E46 M3 Track Tires and Wheels

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The E46 M3 is great for high-speed cruising and awesome for the track. If you're doing lapping days once a year just make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. If you're heading to the track every weekend then fix the car's understeer by upgrading your wheels and tires and getting a "track" alignment.  


Running wider wheels and tires of the same size in the front and back in a square set-up will remove some of the car's inherent understeer. We offer a few 18x9.5 35mm offset wheels designed to work with 265/35R18 and 275/35R18 tires. 18x9.5 ET 35mm on either size will require a combination of fender and wheelwell modification, along with changes in negative camber to fit. Even with the changes, this is a proven E46 M3 set-up.

For this wheel size, take a look at the matte grey TR Motorsports MT1 and the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT in anthracite painted finish. You can also special order the black, blue, gold, matte graphite silver, orange, red and white.

18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey Painted TR Motorsports MT-1 $329**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey TR Motorsports MT1
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted OZ Alleggerita $419**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita

Non-Streetable Track Tires:

Are you installing a second set of wheels at the track? Then the ultimate grip from non-streetable track tires such as the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18, 275/35ZR18 Hoosier R6 and 275/35ZR18 Hankook Ventus Z214 are great options to consider.

BF Goodrich G-Force R1 265/35-18 $289** & 275/35-18 $299**
BFGoodrich g-Force R1
275/35-18 Hoosier R6 $334**
Hoosier R6
275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Z214 (C51 Compound) $235**
Hankook Ventus Z214

Streetable Track Tires:

Will you be using the same set of tires at the track that you drove to the event on? The non-streetable tires mentioned earlier are easily damaged by road debris. A piece of wire the size of a paper clip can get picked up by the tire, work its way into the shallow tread, through the tire's lightweight plies and puncture the inner liner.

So if your track tires will be driven to the track, consider streetable race tires like the Toyo Proxes RA888 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18. The 265/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or the 265/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes RA1 are also great options worth taking a look at.

Toyo Proxes R888 265/35-18 $300** & 275/35-18 $270**
Toyo Proxes R888
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup $351**
 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
265/35-18 Toyo Proxes RA1 $268**
Toyo Proxes RA1

Drivers will differ in their preference in predictability versus overall grip, but the Toyo Proxes RA888 provides slightly better grip than the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a little bit of a better value. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup's main advantage is more consistent grip from lap to lap, therefore it may be the better choice for a longer event. Toyo Proxes RA1s are less sensitive to small flaws in the vehicle set-up, so if you're still tuning with respect to damper settings, ride height and camber, then the Proxes RA1 would be a good choice.


Optimum alignment settings will vary with tire, damper and spring choices. Most drivers will find that running 3.5-3.8 degrees of negative camber and zero toe for the front to be optimum. You'll need to get adjustable camber plates for the front so you can run that much negative camber.

For the rear, 2.4-2.6 negative camber and the high side of the factory toe-in is normally ideal. You should be able to adjust to these specs without a camber kit. Camber is adjusted at the lower eccentric bolt attaching the lower control arm to the hub assembly (under the axle).

E46 M3 Track Wheels and Tires FAQ:

  1. I've heard of other drivers running 285/30R18 or wider tires on 18x10 wheels, will that fit? When we assess the risk of rubbing we're very conservative. We consider the above wheels and 265/35R18, 275/35R18 and 285/30R18 sized tires all to be custom sizes requiring varying degrees of fender modification and wheelwell modification. High negative camber helps with front tire clearance, too. If you've changed to coil-overs or aftermarket struts, you may have less inside clearance with any of the above sizes.
  2. I still drive a fair amount of street miles on my M3, can I adjust camber at the track so I can preserve some tire wear? For the front you can mark your camber plates so you can adjust between track and street settings. In the rear, the washer at the bolt head has notch marks on it that can be highlighted with paint.
  3. What about brake pads for my vehicle? For better bite and fade resistance switch to dedicated track pads like the Hawk DTC70 in the front and DTC60 in the rear. Once you get back from the track be sure to switch back to your normal brakes, as the race pads will be noisy, dusty and ineffective in cool weather.
  4. Do I need to shave and/or heat cycle my track tires? All the above tires will benefit from heat cycling which acts like a second curing for the tire and helps them maintain consistent grip from lap to lap. The Hoosier R6, BFGoodrich g-Force R1 are molded at 4/32" of tread depth so they don't need to be shaved. Shaving will improve dry performance for the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, Toyo Proxes RA1 and Toyo Proxes R888.

