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Thehm3
Thehm3 New Reader
6/12/17 9:52 p.m.

Alright might be a newb question but why are modern cars wearing these massive tires? For cars that are heavy or gained considerable weight, it makes sense, like the Z28, GT350, Z06, 911 Turbo... but why are (relatively) light cars, like say a Cayman GT4 which weighs around 2,900 wearing 295s in the back?

TeamEvil
TeamEvil Dork
6/12/17 9:54 p.m.

The lighter the car, the more grip needed. Maybe the wider tires provide this?

They sure do LOOK cool . . .

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
6/12/17 9:57 p.m.

Meanwhile, doesn't the Hellcat wear 275s?

Thehm3
Thehm3 New Reader
6/12/17 10:04 p.m.

In reply to Chadeux:

Yep, they have the opposite issue... 707 hp, 4500 (?) lbs car with... 275s...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/12/17 10:38 p.m.
TeamEvil wrote: The lighter the car, the more grip needed. Maybe the wider tires provide this? They sure do LOOK cool . . .

Not sure what that first part means, but I think you've figured out some of it with the second part It looks cool. And they go faster, and going fast is a priority these days. The Cayman GT4 has big fat tires in the back because that's where the weight is, and because that's how it puts a fairly healthy chunk of power down to the ground.

Also, the GT4 in question has 1800 lbs on the rear wheels. The "fat" Camaro SS has 1740.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
6/12/17 10:55 p.m.

It's not a good thing, it makes the speeds needed to drive at limit ridiculous. More power, more grip, more power, more grip, it sounds great on paper and sells magazines and cars but where do we go from here? The frs/brz/gt86 ethos of unsticky rubber in narrow sizes is more attractive to me every day.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock MegaDork
6/12/17 10:59 p.m.
sesto elemento wrote: It's not a good thing, it makes the speeds needed to drive at limit ridiculous. More power, more grip, more power, more grip, it sounds great on paper and sells magazines and cars but where do we go from here? The frs/brz/gt86 ethos of unsticky rubber in narrow sizes is more attractive to me every day.

+1

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/12/17 11:06 p.m.

It's fashion. Econoboxes really don't need 18" or 19" wheels and tires

Thehm3
Thehm3 New Reader
6/12/17 11:11 p.m.

In reply to sesto elemento:

Another point, the FRS has tiny tires, it's not that light either at 2800 lbs but it has pretty great maximum lateral grip...

EvanR
EvanR SuperDork
6/12/17 11:16 p.m.

My first car weighed 3950 lbs and had the equivalent of 195s. My current car weighs 2800 lbs and has 195s.

maj75
maj75 Reader
6/12/17 11:16 p.m.

Do you want to drift or go fast through a corner...

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Dork
6/12/17 11:29 p.m.

In some cases it is a matter of proportion - XL wheel diameter to balance out the sheer size of a physically large car like a Challenger or SHO or a full-size truck or SUV.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
6/13/17 12:18 a.m.

In reply to maj75:

I can't speak for anybody else, but for me personally, the sensation of speed is more directly related to driving pleasure than the actual speed.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/13/17 12:20 a.m.

The engineering reason for bigger (taller) wheels / rims is to allow larger disc brakes. Needlessly large rims are just fashion, much like large hair.

Wide tires are for grip, more of which is needed for heavier and higher performance modern cars. Bigger tires are also necessary to maximize those big brakes. They can be fashion also.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
6/13/17 4:57 a.m.
aircooled wrote: The engineering reason for bigger (taller) wheels / rims is to allow larger disc brakes. Needlessly large rims are just fashion, much like large hair.

So we're agreed that most cars today have ridiculously oversized wheels.

I'd say most cars that come with 19-20" wheels today can fit 17" without issue and some can even fit 16".

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane Dork
6/13/17 5:57 a.m.

My theory that I've said before on here is federal minimum bumper height laws.. It'd be really hard to get a set of 15s to look good when the bumper has to be 9" higher than it did in 95.

