RIMS & RUBBER
Jamie’s changing things up a bit with the RS, starting with new wheels and tyres…
What is it they say makes a car? Wheels! Yes, wheels definitely can make or break the way a car looks. Now, I really liked the way the car looked in its previous guise, but one of the problems with having such a healthy and enthusiastic following like the one the fast Ford scene enjoys, is that you can’t sit still and rest on your laurels. Cars are constantly evolving, and the scene is relentlessly pressing forward, so in order to keep up with it all I've decided to give the RS a freshen-up and a soon-to-be new look (hopefully in time to unveil for Trax later in the year!)
And wheels are also one of the easiest things to change to give your car a fresh new look, so it’s no surprise new rims were the first thing on my shopping list.
Regular readers will know I’ve had my eye on a set of Velgen’s Classic5 design for a few months now, and I’m chuffed to bits to report that they’re here and fitted! The Classic5 is, as the name suggests, a simple, classic, five-spoke design – and I think they suit the Mk3 RS absolutely perfectly. Furthermore, I’m unlikely to bump into many other cars with the same wheels fitted, as production has been limited to just 38 sets in RS fitment; 20 in gunmetal grey, and just 18 in matt black.
After speaking with Robbie at Steeda UK – the official UK distributor for Velgen wheels – back in January at Autosport International, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get new alloys fitted. And, when they arrived just a few days before Ford Fair, it was all hands to the pump to get them fitted before the show.
But, of course, you can’t fit wheels without tyres. So, rather than remove the old tyres from the old wheels and re-fit them, it made sense to order a nice new set. And, there could only be one tyre to fit; Toyo’s highly rated R888R.
I’ve always wanted to fit a set of these to a car of my own, but until now I never really felt I had a car that deserved such great rubber (you can’t really fit them to a 1.0 litre Fiesta or a Mondeo Estate, can you?). So, I ordered a set in the RS’s original 235/35R19 size, and Toyo’s super-fast delivery meant I could get the wheels and tyres all mounted and fitted in time for Ford Fair.
The drive to and from Silverstone was awesome. Yes, there is a tad more road noise from the R888Rs, but the grip they serve up is excellent – and that’s just on the road at normal operating temps. I can’t wait to get them all hot and sticky to see what they’re really capable of.
Like I say, I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for this car in the next few weeks, but even if none of that comes off, these new wheels and tyres have already made a huge improvement to how the RS looks and handles. I love it!