Has anyone tried 16" wheels on their A3 e-tron?

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I run a set of 16" wheels and snow tires for winter.

I got the wheels as new-old-stock off ebay ($356.50 total for all four including shipping and then I had four 215/55-16 Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 mounted. These were, IIRC, a wheel originally for an earlier A3 from before 2010.

I had the dealer put them on before taking delivery on a snowy day in December of 2017. Here's a picture I took that night.


View attachment 16
Lookin good! Gotta say I do love that classic 5 spoke Audi wheel. I would totally run that all year!
 
btw another thing to be thankful for is that the TPMS system doesn't require physical sensors to be installed in the wheels. I previously had a BMW (E92) and the thought of having to replace TPMS sensors after 5 yrs or so (and multiply that by 2 for the winter set) was a deal breaker when I was done with that car together with the awful awful run flat tires. My first BMW and most likely the last... The build quality I found was also not up to the Audi's standard.
I did a lot of research back in the day when it was time to move up the badge ladder. From VW I was going to go for an M3 or an S4. The B8 S4 was one of the nicest cars I’ve ever owned and likely to ever own. BMW no thanks!

I am definitely happy the tpms doesn’t require physical sensors in the wheels. My understanding is that the car measures wheel rotations and compares the rate of rotations to other wheels.

When one of the wheels rotates more times than the others due to it having a smaller diameter it’ll throw the tpms light and tell you what corner. The downside to this system is that you cannot actually measure current PSI which would be very nice but not sure it’s worth the extra hassle.

Tire shops tend to break them and they cost a lot to replace.
 
I actually went the other direction and retrofitted direct TPMS on my MQB Mk7 GSW....liked it so much that I put it on our A3 e-tron as well.
Cost wasn't terrible - sensors are like $10ea, and the module and wiring is another $40. Some coding in VCDS and it worked....on the GSW. On the A3 e-tron (which is much the same car as the GSW), though...the configuration of the MIB made it a nightmare. I did get it to work - showing tire pressures (but tire temp never worked) - but with more testing (purposely deflating one tire a bit), as soon as it popped up the error, it required VCDS to reset it (not necessary in my GSW).

So, I gave up and went back to the old-fashioned indirect TPMS (which uses the ABS sensor speed at each wheel).
 
I did a lot of research back in the day when it was time to move up the badge ladder. From VW I was going to go for an M3 or an S4. The B8 S4 was one of the nicest cars I’ve ever owned and likely to ever own. BMW no thanks!

I am definitely happy the tpms doesn’t require physical sensors in the wheels. My understanding is that the car measures wheel rotations and compares the rate of rotations to other wheels.

When one of the wheels rotates more times than the others due to it having a smaller diameter it’ll throw the tpms light and tell you what corner. The downside to this system is that you cannot actually measure current PSI which would be very nice but not sure it’s worth the extra hassle.

Tire shops tend to break them and they cost a lot to replace.
ahem to measure PSI I just use those old fashioned thingies that have been around since the dawn of the automobile... :p actually this reminds me of one of my friends who had an older A3 with the 2.0T and an oil consumption problem. He thought that the oil pressure light was the same thing as a low oil level warning... (not really but perhaps in an indirect way) so he only added oil when he got an oil pressure warning... somehow that engine managed to survive and never blew up by the time that he sold it.
 
Hey all!

I received the new wheels and tires. First things first, the OEM 18" wheel with regular tire mounted weighs 51.7lbs! The 16" BBS wheels with the usually heavier run flat tire is weighing in at 42.2lbs. We are talking about a 9.5lbs reduction of rotational mass from each corner. That's a total of 38lbs of rotational mass.

I had some trouble sleeping last night so I got up extra early to mount the new wheels on the A3e and I'm very pleased with the aesthetics. Then, I took her for a drive to run some errands. The first thing I noticed, is how little effort the car had to put in to get going, shaving off 38lbs of rotational mass has made a very clear and obvious difference. I live up a pretty steep and long hill, I have to climb about 700ft to get to my house from the highway and the difference was again, very noticeable, she climbs up the hill with a lot less effort. I tend to try and keep the power gauge at around 25% for economy and climbing up the hill with that much was a slow affair. Well, I'm happy to report that the car zips up at least a few mph quicker at the same 25% power.

