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15 vs 17 wheels on 182 for track/race



  Clio 172
Keen to get a few sets for wheels for my clio 182 track car (never be on road 100% track car) and hoping to get some really feedback (not opinion from your mate next door who drives to the shops each week) on 15” verses 17” wheels for this purpose of talking using R spec or full slick tyres such as Yokohama TD or F200.

Lots of people say 15” look better but not important to me, I’d put a 19” wheel on my Clio 182 if it was quicker.

Car has a full cage and Spax RSX coilovers, rear ARB, front strut bar and brakes will be next on list of upgrades (thinking winmax W5 &W3)

Ignoring 16” as selection is so small but happy to hear this info in mix too
 

Hollidog

ClioSport Club Member
  182
For slicks, you will have slightly less choice at 15" but the tyres will be cheaper. Ginetta Juniors run a Dunlop (might be another brand) slick in 15" so there are used tyres that pop up on ebay for a decent price. 17" you will have more selection but expect to pay more. For semi-slicks, pretty much everything is available in both of those sizes.
17" wheels will also be more expensive, but should you decide to 4-pot convert the front you should have no clearance issues assuming the offsets are ok.
Dynamics-wise, the 17"s will have less sidewall so less flex, which is effectively an undamped spring, less sensitive to pitch and roll. Better overall but for a TD Clio it's likely not the end of the world. Unsprung mass - no idea. Assume 17's will be heavier but will depend entirely on wheel/tyre selection for both.
 

numbers_

ClioSport Club Member
Ideally you want to go to as small a wheel as possible that will give you sufficient brake clearance.
Radical SR3/8 run 200/580 R15 front tyre which is on par with a 205/50/15
 
  Clio 172
Ideally you want to go to as small a wheel as possible that will give you sufficient brake clearance.
Radical SR3/8 run 200/580 R15 front tyre which is on par with a 205/50/15

Are you about to explain why small as possible is better or point me to so reading for this (PM is find if prefer to take offline) as keen to understand this better?
 

numbers_

ClioSport Club Member
Are you about to explain why small as possible is better or point me to so reading for this (PM is find if prefer to take offline) as keen to understand this better?
120mm of rolling circumfrence difference. About 2kg of tyre weight per corner. And then wheels.
 
215/45/17 is 7.4% greater circumference compared with the standard 195/45/16 fitment and 8.6% more circumference compard with 195/50/15. So you effectively raise the gearing of your car, adding top speed (not exactly a Clio's forte anyway) at the expense of acceleration, which will be further exacerbated by the extra weight of your wheels and tyres.

And the sidewall height on a 215/45/17 is exactly the same as 195/50/15, so you've not got any benefit from a lower-profile tyre.

Will 215/45/17 even fit under the rear arches?

I'm guessing your choice of 215/45/17 may be driven by the better selection of tyres in that size, but you'd have to really want a specific tyre to accept the compromises that it brings.
 
Last edited:

Sir_Dave

ClioSport Trader
The Cup Racers of that era ran a 15" Speedline 2118, so that is what 99.9% of "trackcars" on CS run.

Pretty sure i ran 195/50/15's on the Trophy as they were similar rolling radius to the standard 16" turinis.
 

Hollidog

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Increasing circumference decreases acceleration (less torque to the ground) but increases top speed (car travels further per tyre rotation). The wider tyre also increases rolling resistance and will reduce both. I've never gotten close to the 15xmph top speed of the Clio, but this will also increase top speed in each gear, so if you are hitting the limiter between corners - Druids and Graham Hill at Brands for example, I hit the limiter of 3rd on 195/50/15 - a larger circumference would reduce this. Then there is the unsprung weight, which is an entirely separate discussion!
 
Increasing circumference decreases acceleration (less torque to the ground) but increases top speed (car travels further per tyre rotation). The wider tyre also increases rolling resistance and will reduce both. I've never gotten close to the 15xmph top speed of the Clio, but this will also increase top speed in each gear, so if you are hitting the limiter between corners - Druids and Graham Hill at Brands for example, I hit the limiter of 3rd on 195/50/15 - a larger circumference would reduce this. Then there is the unsprung weight, which is an entirely separate discussion!
That's a good point - in a Clio you will hit the top of 3rd at Druids but there isn't enough time to change up and down again for Graham Hill, so a larger wheel/tyre would certainly help in that particular instance.
 

Greeny.

ClioSport Club Member
  182 + 330d
The Cup Racers of that era ran a 15" Speedline 2118, so that is what 99.9% of "trackcars" on CS run.

Pretty sure i ran 195/50/15's on the Trophy as they were similar rolling radius to the standard 16" turinis.

2118's are great if you wanna safely drive into kerbs all day and not have to worry about buckling one, they look good as well, otherwise they are just very heavy and expensive wheels, pro race 1.2's are better in every way imo. IIRC The Cup racers ran embossed ones which were alot lighter.
 
Last edited:

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Pretty much the lightest wheel and tyre package you will find for a Clio is a set of OZ Ultraleggeras in 15” with 195/50 tyres.
Superleggeras are lighter but they don’t make them anymore. So only 2nd hand and very rare.
I wouldn’t even consider a 17” wheel. All Clio racers run 15” and a few run 16” for brake clearance.
You really cannot underestimate the benefit of less unsprung weight.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JB21

ClioSport Club Member
Go with 15s, there's zero gains running 17s.

Plenty of slick tyre choice too. Dunlop, Michelin, MRF, Hankook etc.

I run Hankook ventus F200 on my MR2 in 15s and they are fantastic. 200/580/15 but the actual contact patch are nearly as wide as my 225 45 15 AR1's.
 
  Clio 172
Go with 15s, there's zero gains running 17s.

Plenty of slick tyre choice too. Dunlop, Michelin, MRF, Hankook etc.

I run Hankook ventus F200 on my MR2 in 15s and they are fantastic. 200/580/15 but the actual contact patch are nearly as wide as my 225 45 15 AR1's.

Thanks for he feedback, what width rim are you running with F200 200/580/15 and the AR1 225?
 
  BG 182FF
Keen to get a few sets for wheels for my clio 182 track car (never be on road 100% track car) and hoping to get some really feedback (not opinion from your mate next door who drives to the shops each week) on 15” verses 17” wheels for this purpose of talking using R spec or full slick tyres such as Yokohama TD or F200.

Lots of people say 15” look better but not important to me, I’d put a 19” wheel on my Clio 182 if it was quicker.

Car has a full cage and Spax RSX coilovers, rear ARB, front strut bar and brakes will be next on list of upgrades (thinking winmax W5 &W3)

Ignoring 16” as selection is so small but happy to hear this info in mix too
 

Kev@KAM

ClioSport Trader
  Badass Toyota
Have to say I do like the look of the 16" wheels on my Trophy enough that I'm looking at what lightweight options are available rather than the 15" ultraleggera default
 

JB21

ClioSport Club Member
You can use wheel and tyre sizes to slightly adjust final drive too.

If I use 16s with a 45 sidewall at Oulton it means I can stay in 4th down island straight before hitting the limiter at 107mph. With 15s and a 45 sidewall I'm having to shift into 5th at 103mph just before braking. Its actually quicker lifting at 103 and staying in 4th over pissing about with gear changes just before a fast bend.
 


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