RevRico
RevRico SuperDork
6/13/17 5:59 a.m.

I always thought it was to sell more expensive tires.

Why sell someone 16s that would be perfectly capable when you can charge triple for 20"plus?

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
6/13/17 6:09 a.m.

Guess as often happens in threads like this, I'll take the opposite view from what many post. I don't long for the good ol days where my car had 85hp and wore 155/60/13 tires. No thanks. I'm quite happy when I can buy a practical family hauler that has near 300hp (or more) and has 235+ rubber on it. Works for me.

Sure, there's a point of overkill, for me it's mostly with rim sizes. A Corolla doesn't need 22s, but putting some meaty rubber on it...why not?

maj75
maj75 Reader
6/13/17 7:04 a.m.
Driven5 wrote: In reply to maj75: I can't speak for anybody else, but for me personally, the sensation of speed is more directly related to driving pleasure than the actual speed.

The "sensation" is less pleasurable for me when I have to point-by 90 percent of the cars in my run group. That why I don't track an FR-S anymore.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
6/13/17 7:14 a.m.
maj75 wrote:
Driven5 wrote: In reply to maj75: I can't speak for anybody else, but for me personally, the sensation of speed is more directly related to driving pleasure than the actual speed.

The "sensation" is less pleasurable for me when I have to point-by 90 percent of the cars in my run group. That why I don't track an FR-S anymore.

On the street, sensation is king.

On track, id rather have a monster.

Probably why the miata has the cheapest and hardest 14 inch tires i could find, while i cut up the challenge car to fit the widest possible tires with the stickiest compound i can afford.

STM317
STM317 Dork
6/13/17 7:39 a.m.

A lot of the non-car people that I know feel like they're about to crash when they feel any body roll in a corner. Can you imagine the level of freak out they'd have with skinnier tires? More grip makes it feel safer and more grounded to the ground after all.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
6/13/17 7:58 a.m.
STM317 wrote: A lot of the non-car people that I know feel like they're about to crash when they feel any body roll in a corner.

This. I've given up on Jeep forums, etc. for the most part.

So many people sit there saying "I put a 3 inch lift on it and a big rear sway bar and it handles so great now!" No, it handles far worse than it did before, but your suspension is stiffer so it has less body roll and you think it handles "better" even though you've probably never taken a corner at more than 30% of your limits in any car.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
6/13/17 8:12 a.m.
maj75 wrote:
Driven5 wrote: In reply to maj75: I can't speak for anybody else, but for me personally, the sensation of speed is more directly related to driving pleasure than the actual speed.

The "sensation" is less pleasurable for me when I have to point-by 90 percent of the cars in my run group. That why I don't track an FR-S anymore.

Can I get an amen? If you have <300hp these days and are an intermediate driver, you get frustrated on the straights. If you're advanced, you get frustrated in the corners.

I'd love to see an HPDE org do Novice/200/300/400+hp run groups.

I DO love that I can go buy a Sienna with 300+hp and meaty tires. A couple decades ago I used to complain about 17" wheels being to big and the tires costing too much. It's just the shape of progress.

Adjusted for inflation (no pun) and performance, tires are cheaper and better than ever.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
6/13/17 8:13 a.m.

Wait, people are complaining about sports cars having too much tire? Where am I?

STM317 wrote: A lot of the non-car people that I know feel like they're about to crash when they feel any body roll in a corner.

I think a lot of this is a function of taller newer cars. As they get taller, and the CG height vs. track width gets less favorable, body roll becomes much more apparent. I can take my DD or Miata through a corner with massive body roll and it still feels plenty stable, yet if I'm driving a new softly sprung SUV even a fraction of that roll will make me panic.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
6/13/17 8:17 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin:

I think some of it is the seats too. Seats that hold you in well make body roll not seem so bad. When the seats don't hold you well and you're feeling roll plus your body wanting to flop sideways out of the seat, then it feels bad.

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