Jamie’s chang­ing things up a bit with the RS, start­ing with new wheels and tyres…

Fast Ford - - Fast Fleet -

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!

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