I had some concern about the run flat decision I had made as they are known to be stiffer than regular tires, but all that was erased within a few seconds of driving. The car is much more compliant over the horrible bay area roads and is also significantly more quiet as a result. This is how this car should feel in my humble opinion. The steering has lightened up which puts less stress on the steering components in slow speed full lock situations which I do a lot of to get the car where it needs to be parked.

Additionally, the suspension seems to be slightly more focused as it's no longer pushing back on the larger and heavier wheels. I couldn't be happier with the decision I made. The 16" wheels had no issues clearing the front brake calipers with a safe amount of room and driving this car has become so much more comfortable. I'm a happy camper.

I will post a picture when I get the chance. Personally, I think driving this car with 18" wheels is a mistake that can cause a lot of extra and unnecessary wear and tear to your ride. Obviously, everyone has their preferences and I respect them for it, hopefully someone here disagrees with me because now I have a set of OEM 18s available for sale with a good amount of tread left, I'll likely go to vortex and craigslist to post up the wheels but let me know if anyone here has any interest in them.

I'll make sure to come back for more feedback after some time passes to make sure you get a longer term opinion as well. Cheers.
Have you noticed any increases in total EV range or overall MPG improvements with the new setup?

I went the other direction with my E-Golf and went from 16" wheels with the OEM Eco tires to 19" Pretoria wheels with MAX performance summer tires. While the car looked awesome and the grip was insane, my total range was cut from 124 miles to about 80. The acceleration of the E-Golf also felt much more muted and asthmatic. I went back to the 16" Astana to get my range back.

I'm curious how going your route of 16" BBS wheels with Michelin Energy Saver tires would perform. :D
 
Have you noticed any increases in total EV range or overall MPG improvements with the new setup?

I went the other direction with my E-Golf and went from 16" wheels with the OEM Eco tires to 19" Pretoria wheels with MAX performance summer tires. While the car looked awesome and the grip was insane, my total range was cut from 124 miles to about 80. The acceleration of the E-Golf also felt much more muted and asthmatic. I went back to the 16" Astana to get my range back.

I'm curious how going your route of 16" BBS wheels with Michelin Energy Saver tires would perform. :D
I haven't done any scientific A/B testing, but yes, I do believe I have gained range with this setup. The car is lighter on it's feet. Rotational mass reduction has always worked wonders in my experience and my philosophy has been that the wheels only need to be as large as they need to be to clear the brake calipers

I believe you, when you say the range decreased that much after up sizing the wheels. Do you remember the weight difference between the 16s and 19s?

I'm still very happy with the 16" setup I got, even with the run flats, it's a much improved quality of life. If you chose to reduce weight and rolling resistence, I would love to hear your impressions after some time behind the wheel.
 
Going by the VW wheel specs I found online, the 16" Astana wheels are 20.5 lbs while the 19" Pretoria's are 22.2 lbs.

With tires, the 16" with Ecopia EP422 Plus tires weigh in at around 38 lbs each with 19K miles of wear on them. The 19" Pretoria's with Continental ContiSportContact 5P tires were around 42 lbs each.

Yeah...I increased the amount of rotational mass on the car along with super sticky tires. Not the brightest move on my part in terms of economy but like I said, it looked awesome and the E-Golf handled like it was on rails! :p

Keep us updated if you put together range / MPG data comparisons!
 
Going by the VW wheel specs I found online, the 16" Astana wheels are 20.5 lbs while the 19" Pretoria's are 22.2 lbs.

With tires, the 16" with Ecopia EP422 Plus tires weigh in at around 38 lbs each with 19K miles of wear on them. The 19" Pretoria's with Continental ContiSportContact 5P tires were around 42 lbs each.

Yeah...I increased the amount of rotational mass on the car along with super sticky tires. Not the brightest move on my part in terms of economy but like I said, it looked awesome and the E-Golf handled like it was on rails! :p

Keep us updated if you put together range / MPG data comparisons!

It's all about what you're after. Everyone is entitled to their wishes, desires and shit, we all work hard for our cash, we can spend it how we like and no justification is necessary.
 
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