[V8] 17" wheels

Bastian Homburg b.homburg at web.de
Mon Jan 26 07:05:07 PST 2009

I`m totally with you on that one.
Here in Europe, there were four wheel&//tire choices available:

195/65/15 on 7*15 steel wheels (winter/snow only, not for summer use)
215/60/15 on 7.5*15 wheels (either cast alloy "aero" styling or forged 
BBS wheels) - standard size, same as US.
225/50/16 on 8*16 forged BBS wheels. A very low-cost option (~$200) that 
almost everyone opted for. Most V8s left the factory on these wheels.
245/45 or 245/40 or 235/45 on 17*8 "Bolero" style cast-alloy wheels. A 
$450 option. The first car to have these wheels was the 1991 "EVO" model.

In Europe, the 4.2 models received thicker anti-roll bars /stabilizers 
(28 mm instead of 26), and the manual trans models got a more "sporty" 
suspension tuning. Remember, in most European markets the 3.6 was 
supplanted, not replaced, with the 4.2.
My 6-speed 4.2 with the 16" wheels and load-leveling hydraulic 
suspension has a near perfect ride/handling balance (or rather, used to 
have as long as the pressure reservoirs for the hydraulic suspension 
still were functioning properly which they are not at the moment, the 
ride is pretty stiff now). Experiments with wider, lower-profile tires 
than that proved to show no or only a marginal handling improvement but 
ride quality deteriorated pretty severely.
Fuel economy suffers as well as top speed (well, not that interesting 
for you in the US...)  and those wider tires tend to follow every rut in 
the road. I went back to the 225s for summer use and have been happy 
with them ever since.
Oh, and in winter, nothing beats the 195/65 15s on snow. It looks 
ridiculous, though, and high-speed handling is, well, not that great but 
I don't care about that.

Roger Woodbury wrote:
> I realize that the V8 did come in Europe with a 16" variant, and if I could
> find a set of 16" wheels they might be an option.  But if I change wheels
> and get squirrely ride and handling, I'll pass.
> The elves in the black forests who designed this car originally did a pretty
> good job and I am not qualified to do other than to mess it up.
> Your results may vary.

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