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Does car wheel size affect the performance?

There are cars with larger wheel size while some has a small wheel. You might wonder if car wheel size affect the performance of the car. Generally speaking, larger wheels allow for stiffer suspension setups, as they have less sidewall flex.

Tire sidewalls can “roll over” during hard cornering, especially as they become tall. Larger wheels allow for lower profile tires, and low-pro tires allow for stiffer suspension setups and better handling.

However, there are a lot of moving parts here (bad pun, I know), so there are a few things to consider:

Heavier wheels have greater rotating mass, which means they can hamper acceleration. The difference between a 17″ and 18″ wheel isn’t usually too significant, but if you take 15’s off an old Civic and put 20’s on in their place, you’ll note a decrease in acceleration…but you’ll look cool as hell!

Tire width helps with traction, at least in normal driving conditions (wide tires aren’t too helpful in the rain, for example). Hence, a high horsepower Countach would have wide tires.

If you look at wheel diameters, they’ve exploded in the last 20 years. 15″ rims were common in the early 90’s, now 17″ rims are common. This is mostly about styling, but it’s important to note that larger wheels are often needed to fit around large disc brake systems.

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