One thing I have realised about the Mustang is that everyone I know has made the appearance of their car look completely individual. Whether it’s bonnet scoops, stripes, spoilers, or carbon fibre door mirror covers; they all have a character of their own. I’ve kept mine quiet subtle, carbon fibre deckilid and an RTR rear valance diffuser make the rear of the car discreet. So, a change from the gloss black GT wheels to the new Velgen VF5 light weight alloys would dramatically enhance the appearance of the car. The only problem is it’s an expense swap, as not only do quality wheels cost a pretty penny, but I’d also have to buy a new set of tyres too as the VF5s are a larger 20in as opposed to the standard 19s. Still, it just had to be done…
A trip to Perfect Touch in Waltham Abbey just outside of London was on the agenda. After a few track days at Goodwood and Silverstone I had felt some brake fade, and with 16,000 miles on the car now was time for a brake upgrade! So, while booked in for the wheels and tyres to be fitted, I also ordered a set of Steeda discs and Hawk fast-road pads to give a bit more bite to the car – something which will soon be put to the test as I’ve got a track day at Rockingham coming up soon.
As well as looking great, one big advantage with the Velgen wheels is the weight saving. When we put them on the scales as a comparison, the VF5s (complete with tyres) weighed 4 kgs less per wheel than the standard GT alloys. That’s a massive saving of around 16kgs anyway, but when you consider that 1kg of unsprung weight is worth more than 1kg of chassis weight it’s quite a healthy weight saving. It’s not an exact science as it depends on the car in question, but they say as a rule of thumb you should multiple each wheel’s weight saving by 6.5, not 4. So 1kg per wheel would be an equivalent of 6.5kg chassis weight, or in my case 4×6.5 is equal to 26kg chassis weight saving! And that’s before you start to take all the benefits of reduced rotational mass into account too, such as easier to accelerate and easier to brake!
The wheels on a Mustang are quite wide, especially the rears and Robbie from Steeda advised on 295/35/20 for tyres to ensure optimum performance. That does narrow tyre selection somewhat, but it does mean you’re left with the good stuff (people tend not to make ‘budget’ tyres in this size!) and I opted for Yokohama Advan Sport V105s. A lot of Mustang owners go for Michelin Pilot Sport 4S so choosing a different brand would be interesting to try, and hopefully will prove a good all-rounder for both road and track.
Once the brakes and wheels were fitted we carried out a four-wheel alignment check. Yopu may remember that we did this recently when I had the suspension fitted, but with the new wheels and tyres fitted I wanted to make sure it was all set up exactly as it should to really get the best from the car – like I say, Rockingham is a few days away!
With the brakes bed-in as per Steeda’s advice, the next stop was for a quick photoshoot (of course!) with the new gloss grey Velgens filling the arches a treat – the wide rubber at the rear gives the car a really aggressive stance now.
But no time to stand around admiring, I’ve got a track day at Rockingham to prepare for. More on that next issue…
Perfect Touch Performance Ltd