Big wheels, Offset, Spacers etc. Need some advise please?!?


winning the school run grand prix
Jul 16, 2007
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Hi all, been a member here for a while, but not long purchased my first Audi :D I need to call upon your combined knowledge of your own vehicles (an easy topic:thumbsup:) to help me with something I'm considering.

I'm looking at buying some 18's or 19's for my 53 plate 8P A3 TDi. The standard 17" wheels are ugly; and with such big arches just look daft. I've done lots of searching and reading but haven't managed to find a definitive answer.

I know that the standard A3/S3 wheels have an offset of somewhere between 42-55, but what wheel size is this based on?!? I'm thinking that the standard wheels; in 16", 17", 18" and 19"(?) will be different widths and so will have a different offset, so can anyone shed some light on what the different offsets are to match the different wheel widths?

I have the standard 17's at the moment, and they have 225/45R17 tyres, which leads me to think they are 17x7.5 or wider. Does anybody know for sure without me taking them off and reading the text stamped in the back?

Also, lots of you folks have fitted spacers to make your wheels 'fill' the arches better, especially on the rear. The most common choice seems to be 20mm rear and 8-15mm front. What wheel width and offset is this based on?

As some of you will have realised after these questions, I am trying to do something different and am working out the possibilities with regards to wheels from other manufacturers cars. I have something in mind, but don't want to say until I can show some pics of them (if my idea works).

Your help is greatly appreciated.
I'll tell you straightaway: I won't be much help!!

My SE A3 2.0tdi came with the 16" wheels. Now that really did look ugly!! The only way I can help is by telling you what I went for.

My 16's were 6.5J wide and the ET50.

I have now fitted 18" Genuine RS6 wheels. They did come from an A4. They are 8" wide and the ET is 43. They do fill the arches beautifully and the bigger offset has helped this too. I have no trouble with rubbing or anything. The only thing is my car looks like an allroad as 18s on standard SE suspension looks stupid! See:

I'm getting it lowered 30mm on the Eibach Pro-kit tommorow by the JBS guys in Chesterfield. ***Touch wood** lowered by 30mm shouldn't cause any problems either. And I do want to keep the OEM look.
The SE's suspension is 0mm (standard height), your sport suspension is lowered -15mm, and the Sline is lowered by -25mm. Not 100% sure on the S3 but i think that is -25mm too.
You will find that the ET's on A3 wheels are in the 50's. If you manage to find 18's off an A3 you will have no problem lowering it 30mm but you will need spacers to fill the arches in nicely.
Anyhow, I'm far from being an expert but I'm sure someone will explain things in a bit more detail! Good luck and enjoy modding!
the standard s-line rims are 7.5x17 with 225/45-17

I have 8x19 ET44 with 215/35-19 and no rubbing, so i would advise you to get this for 19".

8.5x19 with 215 tyres should work if you have ET45 or higher and remove the screws in your arches.

All this is based on you lowering your car with Eibach Sportlines 50mm drop.
Do you think a 9.5 (rear) with an ET28 stands a chance on an S3?
Sorry to highjack the thread but would these wheels fit ok on my A3 S-line without rubbing? 18 x 7 1/2 et 54 from a MK5 Golf.
Edit.. Done a search and found the answer.:thumbsup:
so you think 18x8.5J on a ET35 with 225/4oR18 is gonna stick out and rub on the arch??

even without being lowered??
i got et42 on the new s3 and they rub just a little bit, i had to take the screws out of the back wheel arch,, but i would try et45 ,,with 19"x 8 and 235 tyres
ive got a new s3 and am toying with two options, 1 getting spacers to bring the standard 18s out in the arch a bit to fill them more and 2, getting 19s but worry what it will look like on standard s3 suspension? i know the s3 is lower than other models, just wondered if it would need lowering on 19s to look good? my head tells me to get the spacers, keep the ride decent and save money. or, get some decent 19s that make it stand out more and fill the arches. its a toughie!:think:

any pictures from anyone with different ideas of the best solution?
very nice!!!
Ok, well having been persuaded off using AMG alloys due to the very low offset...

what do folks reckon to these:
in 19x8J with 235/35R19 rubber?

On this:
very nice mate what model are these wheels by the way? i dont expect they will be cheap tho BBS never are! lovely wheels tho mate.
BBS CH in Anthracite. Decided against them in the end due to sh!t roads round here (and course the £1000 difference in price wasn't a factor ;))

Gone for 18x8.5J ET45 R8 Replica's in Gunmetal with 225/40R18 rubber. They are the closest I could find to the AMG wheels I wanted. I'll put some pics up tomorrow once fitted

i just found these with et 50 i think they fit perfect,,