So we finally got around to painting the wheels and fitting new tyres. The car looks great on 14 inchers all round but that is only half the story. Something truly magical has happened to the car, it has been transformed from a track day brute that reluctantly put up with the daily commute to a twinkle toed, lightweight delight. It now exudes that classic Alfa grab-it-by-the-scruff-neck-and-fling-it-at-the-next-corner vibe and every trip is a blast.
How did this transformation come about? Well we went from a set of lovely Saab sourced 15 inch steelies fitted with awesomely grippy 195/55 r15 Toyo Proxes to a set of OEM 14 inchers with more humble Dunlop 185/65s. So a drop of an inch in diameter, 10mm in width and 10mm in profile has resulted in a completely different car.
Of course the other change is that we have gone from silver steel wheels to black steel wheels and we just wonder whether some black steelie magic happened during this process, and that’s the real reason the car is so different.
We’re looking forward to giving the previous owner a drive in the Giulia – reckon he’ll want to buy it back!
Perhaps it’s the reduction of unsprung weight that made the difference. I also found that while wider tyres may translate into lower lap times due to higher grip, in some cases they affect ride comfort and have a detrimental effect on handling. Ask any sensible Pug GTI owner – most of those who put 15 inchers on a 106 GTI did so for the looks and not for the handling (which is great with the incredibly light factory 14 inch alloys). If I ever get a 106 (and I’m looking for one now) I’ll put some OEM Citroen steelies on (which are actually made from aluminium).
Thanks Firelfy. I think unsprung weight could be it – those Saab steelies with the Toyos are incredibly heavy.
Good luck with the 106 hunting – make it a Rallye!