19th Oct2010

Letter from the Editor: October

by Trent

Way back in the day, you were quite the baller if you had 15-inch wheels on your car. The standard was 13-inch and 14-inch wheels. Soon, the standard came to be 17-inches, soon after, 18-inches is a pretty standard aftermarket wheel size. As cars get bigger, the wheels get larger as well. It looks better, sure, but how big is too big? And what about racing your car? You need some sidewall on those tires. Plus bigger wheels mean more weight.

Personally, I think you’ll start to see a reverse trend. OE manufacturers may keep their course for awhile, but I don’t think downsizing will be all that uncommon. It may come with wider wheels, but if it comes stock with 17×7, you might see someone throw on a 16×8. I’m not talking about tomorrow, I’m talking about at least a year away, but it could happen. With so many people now emphasizing fuel economy, there’s no reason not to switch to smaller, lighter wheels. Lower the car enough and it’ll make the wheels appear larger than they are, negating the difference in looks.

When you slap on a set of lightweight rollers, you’re also freeing up un-sprung weight that helps your car feel more sprightly. And less weight in general will help you beat your competitor to the next corner. What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Let me know in the Comments.

-Trent Bray

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