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I've checked the forums and no definite answer. Can I put the same size tires on the rear as on the front on my '98 SLK? At least I could rotate them and my present huge Pirellis on the back have zero traction in the lightest of snow. In fact, the car is un drivable in the slightest ice or snow. I want to get some performance winter tires.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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Registered 2014 SLK250
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Can I put the same size tires on the rear as on the front on my '98 SLK? At least I could rotate them and my present huge Pirellis on the back have zero traction in the lightest of snow. In fact, the car is un drivable in the slightest ice or snow. I want to get some performance winter tires.
Come snow time, I leave my MB at home just because I have been embarrassed too many times getting stuck in the snow with all the little 1.2L hatchbacks running around me like demented puppies! So I sympathise!

The staggered thing is very European I believe on RWD cars where in theory the back can break away easily. Jeff's google link says gives all the reasons. However, if you want to use a square set-up for the winter, and do not drive like a lunatic, yes, you can go away from the staggered pattern - as I am sure many people do. How this might be viewed by an insurance company if at all, I cannot say.
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK200K
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If your rims are the same width all round ( or you get a spare set that are for the winter as many do ) you can put the same tyres all round without a problem , but if the actual rims are also staggered , you need to make sure you can safely put the front tyre size on the rear rims...
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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Looking up the specs for R170, in some markets the original SLK200 pre-facelift and SLK 200 Kompressor after the facelift, had 15x7J rims front and back, with 205/60R15 tyres. I found this just now in two old magazine roadtests (Autocar) from 1996, and one of the books on R170.

I thought I read somewhere that there was also a version with 16x7J front and rear too, but I cannot find that reference now so I can't be sure of that.
 
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