Friday, February 11, 2011

What's the difference in wheel size???

Last week my baby is glad to receive it's new wheel and new pair of shoes too... the OEM 15" wheels is swapped with 16" OEM from Neo CPS (a recplica of Advanti's Medusa from JRD???)

The front pair is wrapped with new Continental SportContact-1 195/50/16 while the other rear pair is wrapped with used Silverstone Synergy M5 205/45/16 transferred from our family's old Wira... based on my hand lifting, the Neo CPS wheel is definitely lighter than Gen2's OEM 15" which actually surprised me a lot considering it is OEM wheels rather than some super lightweight aftermarket wheels...

So, many might have been wondering... Does changing to a bigger wheel really do have impacts on handling performance of a car??? Well, to answer that questions let's watch the video below....




I experienced the same thing... even though I'm just changing from 15" to 16" instead of 18" to 19", but the feeling is more or less the same...

my recent drives with the wheels pretty interesting. Some of my expectations were met, and some of them are not...

So, what did I expect???

1. Lesser body roll
2. harsher ride/less comfort
3. better handling
4. lacking in acceleration
5. lacking in top speed
6. worse FC
7. inaccurate speedometer
8. Doesn't look that good as I have never liked a car with dark rims anyway...

so, the results???

1. to some extent, I did sense a little less body roll... but it is very very very minimal... I'd say if you're looking for body roll reduction, go for front+rear ARB plus adjustable suspension setup. though I dont know if we go for really really low aspect ratio tyres will it improve significantly at the cost of comfort...

2. harsher ride/less comfort indeed... since the OEM 195/55/15 is pretty high on the aspect ratio, the sidewall helps in absorbing the road harshness too... So, with lower profile dont expect the comfort going to improve... It won't... though I'd say the harshness excites me; except when I met a pothole... It's a pain when thinking about what torture the wheels received...

3. better handling performance... I'd say to some extend is true, though I'd sense it's a little hard to control the steering after the change... it seems to be like whatever harshness on the road can change the direction of the wheels... steering wheel get pretty sensitive and somehow become a little lighter/easier to turn the wheels... though I can feel the car hold on to the road better than before... I've tried one night pushing to the limit (that after I did I scare the shit of myself XP) i though I'm gonna understeer straight into the bushes, but i didn't... the tyre actually screaming but the car going as the steering directed it... pretty impressive i'd say... could be my tyre combo too preventing the understeer... :P

4. i dont know if this is true especially after almost everyone complaining about this, but I dont feel it... I just dont feel the loss of power here until I hit the top speed... I still feel the same acceleration as I felt before the change... it's either there are really no changes or my right legs just become heavier compensating the power loss... but, for the sake of being positive and optimistic about myself, I'd say there are really no changes...

5. Lacking in top speed... this one definitely is.... before changes I manage to hit 185km/h as claimed by Proton... but with this wheel, I can only hit 175km/h and that's it... the speed stay there....

6. Fuel consumption... I was a little worried when I was in the highway... but yeah, I drive pretty hard to push the car to its limit to test the handling so thinking back it's not really weird to have a very bad FC up there... but until today, I'd say there's only very minimal difference or there's no difference at all... it's almost the same with 15"...

7. I was concerned with this too... but because of my choice of tyre, the difference is minimal... based on the calculation I am supposed to be faster 1% compare to the speedometer... however, my GPS shows the same speed as speedometer... though I'd say that 1% is well within GPS tolerance so it might not shows up on the GPS anyway...

8. aesthetic wise, heck it's even better... once the set of wheels is fitted to my car, I dont want to take it off anymore... it just looks too good compare to 15" OEM XD

9. the unexpected side effect is, it seems to be the problems of weird brake sounds with old 15" OEM having less occurrence with new wheels... I was suspecting the weird brake sounds before is due to the brakes heating up coupled with problematic pads... but right now it seems to be the wheels have cooling effect on the brakes???

all in all, after driving with stock wheels for like 1.5years I had to change my driving styles a little bit to accommodate new handling characteristics of new wheels... even changing to bigger wheels does improve a little bit on the handling but I think it is minimal and not very significant... I would say spending the money to fit in all those Ultra Racing bars have a lot more significant improvement on handling and lucky me to get this set of wheels for free and only pay for RM120 for rubbers... XD

plus, considering the price of the rubbers also will make you have headache... and thinking about those potholes on the road of Malaysia, seriously it can make you cry...

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