As an import auto repair shop from St. Louis, though we recently relocated to Chesterfield, we’re passionate about tuning up vehicles to be their very best. And, while tune-ups largely regard the engine and inner-working components of any vehicle, to a large extent the term “tune-up” could be used to refer to any sort of upgrade available including bigger or smaller wheels and if they’re really necessary on a vehicle. Whether you’re about to buy a new car or you’re trying to optimize the current vehicle occupying your garage, knowing how to get the most out of it is just all in the fun of owning an import auto. Let’s check it out. 

As you may know, wheels have been getting bigger through the decades and, indeed they look better on a vehicle than smaller wheels once did. Hence why the upper-end trim levels tend to consist of larger wheels that certainly increases how attractive the vehicle looks from the outside. You may start to wonder at some point, “How big should these wheels really get?” After all, a truck sized rim on a sedan or even an upper-end SUV wouldn’t really be practical would it? According to Audi, 23 inch wheels are probably the highest you should go. That’s why their newest RS Q8 is outfitted with those specified 23 inch wheels. According to Audi, the 23 inch are optional and are also the biggest set you’ll ever see on an Audi. You may ask “what about their SUV lineup,” to which they’ve already responded that the Audi SUVs will not be getting any bigger, and thus will have no reason to get larger wheels. So, why would Audi take this rather sudden stand on the matter? 

What’s Good About Large Tires and Wheels?

Larger wheels handle better. That feeling of a smooth-controlled ride that most SUVs and crossover models brag about largely can be attributed to the larger wheels. It’s easier to not feel bumps or road jostling when your wheels are huge and roll over these small obstacles as if they’re ants on pavement. Indeed, larger tires have been known to improve handling overall and even assist with keeping high-speed performance more measured and controllable. So why bother curtailing how big a set of tires should get? Especially when the alternative is tiny noisy wheels that provide tight handling but an overall less controllable user experience? 

The Bad About Large Tires

Honestly, the thing you’ll be sacrificing the most with bigger tires will always be your performance. And since you own an import automobile, we find it unlikely that you’ll be the sort to really find that tolerable. After all, bigger tires means a considerable amount of added weight is going onto the vehicle. So while the road may be smoother, that 0-60 acceleration won’t be quite so snappy in exchange. In fact, it’s not just the tire that would be adding more weight to your vehicle. Mostly, larger wheels are added with larger tires and those larger wheels are often made of steel, not aluminum alloy. Steel weighs much more than aluminum alloy and would further reduce the performance of any vehicle no matter how quick and spry the engine is. 

The being said, you won’t just lose performance points for bigger wheels, you’ll lose money too. Bigger wheels cost more money and the bigger you go, the smoother the ride, but the more expensive the wheel and tires will be and the slower your car will be. The initial cost of the equipment likely won’t be exorbitant but the maintenance when you pop a tire or need a new rim will, in fact, be much more expensive than a smaller counterpart would be. 

Why Is Audi Leaning Away From Bigger and Bigger Wheels?

Audi is one of the top producing import automobile brands, and they have a really excellent reputation. There’s a reason that the vehicles Tony Stark drives in the Marvel movies are usually the newest and hottest Audi models — it’s because the cars are made with an exceptional emphasis on detail and the resulting product is high-quality. Most importantly, Audis are known for more than being sleek and outfitted with comfortable seating. They’re really fast. They’re one of the snappiest cars out there with a superior engine and a superior overall design. There’s no reason that Audi would take the emphasis off  the high-quality of their vehicles and the speed that they promise by investing, like other companies in larger and larger wheels. If Audi is topping out at 23”, and not just for their coups and smaller vehicles, then it’s likely they’ve done the math and they’ve found the exact point of diminishing returns. 

Maybe Take a Hint From Audi? 

Regardless of your own opinion on Audi’s products, it’s undeniable that they’re a leading import auto maker for a reason. They have a good reputation because they generally make smart decisions about how they outfit their vehicles. And even if you enjoy a good Mercedes better than an Audi, there’s no reason to assume that Audi has this bit wrong. Until other import automobile makers start taking a side on this issue, is there much of a reason to outfit your vehicle past what seems reasonable to one of the better automobile manufacturers? Probably not. 

Schedule Your Import Auto Repair and Tune-Ups At Luxury Import Auto Repair Specialist in Chesterfield

We know how much your car means to you. We want to make sure that your car lasts as long as possible and performs exactly how you expect it to. If you’re thinking about upgrading the size of your wheels, investing in a proper tune-up and more, reach out to us. Luxury Import Auto Repair Specialist is outfitted with expert mechanics that specialize in each of our different brands. We take pride in being able to get to know you and your car first, before we start making recommendations and finding a proper maintenance schedule that works best for your schedule and your vehicle. Reach out to us today, and become a part of the many happy customers that trust Luxury Import Auto Repair Specialist with their import automobile now.