Alternative light-weight 15-inch wheels
When I was researching light weight 15” wheels, I came across an interesting Mini Cooper wheel that is a direct bolt-on for the Mirage.
First generation Mini Coopers (through the 2006 model year) were available with a 15x5.5” alloy wheel that only weighs 12 pounds. For comparison, a 14x4.5 Mirage alloy wheel weighs 13 pounds. These Mini wheels have the same bolt pattern and hub bore as Mirage wheels, so they are a direct bolt-on. These aren’t your average low-quality OEM wheels. They were manufactured in Italy for BMW.
Here’s what the wheel looks like…
Here are the wheel specifications:
Size: 15 x 5.5”
Bolt Pattern: 4 x 100
Center Bore: 56.1mm
Weight: 12 lbs
These are known as “R81” or “Imola” wheels. You can usually find these on eBay or Craigslist. I’ve seen very nice sets for $150-$200. Some sellers seem to know these are popular for people looking for light wheels…so don’t always expect to find them for pocket change. If you’re lucky you’ll run into someone who doesn’t know what they are and you might score a deal. This is not a bad price for a nice-looking, light weight, strong, bolt-on alloy wheel.
Here’s a diagram that shows what they look like when compared to the OEM Mirage 14x4.5 alloy wheels…
These Mini wheels have about the same offset as Mirage wheels, but because they are 1 inch wider, they will sit out about ½” further than the stock wheels. Another inch would be perfect, but at least this is moving in the right direction!
These wheels will work with any 15” tire from a 175 up through a 195. If you’re wondering about fuel economy with 15” wheels, just use good low rolling resistance tires on these wheels and you may not even notice a reduction in mpg vs. 14” wheels with Enasaves.
UPDATE: THIS post has a picture of a forum member's Mirage with these wheels installed.
Here are photos of these wheels on other cars...
Last edited by Top_Fuel; 02-11-2019 at 06:53 PM.
View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.2 mpg (US) ... 21.7 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 61.4 mpg (Imp)