Back to 17’s! (Evo)

In a blast from past, I am switching back from 18s back down to 17s. When I had this setup prior, I was running 17×9.5 +32 Wedssport TC105n. I did not like the wheels uneven spoke design, but I do really look back fondly on that setup, which made the car feel like lightning in terms of nimbleness. With the smaller brakes going back on the car, this allows me to go back to 17×9.5’s – this time, CE28 Club Racer II Black Edition, in Diamond Dark Gunmetal. I don’t like dark wheels on white cars, but I think this will turn out nicely – and after a few seasons of beating, I can always take them to be powdercoated. These wheels are a stronger version of the CE28’s, without the weight savings holes and such. Regardless, this lets me drop about 2-3lbs in each corner, for a total of 8-12lbs of reduced unsprung mass. The tires themselves end up being a wash, because on the 17s I need more sidewall (and thus more tire) to get to a similar height.

The Wedssports weighed in at 16.3lbs, and the new Volks weigh in at 16.8lbs. Their website describes them as based on the CE28N model, which focused on light weight. These Club Racer IIs focus on strength – they are not the lightest wheel Volk has ever made, but they strengthened the spokes cross-sectional shape, joints, and inner rim. They closed the lightweight holes around the bolt holes for improved strengthening. They say this inhibits the amount of disc displacement and inner rim flexibility. Strength is often overlooked when wheels are chosen, and Enkei did a study a long, long time ago comparing wheel strength vs lightness, to find that wheel rigidity improved cornering immensely. How this will impact my car given that I am also changing down a size (and therefore increasing in tire give, but decreasing in weight) is anyone’s guess.

One negative – it took 1 year and 4 months to receive these wheels, apparently due to one lagging wheel. That wheel, which I’ve dubbed the oddball wheel, seems to be unfinished on the outer barrel that the tire covers, and has less of a clearcoat on the inner barrel. Annoying, but I’ll probably re-finish these wheels in a metallic silver one day.

Additionally, I also sourced some OEM BBS SE wheels, one of my all-time favs, to run with some daily driver tires. For comparison, the race set (18×9.5 +28 CE28N’s & 255/35-18 tires) weighed in at 44.9lbs. The daily driver set runs 40.7lbs, for a daily driver weight savings of 4.2lbs each corner – 16.8lbs of reduced unsprung mass! The tires are 225/50-17 Continental TrueContacts Tours (800 AA, 94H), intentionally taller than stock (by 2.1%), to make up for all the mileage I do on shorter tires.


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