Smaller Offset Wheels or Spacers - How is S3 Handling Affected?


Registered User
My 2010 S3 comes with 18" 7.5J ET54 wheels. These are 11.5kg. My question is to all those with spacers or lower offset wheels fitted - how has it affected the handling of the car? I am particularly interested in the opinions of those who have just fitted spacers with standard wheels.

I am still mulling over a few options for new wheels - BBS CH-R (19" 8.5J ET48, 11kg), MTM Bimoto (19" 8.5J ET50, 13.5kg) and now OZ Ultraleggera (19" 8J ET45, 9kg) as well. There is no OEM wheel that I like more than my current 18" and that would still be a good fit so if I change it will be aftermarket.

In my opinion:

- MTM are easily the best looking, but are heavy and the most expensive. They are well proven on the S3, including lowered cars and won't rub
- OZ are lightest and cheapest and I like how they look - however, I am concerned at the large change in offset (S3 is designed for ET56 wheels)
- BBS are a compromise somewhere in the middle on all aspects and I don't favour the looks over the other two

Useful Link:
There are three important things to remember with relation  to offset


Registered User
Here is a very interesting article on a similar matter:
Effects of Upsized Wheels and Tires Tested - Tech Dept. - Car and Driver

Going from stock to MTM would yield a 12% - 13% increase in wheel weight (where wheel = rim + tyre). Based on the figures in this article I guess the 0-60 would increase by 1 tenths and the 0-100 would increase by 2 or 3 tenths.

I have gone a bit off topic here as I was posting a question about handling! Still, I think it is interesting.
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Registered User
Answers of " had no discernible affect on the handling..." are perfectly valid. I just want to get a feel for what to expect - don't want to spend out on expensive lightweight wheels only to find they don't actually offer an advantage over the heavier, better looking ones...


Registered User
Thanks TimG. I guess my thinking is that the difference between 13.5kg (MTM) and (9kg) OZ was quite a lot and I have heard a lot of people say it affects the car's turn-in which I don;t think is the best as it is.


Registered User
On a car weighing like 1.5T your are really not going to notice a few kg's, particularly on the road! Probably similar to the difference between pinching a loaf before going for a drive!

All weight, particularly unsprung weight is bad, but as said on the track maybe worth the bother on the road debatable IMO....


Registered User
I think I have certainly noticed a difference in steering feel since i installed spacers (10mm front/12mm rear).
Steering feels heavier and certainly has more overall feel to it.
Put this down to increase in track.
I really like it, steering feels great.