Whats the optimum size (for handling) for the rims and tyres fitted to a Golf Syncro? 19″ rims may be deemed to look good (in some people’s eyes), but ride would be truly appalling, assuming suitable tyres could be found!
Original steels are too small, and a larger rim, in alloy, will be better. But should this be a 15″, or 16″ rim? How wide should it be? Technically I could specify rims of different diameters and widths, but what feels and handles right on a Syncro? And what fits without silly modification?
I’m approaching this from an on-tarmac point of view, and assuming that suspension will also be [sensibly] modified.
195×50-15 are the optimum size for the tyres, with rims to suit, these sizes are readily available for not a lot of money.
You dont really need any larger than 195 as you are driving through all 4 of them, or maybe 205 tyres if you really feel the need to go that little bit bigger.
Mind you once you start going above 15 inch rims & and 195/205 tyres things start getting a lot more expensive.
195/50/r15’s are optimum for all round use, there is plenty of room behind them for brakes, plenty of room in the arch for them, go wider and aquaplaning can become an issue in the wet.
Mk2 GTI 16V for North America came with 205/50-15 on BBS 15×6.5 alloys. They provided good handling and with good tires, acceptable wet performance. I would not recomend going to 16″ or 17″ unless the roads you travel are in perfect condition. Ride quality is poor on rough roads with 35 or 40 series tires.
I’ve fitted VW ‘Sebring’ rims to mine. These were fitted to the Golf Rallye and certain Corrados. They fit over the 280mm front brakes and are pretty discrete. You can also get the 15″ Rallye steel wheels for that ultimate OEM+ look, but they’re more rare in the UK than the Sebring rims.
Drop it by about 40mm, with slightly stiffer springs and replace the Golf Syncro rear ARB with a Rallye Golf ARB – the handling bias of the car goes from pig-understeer to lift and drift, with lift-off oversteer if you’re really brutal. The Rallye ARB is an absolute must for your suspension mods – it makes the car a really joyful driving experience – as standard you’ll be so frustrated with it due to the pre-ponderance of understeer – it’s yucky.
Thanks for the advice… I had thought of 16s, but I’m quite happy to go with the wisdom based on experience.
15s it is. And 40mm lower, Rallye rear ARB… [:p]