Wheel and Tire Fitments for Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S Now Available

Friday, June 22, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Since the release of the Subaru BRZ and its twin the Scion FR-S, we have been able to get both vehicles to Tire Rack's headquarters for measurements. First indication is that these very capable cars have been very "under tired" from the factory. Despite its excellent poise and impressive skidpad numbers, the BR-Z and FR-S are shod with a narrow 215/45-17 all-season tire from the factory. Such a fitment, although good for fuel efficiency and tread life, severely inhibits the cars' true performance. The wheels also seem a bit too narrow and use a very conservative high offset which makes them appear sunken into the fenders.

Based upon our measurements, these two cars are capable of running a 245 width tire on all four corners -- utilizing anywhere between a 17"-19" wheel. If you're wanting to run a staggered set-up, the rear fender arches can accommodate a width up to 265mm with the correct wheel.

Autocross and track driving participants will likely wish to use a square set-up to maintain the car's balance. The hot set-up for these, in my opinion, would be a 17x8 wheel using a 245/40-17 tire at all four corners. This tire size allows for many popular street tires to be installed including the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08, Bridgestone Potenza RE-11, Kumho Ecsta XS, Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and Hankook Ventus R-S3. Are you looking to utilize a purely competition tire? You may find interest in the Hankook Ventus Z214, BFGoodrich g-Force R1, Hoosier A6 or Hoosier R6

With many tire choices available, as well as a large inventory of wheels from manufacturers like Enkei Racing Series, O.Z. Racing and Sparco, the best way to start looking for your desired set-up is to view our Tire & Wheel Packages.

Scion Tires and Wheels for the tC

Friday, June 8, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Scion has always been proud about their wide choice of accessories and options that let you personalize your vehicle. However, can you really get a one-of-a-kind look with dealer options?

If you want to take your Scion down the path less traveled, go beyond the dealer catalog. Focusing on wheel choices for the tC, the vehicle offers a good combination of low weight, decent handling and Toyota reliability. We provide a wide variety of unique options for both the original tC (2005-2010) and second-generation models.


Four distinctive wheel choices that you won't see on every other Scion tC are the 18x8 ET45 anthracite painted Borbet LV5, the 18x8 ET45 black with red accent Axis Xcite, the 18x8 ET45 machined with graphite accent O.Z. Racing David and the 18x8 ET 45 Sparco Assetto Gara available in black, blue, bright silver, bronze, gold, green, matte graphite, orange, red and white.


18x8ET45 Anthracite Painted Borbet LV5 $211*
18x8ET45 Anthracite Painted Borbet LV5 $211*
18x8ET45 Black W/Red Accent Axis Xcite $199*
18x8ET45 Black w/Red Accent Axis Xcite $199*
18x8ET45 Machined W/Graphite Accent OZ David $249**
18x8ET45 Machined w/Graphite Accent OZ David $249*
18x8ET45 White Sparco Assetto Gara $172*
18x8ET45 White Sparco Assetto Gara


Each of the four options will work with your 225/45-18 Original Equipment tires and accept the O.E. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors. If you prefer the look a wider tire, both 235/45-18 and 245/40-18 are compatible sizes. The 235/45-18 won't provide enough increased width to make a noticeable difference.

Scion TC FAQ:

  1. What does 18x8 ET45 mean? 18x8 means the wheel is 8" wide and ET45 means the wheel has a 45mm offset. Your second-generation tC O.E. wheel is 7.5" wide with a 39mm offset. This means the edge of an 18x8.5  ET45 wheel will be in the same place relative to the fender compared to the O.E. wheel. The edge of the wheel will be .35mm "out" towards the fender compared to the O.E. wheel. I calculated .35 mm by adding one-half of the 1/2" wheel width difference (6.35mm) and subtracting 6mm higher offset difference. Higher offsets push the wheel "in" towards the rotor and lower offsets push the wheel "out" towards the fender.
  2. I'm concerned about the replacement cost of Scion tC O.E. tires, are there other choices that'll work for my vehicle? Most first-generation TCs came with the 215/45-17 Yokohama S32A that currently sells for $274* each, while second-generation models are running the 225/45-18 Toyo Proxes A20 ($290*) and Yokohama AVID S34F ($217*). When it comes time to replace the O.E. tires, you'll find several options that may work better with your budget including the Kumho Ecsta 4X, Yokohama AVID ENVigor and Bridgestone Potenza RE970 AS Pole Position.

