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#40 of 59 Re: . [fintail]
Jul 21, 2007 (10:06 pm)
Right now I think 18 is about optimum if you are looking for a wheel and tire upgrade. Living in the land of the aftermarket store I can see no reason to add a OEM tire and wheel upgraded at all. The aftermarket provides you with better choices and better looks for the most part. Plus if you are going to upgrade anyway you can order lighter wheels to go with the tires of your choice. I am not sure if 20s or 22s are for anything other than looks. But ultralight 18s with BFG G force T/A or better yet R-1s will make a sporty car feel like a sports car. At less than $300.00 a pop it doesn't seem bad but they are so sticky you will never get more than a summer out of a set. The cost of the wheels are a whole different story. Of course if I were going to go that route I would order new struts and lower the vehicle 2 inches as well.
But for a daily driver, stock is most often the best except for better looking wheels even if they are the same size as stock.
#41 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [texases]
Jul 22, 2007 (3:58 am)
I believe texases' link sums up my opinion about tires. The comparison should be done with some type of numbers and the g force during cornering is probably the best number to use. I would sum it up as: For low end cars, a tire swap is probably a good idea. For high end cars, a tire swap probably has a negligible effect on cornering.
I've seen lateral acceleration (g- ratings) go from 0.79 to nearly 0.9 on a Honda Civic by switching from factory tires to a sticky grip tire that is two sizes (i.e. a 185 to a 205 mm) larger. Although there are other aspects to handling, that is nearly the rating that a low end Porsche would get. It turns an almost intolerably boring breadbox into something a little more fun to drive for about $500-600 if the rims are not changed. Pricewise, I believe the consumer would be much better off doing the conversion as an aftermarket addon instead of a dealer upgrade. On the other hand, I believe that the gains on a high end car are very marginal (although I don't have any data). For example, I would be very suprised if a Subaru WRX STi would increment in the same way with a +2 tire swap (i.e. if the tires would fit and not rub in the wheel well, the STi would likely go from 0.92 to 0.95 or so instead of the same increment of 0.11 as on the Honda Civic) since the STi has already had some level of optimization by the manufacturer.
#42 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [john500]
Jul 22, 2007 (6:25 am)
I don't remember if it was car and driver or Edmunds that bought the wheel and tire upgrade for the origional WRX to get some reasonable increase in handling. I seem to remember it was a $1800.00 to $2400.00 upgrade or something but it did increase the slalom speed of the WRX by quite a bit. But then if you go all the way to the WRX STI RA-R it already comes with lightweight 18s and low profile 235x40 Bridgestones.
#43 of 59 Re: Are Larger Wheels / Tires a Waste of Money? [habitat1]
Jul 22, 2007 (10:53 am)
So I pose the question - how prudent are 17-18-19 inch wheels and low profile, high performance tires on a family sedan?
Our MSRP $27,105 2007 SEL AWD Fusion came "standard" with P225/50R/17 Michelin tires and I am already dreading the day when I will have to replace them. The base S Fusion comes with 16-inch 60-series tires, which I believe would ride better but not handle as well.
As to "how prudent," the answer is "not very," but high performance tires seem to be the trend (probably a conspiracy with the tire manufacturers to sell more tires since they don't last very long either, in addition to being more expensive).
#44 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [texases]
Jul 22, 2007 (2:55 pm)
That was a great article. Spot on.
It seems then that the original question: "Are larger wheels and tire a waste of money" was half right. The wheels make minimal difference but the tires can enhance handling quite a bit.
I wonder if that stabilizer bar trick would work on some of these FWD cars that understeer? Why don't he car companies put them on as standard equipment?
#45 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [oldfarmer50]
Jul 22, 2007 (3:20 pm)
Of course, there's the $$. One other reason is that understeer = stable, seems like they want nothing unusual for most drivers to deal with.
#46 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [john500]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jul 23, 2007 (8:49 am)
One of the reasons you might not notice a big difference with a tire upgrade on a "high end" car is that the high end cars have as a rule much better suspensions. You can get great g ratings on just about any car on a flat smooth track but in complex road conditions just having better tires won't give you "high end" handling.
#47 of 59 Re: Lets face it. [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 23, 2007 (9:20 am)
I think I agree with your point. But one thing is for sure, using high performance tires on a car with a low performance suspension is a formula for pissing money away for minimal benefit.
Case in point, the original Lexus GS400, when it first came out. Lexus offered an upgraded 17" wheel and high performance tire option. Friend of mine bought one. At 5,000 miles, the tires were already showing excessive wear. At 8,000 miles, Lexus refunded his option price and gave him a set of the standard rims and tires. The probelm was the Buick like suspensions Lexus used resulted in the body roll of a typical Camry. The high performance tires were wearing out dispropotionally on the inside and outside edges due to the body roll.
The lesson is - if you want a good handling car, start by buying one with a good suspension. Then put on high performance tires if you want even more performance. But there isn't enough rubber in a Pirelli factory to turn a Lexus into a BMW.
P.S. That friend of mine that went through a set of 17" tires on the Lexus GS400 in 8,000 miles ended up trading it on a BMW 545i a couple of years later. With the sport package and staggered wheels (can't be rotated), he got 20,000 to 25,000 miles out of the even higher performance softer compound tires. (i.e. because the BMW didn't come standard with that wonderful Lexus body roll and the tires were held flat to the ground by the BMW sport suspension).
#48 of 59 retired for the winter?
Feb 28, 2008 (5:10 pm)
how is the icy road traction affected by low profile tires?
My 16" 60 series are fine on a FWD car. The same size tires are pretty questionable on my RWD Mustang. I have to drive long distances on dark, snowy and icy, narrow roads in the winter.
#49 of 59 Re: retired for the winter? [dave8697]
Feb 29, 2008 (11:32 am)
The profile itself doesn't matter too much. What does matter is that most if not all low (sub-50) profile tires are for summer use only, and they don't have the tread patterns or rubber compounds for all-season or heavy winter driving. Mustangs and most other RWD vehicles without good stability and traction control systems really need dedicated winter tires to handle anything more than a dusting of snow.