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Old 10-21-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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What is the deal with all these big 19 and 20 inch wheels on roadsters and coupes?

Time for a rant. I'm shopping a second set of wheels. Actually more like fourth but that's another story. I currently run the factory 18" Carrera lights with the excellent RE-11 for summer use. For me this is really pushing the tire size. Ride quality and performance don't seem to improve with less rubber.
Aesthetically I'd rather see more tire hugging the wheel arch and not this big wheel on rubber band tires. Why is this popular? Small cars look ridiculous with so much visibility into the wheel arch area. Virtually all of the traditional Porsche wheel (aftermarket) manufacturers offer only 19" and larger. In the rare instance that I see 18" or smaller in the aftermarket they tend to be extremely over-priced for cast alloy. Some like CCWheel make an 18" wheel but there's not many choices and there's no such thing as a moderately priced forged wheel which are usually intended for racing. Not to mention a new set of those puppies correlates to 30% of the value of any given second hand Boxster and those 996 Carreras aren't holding value much better.
This just doesn't make sense to me. Has the sports car market just been taken over by people who demand big wheels and fewer tire (more expensive) tire choices? I don't get it.


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Old 10-21-2011, 08:25 AM   #2
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Totally agree, my wife's Boxster has 16s and rides super smooth and quiet, it handles well and is quick but forgiving. My Boxster has 17s and those look and feel good to me, it handles very well and is a bit harsh on bad roads. I would run 18s for track day tires but not on the road.

I cannot imagine even running 19s or 20s. ( My Range Rover has 19s and they are big on it) The ride would be incredibly rough and the lower profile rubber would give you zero feedback at the point where it loses traction. It is not that they handle any better or any worse... it is how much information you get between the point of the limit of adhesion and the point where you spin out. Lower profile tires have less deflection therefore they breakaway quicker with less warning.

And I really don't like the new aftermarket wheels that are 19s and 20s with spindly little spokes that look like they would snap in a hard corner. BBS wheels look the way they do for a reason - they work under racing conditions. Chinese wheels are designed for looks only and safety and performance are not taken into consideration.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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Work from your shop JFP
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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Pure marketing. I believe engineers at Porsche wanted to stay with 18"s on 997 but the marketing dept insisted they make the car have optional 19"s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Glkf4jwkM

Last edited by ekam; 10-21-2011 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #6
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and while we are on the "whats with" subject.

What is with all the donks with the corporate logos on them? Around here we have a "John Deere" donk, a laughably horrible "Hooters" donk and a few other corporately decorated bling-mobiles. I would expect that they would get Cease and Desist letters.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #7
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Corporate sponsorship is not a bad thing.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam View Post
Corporate sponsorship is not a bad thing.
Sure if it was corporate sponsorship. This is something the guys are doing all by themselves without the corporate folks knowing. Do you really think the Skittle donk above was approved by anyone corporate?
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:31 AM   #9
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Work from your shop JFP
Not on your life, Burg; if something like that ever showed up, I would personally escort it off the premises.....................
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #10
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Is this just an issue with 'high end' (as in price not performance) sports cars?

I remember going through hell trying to find 16" BBS RK's for Miata. I would get these blank stares at most speed shops when I told them I did NOT want "big rims". I wonder if BBS even make any wheels that small anymore.

The more I think about it the less sense this makes. The Boxster Spyder has 19" wheels and seems to be the best performing Porsche per dollar but eventually cowl shake will catch up to any ageing car and the rattles and jarring only build on themselves.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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I have 17" RKII's (2pc) on the Saab! I LOVE those rims.

when I lived in Georgia I saw a fruity pebbles donk in Columbia, SC
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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You know what I really want? A set of the wheels that were on the original Boxster show car back in 1993. Can't find anything remotely resembling them. I have the 18" Turbo wheels and I don't really want larger, I was alongside an '08 with 19"s on it yesterday and it looked like a Peterbilt.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:09 PM   #13
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Even the 991 is rolling on 20". Seems a bit silly.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #14
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Are wheels getting bigger to accommodate larger rotors and calipers? Or do they keep increasing the size of the brake parts just because they have the room in the larger wheels?
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbrown77 View Post
You know what I really want? A set of the wheels that were on the original Boxster show car back in 1993. Can't find anything remotely resembling them. I have the 18" Turbo wheels and I don't really want larger, I was alongside an '08 with 19"s on it yesterday and it looked like a Peterbilt.
How bout the ones in my avatar? May have these for sale soon...



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Old 10-21-2011, 12:29 PM   #16
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Yeah, I'm not a fan of this trend, either. Thank goodness OZ still makes wheels like the Alleggerita.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:14 PM   #17
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Yo, yo, yo! I'm gettin' this spinner bling bling wheel for my hoopdie Porshy.

http://www.rollinbig.com/hotcarpictureswithspinnersandchrome.html
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:37 PM   #18
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:24 PM   #19
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Hells teeth - I nearly brought up my sugar ricicles.......
Hey Landy - they would look great on your Rangie, but instead of the Porsche badging, a big
LEYLAND logo badge - in gold chrome of course - on them.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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I agree that the big wheel thing has got WAY out of hand - but what about tires?

Why does the same model tire cost $100+ more just because its a 19" rather than a 17" (with the same profile)? Sure, the 19" tire is a bit wider so there is a little more rubber and probably a bit more design effort tthat had to be expended in its development that has to be recovered, but not $400+ on a set of four.

I've purposely kept my 17's just to keep my tire budget low!
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