New Vehicle needs new shoes

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by Gavin Carpenter
So last month I picked up my "brand spanking new" 2010 VW GTI in Carbon Steel Grey.  The car came from the factory with the 17" Denver alloys with the Continental Pro Contact tires, and I need me some new meat already to keep my glued to the road in corners.
 
Which brings me to my question, "What wheels and tires work best on a GTI?"

A good place to start is the Tire Rack website.  When I recommend a new setup for someone I start by looking at what wheels they're interested in.  The handy "upgrade garage" lets me enter in all of the specifics of the car.  After entering in the specifics of the vehicle I start with wheels.

Things I keep in mind in shopping for a wheel:O.Z. Superturismo LM (Matte Graphite Silver)
  • Performance comes from lowering the weight of the wheel as much as possible.  It reduces the unsprung weight, which increases the efficiency of braking and acceleration.
  • I also want to maintain some semblance of style as well.  A 19" wheel may look real cool, but more weight=less fun.  I usually recommend 18" or smaller.  A 17" wheel and tire setup will give the lowest weight, but aren't necessarily head-turners. 
After I browse the wheels (I really like the O.Z. Racing wheels by the way)
I move onto tires, where the rubber meets the road.  Tires I've tested that I'm considering are the Bridgestone RE11, Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08, and Dunlop Z1 Star Spec.  All three did well, the RE11 is the most live-able of the bunch, but the AD08 performs so well and the Z1 Star Spec is the best bang for the buck.
 
 
Decisions, decisions... 

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