[BiturboS4] 16' wheels?

Nicholas Mistry nick at mistry.com
Fri Nov 15 15:58:41 EST 2002

I highly recommend gonig with 16's in the wintertime.  Depending on
where you live, road conditions can drastically diminish when wintertime
hits.  I know this from expeience.   In boston the roads turn to swiss
cheeze after the first snowfall!  Having that extra ..5" of rubber all
the way around will save you from trashing your tire when you hit an
unseen pothole.

As for rim selection, i went with the 16x7" AT Italia S5 rims.  And i
picked a tire size that kept the OD as close to the stock diameter as
possible.  (i dont remember off the top of my head what size, but i can
look it up.  I liked this tire / wheel size for several reasons.

1. It looks close to the Stock S4 rims, but cheaper.

2. 7" vs 7.5", I feel that narrower tread width gives better performance
when driving in 2" -> 1 foot of snow.  I can forgo the performance
goodness for a few months of the year to be sure that i get to/from home

3. as mentioned above.. i feel the 1/2" of extra rubber makes all the
difference when driving on the swiss cheese streets of boston.

4.  Cheaper Cheaper  Cheaper..  Its winter, not planning on setting any
land speed records during these months.  Also, I plan on burning the $$
when springtime olls around.  A set of new 18x7.5 or 18x8's RS4 or S8
rims, and better performance tires ( any advice anyone? )

5.  If i do manage to dent these rims a bit due to a pothole, or
accidentially sliding into a curb, i dont really care.  They are not my
spiffy summer rims.  Besides i only use them for 4 months out of the

6.  Having the rims + tires, I can swap out the summer set for the
winter set myself w/o lugging them to NTB or another tire shop every

Also, on a side note, what do people think of the stopping performance
of the Pilot Alpins when driving on Slippery or Icey roads?   Anyone
have an opinion about the Arctic Alpin's vs. the Pilot Alpins, breaking
or otherwise, but related to winter driving and not speed / handling?

The only thing that i find dissapointing about the S4 is its breaking
performance when on slippery / icey roads.  The first winter, I drove a
while on the stock 17's and would go sliding down the hill in front of
my house..  Even w/ two feet pushing firmly on the pedal.  And never had
a problem w/ it in my '86 5000-CSt.  Once I switched to the winter tires
i had better overall traction and better braking but not as good as i
expected.  The hill is @ a 20-30% grade.  I am wondering if i should
have gone w/ the artic alpin's instead.   HMmmm...


> Thinking about winter tires, will 16 inch wheels fit a 2000 S4?
>  My current set of summer tires (Nankang?) has a slow leak
> in the left front that Discount Tire claims is too worn to fix -
> although it wasn't too worn to balance 6 weeks earlier...
> Anyway, I'm deciding whether to get 17" winter tires on the
> existing wheels or try and find some other wheels and put the
> winter tires on those - and for winter tires it seems smaller
> wheels and higher sidewalls would be an advantage.  That's
> what I did with my 2001 A4 Avant with the sport package -
> I bought a set of 15" A4 replicas and put the winter tires on
> those.  Sure makes it much easier to switch back and forth.
> Bill
> 00 S4 Sedan 6sp
> 01 A4 Avant 5sp
> 87 Porsche 928 S4 5sp (the "other" S4)
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