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      04-13-2012, 12:40 AM   #1
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Wheel size vs. brake rotor size

I've heard it said that when performance is the ultimate goal in choosing a wheel size, a wheel's diameter should only be as large as is necessary to clear the brake rotor and caliper. This is why many people's track setups use 18" wheels and no larger, and why Escalades and Yukons with 22" wheels and tiny OEM brakes look so ridiculous.

This came to mind when I was at the NY Auto Show today. When it came to unnecessarily large wheels, the guilty party that I found so surprising was...Porsche. The new Boxster is a gorgeous car, and I think is a big step forward in terms of styling over the outgoing model. I looked at the wheels, though, and saw that they're 20-inchers on this tiny car, with what look like tiny brake rotors swimming within. Porsche brakes have always been strong OEM performers, and I'm sure these are as well, but it unfortunately comes off looking a bit like an Escalade. At least we know that people who track it will be able to fit 18s on there.

So who ends up doing it right? Dodge, believe it or not, with the new Viper. I was proud to see that they valued performance over bling: fat 18-inchers up front, just covering the rotors and calipers, and even fatter 19s in back. The car is absolutely stunning.
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      04-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #2
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sad but true. these companies have to please their constituents who, unfortunately, rarely buy their cars for the right reasons.
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      04-13-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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Dubs on a Cockster. Another sign of the apocalypse.

Dodge has been doing it right for a long time, in spite of itself
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      04-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Agree with Brosef - the larger diameter wheels are the result of customers wanting them, not chassis engineers specifying them.
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