*Prices subject to change

FR-S and BRZ Now Available for Wheel Upgrades

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

After what seems to be decades of waiting, the first Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are beginning to arrive.


Initial vehicle availability will be tight. Here at Tire Rack, we're still waiting to get them in our studio to be photographed. Thanks to the help from our suppliers, we've been able to post a preliminary list of compatible wheels for the FR-S and BRZ (fitment is obviously the same for both). The Original Equipment wheel is 17x7, 5-100 48mm offset. Many drivers will prefer a wider, lightweight wheel with the same offset.

If you prefer a wheel that weighs less than 18 lbs., the list is narrowed down to: the 17x8 45ET Enkei Racing Series RPF1 in black or bright silver, 17x8 48ET O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT available in matte graphite silver, white, blackorange, blue, gold and red, the Enkei RP03 in bright silver (the black painted version is estimated to arrive in June) and the Ultraleggera HLT in black, bright silver, matte graphite silver and gold.


17x8 5-100 45ET Bright Silver Enkei RPF1 $225**
Bright Silver Enkei Racing Series

17x8 5-100 48ET Anthracite Painted OZ Allegerita $329*
Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing
Alleggerita HLT

17x8 5-100 48ET Bright Silver Painted Enkei RP03 $275*
Bright Silver Painted
Enkei Racing Series

17x8 5-100 48ET Matte Graphite Silver OZ Ultraleggera $285*
Matte Graphite Silver
O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera HLT

As for tires, I'd go with 225/45-17 sizing to complement the wider wheels. Personally, I prefer the 25" overall diameter better than the slightly larger 25.3" 235/45-17 tires. When making your tire choice, consider the best value Extreme Performance Summer tires discussed in a previous blog post, as well as the Toyo Proxes R1R and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08.

O.Z. Racing Custom Colors: White Ultraleggera HLT

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Recently, I had a customer who ordered a set of O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera HLT wheels in the white finish and they really enjoy the look on their car. The white is generally available by special order only. A stark white paint job on the clean, purposeful lines of the Ultraleggera really makes this wheel stand out. These wheels are made to order in Italy, and can be sent over by air freight at an additional charge or in O.Z. Racing's next bulk shipment at no extra cost.

O.Z. Racing is one of the leaders in wheel manufacturing. Their 2011 racing campaign included:

  • F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
  • WRC Citroen Total World Rally Team Championship
  • 24 Hours of Le Mans Winner Team Audi Sport
  • DTM Title Team Audi Sport
  • GT1 Title HEXIS AMR Team

As long as O.Z. has the wheels in stock ready to be finished, the turn around on an order with air freight is pretty prompt. The wheels for my customer's recent order came to us in just over two weeks from the original order date. A custom order that comes over with the bulk shipment from O.Z. usually comes within 60-90 days. This is obviously a longer wait but it saves on the cost of express shipping.

If you're looking to set your car apart from the crowd, a custom-finished set of O.Z. wheels and a set of high-performance tires would be a great place to start. 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super SportReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25

2006 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe Tdi
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 200
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 200 Miles on Tires
May 09, 2012

I know that my vehicle is no "pocket rocket", and I purchased these tires based on Michelin's reputation and the Tire Rack road test. I had them shipped to me mounted on a set of O.Z. wheels and all I can say is wow! They are far better than the Fuzion's that were on the car when I bought it. Much more quiet, outstanding traction, and better road feel without harshness. While these are only summer tires for me, I think that they will last at least 3 years based on my driving. I highly recommend them for even the most mundane driver who may be looking for top quality, ride, and wet/dry traction.

Corners Like a MINI Cooper S and Stings Like a Scorpion: FIAT's 500 Abarth

Thursday, April 26, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

When it comes to light, fast, compact European hatchbacks, the MINI Cooper S has been the only game in town. With the release of the FIAT 500 Abarth,  MINI finally has some serious competition. The 500 Abarth adds a whopping 59 hp and 72 ft. lbs. of torque compared to the FIAT 500 Sport. That's a lot of power for a 2,564 lb. car and some serious power for those front tires to handle. 

