If using a 245 it should be a 245-45-16. I think the "50" might be too tall as your overall diameter with a "50" will be an inch more than if using a "45".
I'm planning on mounting 245-45-16 Hoosier A6s (autox tire) on the rear stock rims. There is easily room on the car back there for a 245 - some people on the forum run 255s on the rear. I'm sure any 245-45-16 tire will fit on a 8" wide wheel.
You can easily get complete tire specs on different makes/models at Tirerack.com, inc. what rim width a particular size tire will fit on.
The 245/50x16 is too big for the 3% parameters that you need to stay within, it's 3.2% larger in diameter than the stock fronts.
The tire you might want to look at is a 245/45x16, but there are a few things you may want to know before you jump in with two feet:
1- The SLK understeers as it is, and the wider rear tires are not going to help that, they will make understeer worse.
2- The very wide tire may look good to you, and if that's all you want, you're good to go. The bigger tires tend to overpower the 230K, there just isn't enough grunt with that wide a tire.
3- 225/50x16's will fit all around very nicely, and tend to balance the car quite well. I had that size for both track and autocross on my 1998 SLK and the car progressed from understeer at low speed to very close to neutral at mid to high speed.
It's your car and your call, but the 245/50x16 is a little too big in diameter for the car, you need a lower profile to fit properly.
Check this out for size comparison, it might prove helpful:
Thanks for your advice guys. I think I'll probably just go ahead and stick with the stock sizes. It's just all way confusing to me and then when my husband whips out his calculator I get into real trouble!
I love the look of the fat tires and wanted to go just a little bigger but I don't want to compromise on handling etc. Better safe than sorry, so stock it will be. Thanks!
By the way, fantastic site! I've been using it since I got my '98 slk in 8/06. Haven't posted much but have done a lot of research and have gotten a lot of really helpful information!
If you love the look go for it. See above posts re: go with 45 aspect not 50.
If its performance ... are you going to track and/or autox your car? I autox (aka autocross) mine and if thats driving at 10/10ths then I only drive at 6/10ths on the street, maybe 7/10ths on a twisty hiway. ie all out performance doesn't really apply on the street, and for most drivers its safer to have understeer than oversteer.
If you decide to go with 245s in the rear you might also want to consider switching to 225x50/16s s in the front. That would help with the understeer.
I've run both stock 205(f)/225(r) and 225s all round - my next tires will be 225(f) and 245(r) unless I go with really wide 18s and a 255 on the rear. I too love the look
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