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Bigger wheels, lower performance?

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I know that 17-20 inch wheels are de rigueur these days, but the Jan., 2001 issue of Sport Compact Car provides some convincing data showing that such "upgrades" result in higher quarter mile and track lap times. The reason is increased weight and rotational inertia. With the right tires, the original light-weight 15 and 16 inchers appear to be the way to go for performance. Anyone want to dispute this conclusion?
 
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the findings in sport compact car are right on the money, you summed up their conculusions better than I could.

m5150, in situations decided by 10ths or 100ths of seconds, every little bit helps.
 

Lud

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Originally posted by M5150:
the performance difference is so small its impossible to tell

You can certainly feel the difference between OEM NSX wheels/tires and some of the big heavy aftermarket wheel/tire combos. I've driven plenty of both.
 
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Absolutely a huge difference!!!! I went from stock 15/16 to lightweight BBS L/M 17/18 and have noticed a huge difference in performance... I mean, it is still about the best handling car I can imagine but noticeably less than stock set up.. As I always contended... bigger wheels were solely for asthetics....

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Originally posted by Nsxotic:
noticeably less than stock set up.. As I always contended... bigger wheels were solely for asthetics....


...or to clear big brake kits!
 
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actually, BBS LM is not very light. 18inch weights about 20lbs. Mostly because of it's 2 piece construction. I believe only the center is forged, the outer rim is actually cast. But it's a damn good looking wheel, too bad USA is just now getting them. Japan has had them for years.

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I haven't really noticed a difference between my 17/18s versus my 15/16. I do believe there is a difference, its just pure logic. But I'm not a hardcore racer so maybe thats why. One thing that no one mentioned is that the added width will help cornering and overall handling. While you may give up a little in straight line acceleration you will pick up in lateral acceleration, right?

Another thing that I'm going to mention, is that when I got my 20 X 10s they weren't heavy at all. They are billet aluminum and 2 piece design, but overall they were quite light. Maybe 18 lbs, which I think its light for such a large rim. It was the tire that made them heavy, run flats are not light by any means.

Mao,
Your running TE-37s right? Those are considered some of the lightest wheels, how do they compare to your stocks? Just curious.

[This message has been edited by PUREVIL (edited 13 December 2000).]
 

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Originally posted by PUREVIL:
One thing that no one mentioned is that the added width will help cornering and overall handling. While you may give up a little in straight line acceleration you will pick up in lateral acceleration, right?

You can increase your grip through turns but with a stock suspension you may be adding more unsprung mass than the components are nominally designed to handle which you'll notice particularly on uneven pavement. It's the old story of grip <> handling.
 
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The BBS LM is all the same. I'm not very sure about the construction of the outer lip. It could very well be forged. Maybe Andrie can give a definite answer since he is a dealer for these wheels. usually, the 18s weight around 20lbs. the NSX size is 18x9, which you said weight 19lbs, sounds about right. When I'm looking at the wheel for my Porsche, 18x10 weights a little over 20lbs.

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I believe it is the weight of the tires that increases greatly as you go +1 +2 or +3. The wheel weights go up slightly or even down if you get decent light wheels.
 
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