cruise Eco diesel, the bling one with many spokes. its about 17.5 pounds over our 23 pound wheels , fully forged. Not sure about after market rpf1 ? do they make some that fit our bolts ? I have Advan RS2 on my track Infiniti G35 Coupe ;)

2015 cruze diesel will not fit , I do not know about a 2017 ,I know because I have both , bolt and Cruse diesel
 

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What's the weight of those Riken Raptors?

I want to get powdercoated black 2017 or 2014 Volt wheels.. not sure which is is the lightest.. and find a lighter summer tire.

Any suggestions for a light weight combo?

Thank in advance.
Riken Raptors= 25 lbs
Lightest Wheels= Cruze Eco wheels, 18 lbs (Forged)
Lightest Tire= Goodyear Eagle Sport A/S (H or V speed rating= 21 lbs

All info here: http://www.chevybolt.org/forum/12-wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/26562-lightweight-wheels-tires-combo-38lbs-vs-46lbs-stock.html
 

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How many times do I need to say it. Tire plugs people!

A nail in the tire can be repaired in less time than it takes for a tow truck to arrive.
Thanks for the reminder!
I just ordered a kit from amazon.
That and the 12 air pump should provide some peace of mind.
 

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From what I've read, the Bolt (and Gen 2 Volt) have nannies built in that can't be turned off even if you manually switch off traction control/stability control. In the Gen 1 Volt, you could completely turn off the nannies, but the Bolt/Gen 2 Volt have Bosch systems that keep the nannies in place no matter what. So those planning to AutoX their Bolts with sticky tires still will experience some power throttling while carving around the course.

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2018/04/autocrossing-a-chevrolet-volt-the-need-for-an-electrified-entry-level-performance-car/
 

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As a new driver of a FWD car, and new to EVs, compared to a RWD car, there is definitely torque steer. It surprised me the first time I went to pass a slower car going uphill. I had also hit the Sport button. Hey, it was a steep hill. I hit the throttle and went to pass, and Holy Crap!, had to wrangle the tiger and get it pointed straight to pass the guy. Whoo! Okay... I'll remember that. ��. But hey, it's new stuff. And I like the potential aggressiveness. It's just a different driving technique that needs to be adapted to. Like going from a RWD car to a Subaru.
 
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