If you have an Abarth on order, then you'll be counting on 195/45-16 all-seasons or the optional 205/40-17s. The 195/45-16 Original Equipment options for the vehicle are either the Grand Touring All-Season Continental ContiProContact or the High Performance All-Season Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season. The optional 17x7 is equipped with the 205/40-17 Max Performance Summer Pirelli P Zero Nero tire.

Given the Abarth's sporty suspension and short wheelbase, factory choices may not be ideal. In my opinion, the 16" tire choices offer relatively subpar grip, while the vehicle's ride is compromised with the 17" wheels. If I had an Abarth on order, I'd select one of the 16" options and sell them to a FIAT 500 Sport owner and look at a 205/45-16 Tire & Wheel Package.

If you're looking for wheels for a 500 Abarth with a black exterior and red mirror caps and red side stripes, I'd take a look at the black painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT. For the red-colored vehicle with black mirror caps and black side stripes, the red painted Alleggerita HLT is a great choice. With a white or gray Abarth, there's a number of Alleggerita finishes that'll work.

When looking for a tire that offers great dry and wet grip, predictable handling, optimal balance between steering response and ride compliance and relatively low noise take a look at the 205/45-16 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport.


16x7 4-100 37mm offset OZ Black Painted Allegerita $279*
O.Z. Racing Black Painted Alleggerita HLT $279*
16x7 4-100 37mm offset OZ Red Painted Allegerita $299*
O.Z. Racing Red Painted Alleggerita HLT $299*
205/45-16 Ultra High Performance Summer Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport $105*
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport $105*


Mounted, balanced and ready to install, the Tire & Wheel Package including the Black Alleggerita is $1,712*, while the package with the red painted (special order color) Alleggerita is currently $1,792*.

E 'in poi, è su come Donkey Kong (It's on, it's on like Donkey Kong).

2012 FIAT 500 Abarth FAQ:

  1. Can I run 205/45-16 sized tires on my Original Equipment 16" wheels? Yes, the O.E. 16x6.5 wheels will accommodate the 205/45-16 tires.
  2. Would the Sparco Assetto Gara be a good fit for the vehicle? The wheel is a good  choice as well, however I personally like the Alleggerita design a little better. If you're open to either design, the Assetto Gara costs less and is priced at $1092* (the red painted Assetto Gara is estimated to be available in June).
  3. How do the above 4-100 wheels fit on 4-98 bolt pattern vehicle? You can install these wheels with the provided wobble bolts. Wobble bolts are bolts with floating seats. Each bolt seat moves slightly upward to accommodate the 4-100 bolt pattern.

*Price subject to change, excluding shipping

Sparco Assetto Gara Spectrum

Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Gavin Carpenter

Are you looking for a wheel to make your modified vehicle stick out from the ho-hum? Check out the Sparco Assetto Gara aftermarket wheels. 


The Assetto Gara has an array of different colors, including matte graphite silver, red, green, gold, white, bright silver, orange, bronze, black and blue


A few years ago Sparco and O.Z. Racing partnered up and collaborated on an exclusive collection of affordable wheels. The collection features both companies' Italian design heritage and motorsports background.


Popular fitments include Acura, Chevy, FIAT, Honda, Mazda, MINI, Ford and Subaru. If you're trying to get that look like Ken Block on your new Fiesta or Focus, check out the green painted version of the Assetto Gara from Sparco!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2010 Toyota Prius
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3500
Location: Destin, FL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 3500 Miles on Tires
January 27, 2012

I added a set of 18" O.Z Alleggerita HLT wheels to my prius with these tires and they are amazing, especially driving in wet conditions. I have recommended these tires to all my friends. Two of which recently purchased a set and they too have nothing but good things to say about these tires!

Custom Colors Available for Ultraleggera HLT

Monday, March 5, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Thanks to the success of its custom color's program for the Alleggerita, O.Z. Racing is offering the same program for the Ultraleggera HLT. The HLT manufacturing is used to make larger wheel sizes lighter than they would otherwise be. For the Ultraleggera, nearly all 20" and most 19" sizes are produced using the HLT manufacturing process.

