Mickey Thomp­son Baja MTZ P3 and Tuff A.T. T12 Wheels

4WDrive - - Tires - Words by Perry Mack

Back in May, Mickey Thomp­son (MT) re­leased new sizes in their in­fa­mous Baja ATZ P3 line. 35” and 37” tires to fit a 22” wheel. I had to know, how would that look on a Jeep cruis­ing the ur­ban land­scape, and would it per­form well enough for a mod­er­ate trail ride when you needed to es­cape the rat race?

The tire is M+S rated so you can drive it all year. Our tested tires are LT325/50R22 (35X13.00R22) wrapped around a set of Tuff all-ter­rain 22x10 T12’s in satin black with milled ac­cents.

The Baja ATZ P3 ra­dial tire is de­signed as a hy­brid of mud and all ter­rain, with the char­ac­ter­is­tics of both in the ma­te­ri­als, tread and side­wall. Large tread blocks of­fer a solid bite into rocks and sand while also eas­ily fling­ing out mud to grap­ple with the next chunk of trail. The A-shaped ‘Sideb­iters’ in the side­wall shoul­der grab the dirt, sand, mud and rock when your tire is in a rut while pro­vid­ing ex­tra side­wall pro­tec­tion at the same time.

The out­side voids are de­signed with stone ejec­tors. You will get rocks lodged in the voids but just keep driv­ing, as the tires will rid them­selves of these of­fend­ing trail sou­venirs.

The pro­pri­etary T4 com­po­si­tion in­cludes a high amount of sil­ica for ex­cel­lent tread wear, and in con­junc­tion with the sip­ing, gives you good per­for­mance on wet roads. It’s built with their race proven Pow­erPly 3-ply side­wall con­struc­tion and an ex­tra wide foot­print.

Our test ve­hi­cle is a 2015 Wran­gler JKU with a 3” Ter­aflex (TF) lift, TF front and rear bumpers and rock slid­ers.

On the Street

With the win­dows down you can hear that the rub­ber on road is louder than the stock tires, and prob­a­bly ev­ery de­cent all-ter­rain tire we’ve ever tested. But this is a Jeep. Roll up the win­dows, and whether you are driv­ing with no top, soft top, or hard top, the am­bi­ent noise in the ve­hi­cle at ev­ery speed over 60 kph drowns out any noise the tire might make.

The rel­a­tively low pro­file pro­vides con­fi­dent ag­gres­sive cor­ner­ing with­out side­wall roll. With an usu­ally wet sum­mer for BC, we had plenty of op­por­tu­nity to test drive the ATZ P3 on wet tar­mac, and the re­sults were good – good brak­ing and grip through the cor­ners.

Off-Road

We aired down to 20 psi for the off-road test drive. Enough to soften up the tires with­out ex­pos­ing our beloved 22” Tuff wheels to dam­age (no luck there).

For the next two hours we trav­eled our favourite trails through gravel, sand, rub­ble and smooth rock. How chal­leng­ing was our test trail? On any trail scale of easy, mod­er­ate or dif­fi­cult - it was dif­fi­cult. I have to bring this up, as our orig­i­nal plan was to keep the trail dif­fi­culty mod­er­ate but ‘mod­er­ate’ was too easy. There was no loss of traction on any sur­face. What’s a wheeler to do? Go for the gold.

We fi­nally had to use 4 low and high to main­tain traction and dis­con­nect the front sway­bar links to keep the tires on the ground. The tires per­formed flaw­lessly. I sus­pect that 35” Baja ATZ P3’s aired down to sin­gle dig­its on a 16” rim will climb trees.

If you want an ag­gres­sive off-road tire on your daily driver, with­out the prob­lems that ac­com­pany a mud ter­rain tire on the road, this is it. The Tuff wheels did take a hit and got a scrape. This tire size and wheel combo isn’t in­tended to be used on the type of trails we tested. But it’s good to know they can be.

Pho­tos by Perry Mack & Bryan Irons

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