Are OEM Wheels getting to big?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by triXXXter, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. triXXXter

    triXXXter Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    Ft. Worth TX
    Full Name:
    Steven G. Ogden
    I was reading about the new upcoming Carrera 3.8S and started wondering... It is going to hold 19" wheels in those wells. Considering rotational mass and unsprung weight, are wheels getting too big? Or are they like the CS just big enough to house the massive brakes, if the vehicle's brakes really are that big?
    Look at upcoming vehicles; new Corvette 19" rear, the Viper and RAM RT-10, Mercs, Infiniti FX 45 with 20", etc.

    18" wheels I think are probably about as big as they need to be. It (IMO) starts to take away from the overall look of the car's body, with these huge wheel wells.
    I sell tires and the look on people's faces when I tell them a price for their BMW 325i's 18" wheels is precious. "HOW MUCH!" I think in recent years wheels have gotten bigger and a lot of consumers haven't even considered it.

    Just curious about everyone's thoughts.
  2. Vyrus

    Vyrus Rookie

    Jul 15, 2004
    Suffolk, Va
    Full Name:
    Cyrus Mistry
    Just my $.02:

    Typically, the sports cars you see with 18" or 19"+ wheels are cars so powerful that they would not benefit from lightweight wheels. That is, the wheelspin is somewhat controlled by the weight of the wheels, and implementing smaller ones would make launching more difficult.

    Also remember that as rim size increases, rotor size does too! ;) Many companies are moving up to 13" or even 14" rotors to bring these cars to a hault.

    Let's consider a few: a 2004 Corvette may have 19" wheels, but it also has 500hp! The FX45 I honestly view as a follower - while it is an excellent car, Nissan seems to follow trends with all of their vehicles (this coming from a Nissan owner, mind you). The X5 4.6 or 4.8is comes with 20" wheels, the ML55 came with 19" I believe, and way too many people have 20" wheels on their Yukons, Expeditions, and Escalades. Well, Nissan wasn't going to let it's clientel down!

    Of course it is done for styling, but it's not the average Kia you see on the street with 19" wheels. It is typically a 300hp+ car, where wheel weight plays little, if any, difference in it's acceleration.

    However I must agree with you, most of the vehicles I see around with 18" wheels look just perfect. Of course it is always car-specific, but the BMWs, Nissans, Ferraris, Porsches, etc. all seem sporty yet elegant with their OEM 18" wheels. Too bad not everybody feels as we do!
  3. Bimmerista

    Bimmerista Formula 3

    Feb 7, 2004
    Carrollton, TX
    Full Name:
    I'm in total agreement w/vyrus....there has to be a way to stop these fast cars & you definitely need big rims to fit the rotors.
  4. dmcgill

    dmcgill Formula 3

    Apr 16, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    I do believe that slowly, wheels are starting to get to large. Its understandable when a sports car company puts bigger wheels on their cars, its because they need to house those massive rotors. But when American and European carmakers start putting 20" wheels on cars, trucks, and SUV's they are just doing whats popular. Everybody right now is going out and upgrading to bigger wheels on their cars/trucks. The factories are trying to provide the consumer with something they already want. I think its stupid, but its marketing.
  5. David_S

    David_S F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    Mountains of WNC...
    Full Name:
    David S.
    I think they are WAY too big these days. We should go back to 13 inchers as used on a Lotus Europa :)

    Better to make the car smaller & lighter to fit the wheels, than upsize the wheels to fit a pig of a car.
  6. h22gordo

    h22gordo Formula Junior

    May 24, 2004
    So. Cal.
    Full Name:
    Some cars definitely need bigger wheels (for looks and performance)
    But some cars/SUV's with big wheels is without a doubt overkill.
  7. GearHead

    GearHead Karting

    Jan 3, 2004
  8. Jordan Ross

    Jordan Ross Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    I do think some cars wheels are getting too big, a larger wheel means a taller final gear ratio, and poorer acceleration. Of course, larger wheels may benefit the Mpg of some cars, but only if those wheels arent exessively heavy, which is the trend nowadays.
    Truck wheels, however, should be quite large and heavy, because the heavier the wheel, the lower the total center of gravity. That means also a higher unsprung weight, which can adversley affect handling, roadholding and ride.
    Im not sure what I think.
  9. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    The rear wheels on the Carrera GT are almost comically huge - but they look great. Whether wheel size is driven by performance or marketing, I'm not sure.
  10. I dont think they are gettin to big yet they look really good as well as serve a purpose. They house big rotors improve grip and handling its the wheels that dont serve a point like 22" chrome spinners...
  11. F2003-GA

    F2003-GA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Wheel sizes today make older cars look even more dated
    and diminutive. But sooner or later there's got to be cap
    on feasible size's. We can't be driving around in 36 inch
  12. calbear

    calbear Rookie

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pleasanton, CA
    Full Name:
    Joon Lee
    I agree with Cyrus that 18" wheels seem to be the ideal size to fit the look of most cars. To get too much larger seems impractical, since I've known of a few people with 19"s that have to get their wheels repaired every few weeks for bent rims from pot holes. As a matter of fact, I've had to have my 18" wheels replaced because of that very reason. Just my opinion.
  13. millemiglia

    millemiglia Formula Junior

    Jan 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Full Name:
    Peter B.
    When it comes to wheels, I think bigger is better!

    Performance wise, I think you're better off staying with 18"...
    Btw, isn't that what they use in GT racing?

    // Peter
  14. TRiv

    TRiv Rookie

    Jun 27, 2004
    North royalton Ohio
    Full Name:
    John J. Wargo
    Good question, some valid opinions, would like to hear from anyone with more scientific/factual statements. Rotational mass (inertia), and unsprung weight is a reality, not an opinion, 19"x "X" wide rims plus 13"+ size rotors x 4 wheels = 4 heavy flywheels, add more horsepower ( usually a bigger, heavier engine) = heavier vehicle, usually. If larger and larger wheels are better from a performance stand point, then why do most forms of motorsport; Formula, Indy, NASCAR/Circle track, Drag (Top fuel, Funny car,etc.), use smaller diameter wheels, ( except LeMans GT, GTP,etc. 18" usually)?
  15. Fan512bbi

    Fan512bbi Two Time F1 World Champ

    Mar 25, 2004
    Full Name:
  16. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    #16 writerguy, Jul 26, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. richard

    richard Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Richard Thompson III
    An accident waiting to happen! Think about how much extra work force that puny little rotor has put to it! That is a serious safety risk and a jeopardy to everyone else on the road, and IMHO should warrant some sort of heavy fine to the moron who drives that sort of setup.

    Big wheels warrant big brakes.
  18. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    Ferrari needs to put these wheels on the F430 :) Yeah Baby !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. sandersja

    sandersja Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2003
    Portland OR
    Full Name:
    John Sanders
    I would argue that the performance gains of a 19" (+) over a 17" is insignificant.

    The real reason for the trend towards larger diameters is the increasing bloat size of cars. Larger wheels are a hack way of making the car look smaller.
  21. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    if you like the roller skate look...

    it's dub and spinners all the way!

    actuallyi think the big wheels look totally foolish.

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