O.Z. Racing's color program is designed for tuners and enthusiasts seeking a distinctive wheel finish that stands apart from the usual silver, black or grey options that are by far the most common in the wheel industry. A few of the available colors include: red, orange (pictured), white and gold. 

O.Z. Racing builds and finishes each set of these wheels to order in Italy. Special orders in this program will take approximately 60 days to deliver. If you're willing to wait, the reward is a distinctive set of wheels that combine unique color with the high finish quality characteristics of all O.Z. Racing wheels. The Ultraleggera HLT can be ordered by itself, or you can select a tire to create a Tire & Wheel Package. To see if the Ultraleggera HLT is available for your vehicle, shop by vehicle

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

Friday, February 17, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.5

2009 Pontiac G8 GT
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5000
Location: odell, Il
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5000 Miles on Tires
July 23, 2011

This tire blew me away. AWESOME ride! I noticed the moment I drove from the installers how quiet they were. My rating does not reflect winter driving but I will update that when it gets here. Dry traction is terrific for my spirited heavy foot. Wet traction is great too, but with a 6.0...traction will always be an issue with any tire. I could not have been happier with this tire...until a few days ago. I got a steering wheel shake and figured the tires were out of balance. NO big deal it happens a lot with these 18 rims on these cars. The technician said he needed 10 oz of weight to balance the right front!!! That is waaaay too much. So I figured it must be out of round or there is really something wrong with it. Well to my amazement, I contacted Tire Rack that evening and the next day they had a new tire on the way. NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!! My next set of tires will come from them no question. I cannot compliment and thank Tire Rack enough for their awesome support and assistance. As for the tires...I LOVE them!

OZ Wheels + WRX = Extreme Performance

Friday, October 21, 2011 by Jonas Paeplow
O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLTFeatured in a recent issue of the Subaru magazine Drive Performance was Part 4 of Project WRX, (mechanical upgrades). Also included was an all important wheel upgrade for the project car. In a poll of Subaru WRX owners the hands-down winner for the best wheel for the WRX was the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT.

"Alleggerita" is Italian for lightened. The O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT is a lightweight, nine spoke, single piece, low pressure cast, aluminum alloy wheel that is heat-treated for added strength.

The High Light Technology (HLT) process uses rollers to compress and elongate the material along the barrel of a low-pressure cast aluminum wheel to obtain the desired profile. This flow forming process, also known as spinning, produces wheels that are extremely light and strong, with mechanical characteristics similar to those of a forged wheel at a greatly reduced cost.

We carry the Alleggerita HLT in 8 colors with hundreds of sizes and fitment combinations. O.Z. Racing has proud tradition of building strong, light and stylish wheels for many tastes and requirements. A winning record in racing series around the world such as Formula 1 and IndyCar is an incontrovertible testament to their performance capability.

If you want a good looking, great performing wheel that looks right at home on your Subaru WRX, without breaking the bank, look no further than the O.Z. rims/wheels selection available from Tire Rack. Are your WRX tires in need of an upgrade? Find the right match for your WRX and create the perfect Tire & Wheel Package!

O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT for Porsche Cayman

Friday, July 22, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel

O.Z. Alleggerita HLTAre you looking for affordable track wheels for your Cayman? Then take a look at the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT.

The Alleggerita HLT offers a very unique combination of low weight, O.Z. engineering and great value. The High Light Technology (HLT) uses rollers to compress and elongate material along the barrel of a low-pressure cast aluminum wheel to produce the desired profile. This particular process is derived from O.Z.'s experience in F1 and produces a wheel that is extremely light and strong. Combining the HLT technologies with the flow forming process creates mechanical features similar to those of a forged wheel. This allows for a dramatic reduction in wheel weight while enhancing structural rigidity vs. a standard cast wheel.

Ideal tire sizing will vary depending on your Cayman's suspension tuning and/or fender modifications. Listed below are a few common sizes Cayman drivers enjoying running:

245/40-18 front and 275/35-18 rear 
245/35-18 front and 295/30-18 rear

Combining the O.Z Racing Alleggerita HLT with the Hankook Ventus Z214 Dry Racetrack & Autocross Only tires in 245/40-18 front and 275/35-18 rear sizing creates a Tire & Wheel Package at $2,444* plus shipping.

Shop by vehicle to see which wheel is a great option for your vehicle.

