Choosing wheels and tires is such an important decision that greatly affects the potential of a car. We improve the performance and visual presence of our FD Mazda RX-7 with beautiful T-D6 wheels from Titan 7 and try out Continental’s new 200-treadwear tire, the Extremecontact Force.
I have always stressed the importance of wheels and tires and have written many articles on the subject. From the article: Does Wheel Stiffness Affect Performance? that covers why stiffness matters in a wheel, to How to PROPERLY select and size TIRES for PERFORMANCE and the technology that goes into creating bespoke tires in the article Not All Cup 2s Are Created Equal.
This is because tires affect so much about the performance, handling, grip, ride quality, and safety of a car. It’s so important to be an educated buyer and select the best tire for your application and budget, but also to look at tires as an INVESTMENT.
The Titan 7 T-D6 wheel is a work of art. Its classic 6-spoke design is brought into the 21st century with design elements that are more modern, stiffer, and stronger.
Continental Tire’s purchase of Hoosier Racing Tires has influenced their product offerings over the years. Most recently with Continental’s first submission in the highly competitive 200 treadwear rating “Street” class of tire with their new Extremecontact Force. We were eager to see what kind of magic Hoosier was able to whip up.
When it came to consulting on Project FD RX-7, the stock wheels and tires raised a red flag. Not because there’s anything necessarily wrong with the stock wheels; although…
…some of them are prone to cracking. Mazda changed manufacturers halfway through the 1993 production and the lighter “non-reinforced” wheels (on the left) are notorious for cracking compared to the 1.5lb heavier, “reinforced” wheels (on the right). The lighter wheels have “PFD” stamped on them and are not recommended for hard cornering on autocrosses or track use. However, under extreme use, the reinforced wheels have been known to crack too.
This RX-7 had a pair of reinforced and non-reinforced wheels. Since the plan is to benchmark the car on track in a close to stock form, ditching the OEM wheels was a necessity.
Great article. I can’t wait for the track test. I am also looking at some Titan 7 made wheels for my 08 Miata. Evasive Motorsports has a custom line made for them by Titan. 17×10 +47 EVS Tuning 52R, which should need just a 3-5mm spacer to fit the NC properly. They are meant for S2000’s, but luckily that offset is very close to what the NC’s need, too.
Where are the Titan’s made?
Minor correction: the reinforced wheel is on the left, unreinforced on the right.
Valve stems are placed where they are most aesthetic on modern aluminum wheels, not on the heavy spot of the wheel. It’s nice to be consistent about aligning the dot on the tire with the valve stem but it really means nothing.
That’s all well and good but the author didn’t even mention the dot.
I think he was just saying that on pro race cars, they make a mark on the tire at the valve stem to keep an eye on slip.
Correct, it’s easy to make a small line with a paint pen to mark the valve stem position to monitor tire slippage on the wheel.