So, I've been considering taking the leap and plus sizing my wheels. I thought, not only do larger wheels and low profile tires look better, but they handle better. The answer is yes and no. Like many things, plus-sizing wheels is a trade-off. While less sidewall does improve steering response by reducing sidewall flex, you give up straight-line performance from the added mass.
Plus-sizing wheels takes a two-fold hit to acceleration from the fact that larger wheels are usually heavier, but also because the majority of the weight is farther away from the center of rotation. Take a weight on a string, and spin it around. You'll notice it takes more energy to spin the same weight on a larger length of string, so even if you get larger diameter wheels that weigh the same as your old wheels, it still adversely affects acceleration.
Currently, my Mirage is fitted with 9.7 lb 13" Enkei wheels made for the Civic VX, with 175/70/13 General Altimax RT43 tires weighing about 14 lbs each. It actually gets up off the line rather well, and I have no trouble shifting at 2500 RPM while not getting run over by cars behind me. If I let it go up to 3k, I can typically pull out in front of others. With only 74 ponies, that's a good thing.
But, of course, the allure of reduced sidewall deflection and aesthetic properties of bigger wheels and low-pro tires has me wondering if I should take the leap and try out bigger wheels and stickier tires at the expense of acceleration and fuel economy.
What are your thoughts?
View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 49.2 mpg (US) ... 20.9 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.1 mpg (Imp)