*Prices subject to change

Lighter is Better: O.Z. Racing Superforgiata

Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
WO.Z. Superforgiataith gas prices continuing to hover around $4 a gallon, could the weight of your wheels affect your car's fuel economy? In short, yes. The weight of your vehicle's wheels can not only affect the way your vehicle looks but how it drives. Reducing rotational weight by getting lighter wheels has an impact on fuel economy, braking and acceleration. Read "Road Wheel Weights Can Affect Your Vehicle's Show...and Go" to see how your wheel's weight can benefit your vehicle's performance.

For example, if you drive an E92 M3 and are looking to lower the weight of your wheels while giving it a great look, consider the 19" O.Z. Racing Superforgiata that only weighs 17.5 lbs for the 19x8.5 front and 19.9 lbs for the 19x10 rear. This wheel is considerably lighter than the O.E. while providing a new style for your ride.
2008 BMW M3 Coupe
As for tires, is the lightest always the fastest? Not necessarily because overall grip, steering response and handling predictability are critical as well. Review Tire Test Results to see how a particular tire performed on our Test Track Drives as well as the Real World Road Rides. View all Extreme Performance Summer and Max Performance Summer tires.

Upgrade to Aftermarket Wheels

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Spencer Diaz
Here is a common question that many people looking at aftermarket wheels ask: "Why would I want to swap them out, and will it be of any major advantage?"

The initial reason people like to modify the look of their vehicle with wheels usually starts with a desire for greater aesthetics. Original Equipment (O.E.) wheels for many applications can be cookie-cutter, and adding your own individual flair to your ride requires an upgrade. Modifying your car's appearance with a new set of wheels can give your car the desired style you are looking for.  

Adding a personal touch not only increases the look of the vehicle, but can also enhance it as well. Many, but not all, aftermarket wheels have reduced weight vs. their O.E. counterparts. The initial advantage is in unsprung weight variance. Not only can this affect the overall gas mileage of the vehicle, but also allows the vehicle to respond better, especially on imperfect roads. Lighter wheels allow for less vibrations or adverse feel to resonate in the cabin, which in turn makes for an easier and more stable ride for the passenger.

Additionally, increasing the size of the wheel not only gives the vehicle a more aggressive appearance, but can also affect the handling characteristics. In most cases, when choosing a larger wheel size, the tire size will need to be modified in order to accommodate the difference.  

As an example, a 2006 BMW 325i Sedan Base Model comes stock with 205/55R16 tires and 16x6 wheels. If one were to buy a 17" wheel, the initial choice for tire size would shift to 225/45R17. The average size of a 17" wheel for this vehicle would be 17x7.5. While the overall diameter of the tires remains about the same, the 17" size has an advantage in handling due to the tire's larger contact patch. The contact patch (a tire's "footprint") is relative to the width of the tires, and being that the width is 225 vs. 205, you have gained 20 mm in width. This will work very similar on most vehicles. As you increase the wheel size, the width of the wheel also increases. To compensate, the width of the tire increases and the sidewall gets shorter to make up for the extra inch of wheel height. The wider your tires get, the more rubber you have contacting the ground, thus increasing your handling characteristics. 

Our Upgrade Garage provides customers with the ability to view tires and wheels on their vehicle. With the example provided above, customer A would like a lightweight 18" wheel with a sporty euro design. Since the BMW 325i is a graphite color, he would like to give it a blended look. Deciding on the OZ Alleggerita HLT in the Matte Graphite Silver finish was the obvious option, giving him the clean, multi-spoke look, that will not only add aesthetics to the vehicle, but also save weight as well! Being that he wants an all-season tire that is aggressive in the snow, he chooses the Continental ExtremeContact DWS in a 225/40R18. And the customer is able to view his new wheels on his vehicle to ensure it's the look he desires! 

Note: While building a Tire & Wheel Package in the Upgrade Garage, you select wheels first and then add tires. All packages include Tire Rack's free Hunter Road Force balancing, mounting and all necessary installation hardware.

Wheel Options Already Available for Fiat 500

Monday, June 27, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
For the first time in decades, Fiat has launched a hot new hatch for use in the States. The Fiat 500 and its various trim levels have hit select dealerships across the country and are already receiving aftermarket support.

