What to consider when replacing your wheels
The likelihood is that your car arrived with a beautiful set of wheels, completing the look of an already spectacular vehicle. Why then would you consider changing your wheels? There are two objectives, give the car the look you want and improve the dynamics.
We can all appreciate something truly beautiful; part of the reason we fall in love with supercars so easily. Yet we all have subtly different preferences and this is where changing your wheels plays an important role.
Make your car unique in a way that complements the design and take pride in your wheel choice; don’t be drawn into buying wheels that distract the eye from the car itself.
Another idea that may be considered when thinking about new wheels is that a “manufacturer supplied” upgrade may be your first port of call.
The reason, manufacturers’ more limited and sporting models often wear lighter, more intricately designed wheels, and these can be easily be fitted to other models to provide a simple upgrade. An example of such an install would be fitting Ferrari 599 GTO wheels to the Ferrari 599 GTB.
If you’re considering an aftermarket wheel make sure you speak to both to a tuning specialist with real-world experience of the fitments and cars, to ensure that the wheel is a suitable choice for your car and your needs.
The most beautiful wheels combined with the wrong type of tyre is a recipe for performance disaster, get it right and you’ll instantly notice the benefits. Lightweight wheels will drop unsprung weight, (rotating masses) improving damper/suspension and steering response, as well as braking and acceleration.
Situations do arise where simply investing in a new set of wheels and tyres can confer substantial handling advantages which are found in the more sporting or limited supercar models.
A prime example is Ferrari, who quite happily tell owners that the biggest handling difference between their base 599/F12 models and 599 GTO/F12 TDF models is the fitment of a much, much larger front tyre and wheel combination, to dial out understeer and make the cars pointier.
Checking how a wheel can be combined with different sized and specification of tyre is a must. The variants of tyre can offer different handling and balance characteristics; potentially providing more grip as well.
Wheel manufactures, like Novitec, offer ready-made wheel and tyre combinations that bolt directly onto your car which have already been tested which makes life easier when considering changing your wheels. It’s always important to note the weight of the upgraded wheel to ensure that it’s lighter than your current setup.
There are different considerations when buying wheels for the track. The main things to know are what result you want to achieve and how much you’re prepared to spend. Wheels and tyres can get expensive so make sure you pick the right ones for you!
A tyre can dramatically change how the car handles and it’s pivotal to remember that some options just aren’t suitable for the road. Take a 911 GT3 with BBS LM wheels and cut-slicks as a prime example.
If you’re after a track specific wheel and tyre combo, Porsche provide a great example. Common track day Porsches are often fitted with super-light aftermarket wheels that widen the track (permitting more grip)and also allow different combinations of specific rubber to be accommodated.
Remember also, that different (and by this we mean larger) wheels are sometimes installed, to permit larger brakes to be installed. In short, the increased diameter of the larger wheel gives greater clearance allowing a larger brake disc and caliper assembly to be mounted to the car.
This is especially relevant for track use as it tends to be brakes and tyres that fade first and you can address both issues with a different wheel/tyre choice.
The best example of this is the Ferrari F40 which has really quite dreadful brakes but larger ones cannot be fitted on the standard wheels. However, larger F40-LM style wheels will allow a whole new brake system to be installed which has a literally transformative effect on driving of the car!
If you’re after a full track, look no further than the Hamann tuning options for Bentley. The sleek designs are a great accompaniment to the Hamann Edition Race Anodised Wheels for the Continental GT.
As always it’s worth speaking to an expert who can advise you on your search.
The look of a wheel is always important – check whether it’s damaged, buckled or cracked – aside from the obvious safety critical risk, a buckled wheel will also be out of balance and cause unpleasant vibrations at speed.
Of course, nothing is more important than the health of the tyre. Its recommended tyres are checked regularly. The health of the wheel and tyre is not something that can be overlooked.
Wheels from Scuderia
Scuderia install wheels made of high-performance materials to very high specifications. This means you’ll benefit from lighter wheels and improved handling thanks to the reduction in unsprung weight. BBS, HRE, ADV1, Brabus, Novitec, Cargraphic, Hamann, and Vorsteiner are all stocked.
Our range includes genuine manufacturer special edition wheels, original OEM standard alloy wheels and specialist aftermarket wheels. One piece, three piece and forged wheels are available.
Browse Scuderia’s full range of wheels and see what options are available for your car.