Is there a good source of information as to what packages were available in the various models for their various years and what was included in those packages for those years?
In anycase, for now, what does the sports package imply when referring to a 1996 328is? Edmunds.com tells me the /standard/ features include 15" wheels and vinyl bucket seats, so maybe the sports package has 16" wheels, different seats (doesn't look diff. in the pic), and "sports" suspensions? Am I missing or adding anything?
Also, does anyone recommend a good site explaining the effects of various susepensions and/or wheels and tires? I assume "sports" suspensions means lowered suspensions and physics common sense would infer that means less roll and possibly less lift as well. People seem to have an obsession with getting bigger wheels... they have a more rubber on the ground, so I guess they have a better grip, but I thought I also read they're slower to get started (makes sense, but I'd expect them to be slower IN GENERAL, not just accelerating from nothing, since they are, in effect, a change in gear ratio)?
When the people say they're getting larger wheels, anything up to about 18 inch can be installed without changing the overall outside diameter of the tire. The upgrade to larger wheels gives you better handing not only because of a larger contact patch but because there in less sidewall wiggling around.
Also, the stock bmw 15" are quite heavy for a 15" rim. The slower off the line comes from when you put some "dope" 20" spinners on that weigh 40 lbs a piece. If you get a well made replica you can get wheels that weigh the same, or are lighter than stock.
Oh yeah, and contact patches, if you have a lowered suspension the camber on the car isn't set up to be that low, so you will most likely end up with the same size contact patch, or smaller.
__________________ Kevin (President TBEA)
"WAAAAAAARRRRRIORS, come out to plaaaaay."
Oh, wow, that all makes sense now. You'd also gain the arguaby more aesthetic look of not having so much of the tire ballooning out. Is that what's referred to when "low profile" performance tires are mentioned? Bah, I need to read what the first two numbers in the tire specification was again; thta'd probably clear things up.
__________________ DISCLAIMER: I don't yet actually drive a BMW. Currently, I proudly drive a '93 Volvo 940, the inspiration for my love of RWD cars.
225 is the width of the tyre in millimetres. 45 is the aspect ratio of the tyre, ie the height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the width. Z is the speed rating, R means it's a radial (I think) and 18 is the diameter of the rim it sits on, perversely in inches.
So for a given diameter of rim / tyre, as the width goes up the aspect ratio has to come down to give the same height of sidewall. Thus the 255/35x18 on the back of a 330 Sport is the same diameter as the 225/40x18 on the front (give or take a millimeter or so).
Similarly, if you go up on the rim size (say from 15 to 16) then you need to fit lower profile tyres to compensate and keep the overall diameter the same. Otherwise you change the gearing of the car, and you really don't want to do that!
As a guide, the overall diameter of the tyre in millimetres is given by this
diameter = (Width x Aspect x 2) + (25.4 * wheel size)
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