The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
11/14/17 10:41 a.m.


Story By Per Schroeder

Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins aren’t really made from the dough cut out of the center of each doughnut. If they were, you’d end up with a really funny-looking doughnut, one reduced to a thin ribbon of dough. That wouldn’t do a good job of filling you up (and out) in the morning. As we all know, the best doughnuts are those with the smallest holes in their centers.

However, what’s true for doughnuts isn’t always best for performance tires. The general consensus is that a low-profile ring of rubber delivers the sharpest, crispest performance, passenger comfort be damned. Car came with 15-inch tires? Then 16s or even 17s will make it faster. The manufacturer fit 17s from the factory? Then you’ll need 18s to really fly, the pundits will say.

Read the rest of the story

HapDL
HapDL New Reader
11/14/17 5:41 p.m.

Pressures on the 18's 4 lbs above the other tires.  Hm-m-m-m-m.  I expect they would be harsh and not grippy.

dannyzabolotny
dannyzabolotny Reader
11/14/17 6:13 p.m.

So apparently my 18" wheels are considered super radical? Aren't new cars coming with 20+ inch wheels nowadays? My buddy has a Challenger with 20" wheels and it rides more comfortably than my car with 18" wheels.

rslifkin
rslifkin SuperDork
11/14/17 7:43 p.m.
HapDL said:

Pressures on the 18's 4 lbs above the other tires.  Hm-m-m-m-m.  I expect they would be harsh and not grippy.

And the 18s were significantly heavier too.  Trying to find setups closer in weight would have been a better test, IMO.  Same with testing width vs diameter separately (so test a 7" wheel with 205 in each size and then the 8" with 225). 

Jere
Jere Dork
11/15/17 6:44 a.m.

You also have to watch out for the inevitable butterfly that farts on the tires too. All that uplifting gas will momentarily throw off the results depending on whether you are in corner or on a straight. 

 

Good test overall there are just not enough of these tests that are even remotely controlled like this one

 

 

einy
einy HalfDork
11/15/17 7:08 a.m.

One of the other mainstream auto magazines (C&D ??) did a comparison using a VW Golf a couple years ago that was similar to this.  If my (failing) memory served, they started with the 16" steel wheels shod with the selected comparison tire make / model to set a baseline, went +1, +2, maybe +3 (can't recall for sure) using alloy wheels beyond the 16's.  Surprise, surprise ... the 16" setup was the fastest on their test course, probably due to the lowest unsprung weight.

Again, this is from memory so maybe not 100% accurate, but it stuck out in my mind at that time as pretty interesting.

 

RossD
RossD MegaDork
11/15/17 7:19 a.m.

Moment of inertia will have an effect not only on acceleration but also deceleration. It will effectively sap torque and subsequently horsepower from the whole operating range.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/15/17 7:20 a.m.
dannyzabolotny said:

So apparently my 18" wheels are considered super radical? Aren't new cars coming with 20+ inch wheels nowadays? My buddy has a Challenger with 20" wheels and it rides more comfortably than my car with 18" wheels.

18" are considered radical to many who post on this site used to buying 13" autoX slicks, or 15" tires for an E30/Miata/etc. 

The new GT350 and PP2 GT Mustang come with 19s, the 1LE Camaro's come with 20's, etc. 

frenchyd
frenchyd HalfDork
11/15/17 7:54 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac : No! Corvettes and Camero’s come with 15 inch wheels. 

Errr, in my era,  but then I still own a car I can start with a hand crank.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
11/15/17 8:05 a.m.
dannyzabolotny said:

So apparently my 18" wheels are considered super radical? Aren't new cars coming with 20+ inch wheels nowadays? My buddy has a Challenger with 20" wheels and it rides more comfortably than my car with 18" wheels.

It's a fairly old article.  Per has not been a writer at GRM for a few years, now.  So don't let the editorial part of the article bother you.

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