Manufacturers such as BBS, Enkei, and O.Z. are supplying large amounts of aftermarket wheels that Tire Rack offers as guaranteed fitments. There are currently 40 wheel options for the Fiat 500, with many choices for the Lounge, Pop and Sport trims.

Enkei PF01
Enkei PF01
O.Z. Alleggerita HLT
O.Z. Alleggerita HLT
Shop by vehicle to find wheels that are a great match for your vehicle. 

New O.Z. Wheel: O.Z. Quaranta

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by Ben Rooney
O.Z. QuarantaHappy birthday O.Z.! O.Z. Racing turns 40 this year, and far from being over the hill, they are still a leader in wheel design and technology. 

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, they have released a new wheel named the Quaranta, which means 'forty' in Italian. A unique design that incorporates elements from 5 spoke and mesh-type wheels, the Quaranta upholds O.Z.'s tradition of Italian style. 

The wheels are made in Italy to O.Z.'s exacting specifications. They are pressure cast from Al Si-7 aluminum alloy and heat treated. Attention to quality control ensures that they conform to international standards for alloy wheels, including the most demanding German TUV requirements.

As a special edition wheel, the Quaranta is available in a limited number of applications: Four-lug wheels are black with machined face in 16" and 17" sizes. Five-lug wheels are grey with machined face, and are available in 17" with one 18" application. 

The Quaranta would make a unique statement as part of your Tire & Wheel Package this summer. To check the wheels that will correctly fit your vehicle, shop by vehicle

HRE Wheels: Now Available at Tire Rack

Friday, May 13, 2011 by Ben Rooney
HRE P40LSpring is a great time for wheels. People are taking their fun cars out of storage, and taking the winter wheel and tire packages off of their daily drivers. Many wheel manufacturers introduce new designs, and Tire Rack often adds new brands to our line around this time of year. The most exciting addition to our lineup this year is HRE. 

Long considered a leader in custom wheel design, HRE has intensified its focus on engineering to make them a leader in quality as well as in style. It is great to be able to offer a world class, American made wheel at the top of our line, alongside the European powerhouses BBS and OZ Racing. 

While we keep many of the wheels that we sell in stock, most of the HRE wheels are built specifically to order. This usually means a 3-4 week lead time from the initial order to the shipment of the wheel package. With a little advance planning, these exceptional wheels will be well worth the wait.

View all of the HRE styles we carry and shop by vehicle.

Aftermarket Wheels and O.E. Center Caps

Friday, January 28, 2011 by Chad Hocker
Aftermarket wheels designed to use the Original Equipment center cap are available at Tire Rack. Let the wheels from Bremmer Kraft, Breyton, ASA, Elbrus and O.Z. Racing give your vehicle that custom look while maintaining the factory edge. Take a look at a few options that will set your car apart from the rest:

Bremmer Kraft BR05 Black PaintedBreyton Race GTS-R Matte Grey w/Red StripeASA Type 8 Chrome Plated
Bremmer Kraft BR05Breyton Race GTS-RASA Type 8

O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT Blue PaintedElbrus I02 Silver PaintedO.Z. Racing Ultraleggera HLT Bright Silver Paint
O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLTElbrus I02O.Z. Racing Ultraleggera HLT
PorscheBMW and Mercedes-BenzPorsche

Use our website to view exact fitment and availability as some wheels may not be compatible with certain makes and models.

Click the "Product Description" tab on the rim summary page to see if the wheel will accept the O.E. center cap. If available for the wheel selected, the O.E. center cap can be purchased from the "Optional Hardware" tab.
BMW Center CapPorsche Center CapMercedes Center Cap

MSW Rims

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Chad Hocker

MSW Rims are engineered and designed by O.Z. Racing to the top standards of modern production. Their wheels meet official regulations for the U.S. DOT and also the more stringent rules set by Germany's T.U.V (Technical Inspection Association).

MSW has added a new wheel to their line this year. The Type 23 is truly a unique design that puts a new spin on the line of wheels from MSW.

Take a look at the Type 23 and other options from MSW.



MSW Wheels
MSW Type 23 Machined w/Anthracite Accent MSW Type 16 Black w/Red Stripe MSW Type 12 Machined w/Black Accent MSW Type 15 Silver Painted
Type 23 Type 16 Type 12 Type 15

MSW Type 16 Showing  VW Sportwagen

See if the Type 23 or any other MSW wheel fits your vehicle.