My phone rang. It was Uzzi, one of our marketing guys.
“What’s up Uzzi?”
“I was just talking to our friend over at Vorsteiner. I mentioned that you are driving our new F80 M3 up to Monterey for Car Week. He wanted to know if you want to show off some Vorsteiner wheels while you’re up there.”
“Uh yes, why are you even asking me?” I replied.
If you don’t know about Vorsteiner, you should. They create aftermarket parts for luxury and sport vehicles. They are based in California and they have become one of the most respected producers of high end aerodynamic components, wheels, and accessories.
My Venue for showing off their rims was to be the weekend grand finale of Monterey’s Car Week. I’ll spare you all the details, but know that Car Week is awesome.
My whip for the weekend was the brand new 2015 F80 BMW M3. I knew I’d be turning heads since I figured I’d be one of a whopping two people in Monterey with an F80. But throwing on Vorsteiner’s new 20 inch VSR-163’s upped the game. I was ready.
Impressions? Here we go.
According to Vorsteiner their design is “race inspired.” They are a 10 spoke, one piece construction and therefore, very reliable.
The color of these VSR’s pretty much matched my stock setup and I think that lended to their almost conventional look. Vorsteiner says the color is “Gloss Brushed Shadow.” When picking my long term set out, I’d personally opt for a colored wheel in order to set the car apart.
Regardless of my opinions, while cruising through Monterey, Carmel, and Pebble Beach over the course of Car Weekend I got countless compliments on the wheel setup. Everyone who commented on the wheels had no difficulty recognizing that they were after market, or at least special. All compliments were positive and at some point during the trip I lost count of how many. If I had to guess, over 2 dozen.
The only thing keeping the VSR’s from being perfect on the car however, was my fitment and the tire size. Mounted on my stock setup, the front gap was noticeable. Fitment on the rear however, was pretty close to where I’d personally like to see it. Also, the tires needed to be slightly lower profile to provide the proper “show car” stance. All of this is subjective, but I like to pride myself on having a tasteful eye.
On a somewhat side note, I also attended Big SoCal Euro a few weeks later. While there I saw a couple of F80 M3’s on Vorsteiner 20’s. They all looked solid because their fitment was right.
I will suggest that 20’s are the largest you can get away with on an F80.
Ride and Handling
Disclaimer. We didn’t get the active suspension when we ordered the car. We planned to swap the suspension bits pretty quickly, so no sense in spending more money for parts we’d be ripping out.
That aside, the ride on the 20 inch Vorsteiner VSR-163’s, was noticeably more jarring than riding on the stock BBS 18’s. I can’t say that’s the fault of the wheel size though, because perhaps there was just a tire pressure difference between the two sets. Frankly I didn’t check. Regardless, every bump and dip was felt. You definitely needed an empty bladder to enjoy your time in the car.
We tested at a variety of speeds over the course of our nearly 1,000 miles on the setup. From hours of highway driving, to a spirited run down PCH through Big Sur’s splendor, handling was point on. VSR-163’s are a lightweight forged race wheel designed for performance. And even at 20 inches, they deliver reliable tracking without the dodgy darting pulls of similarly sized, multi-piece, heavier wheel setups.
To buy or not to buy? In our consumerist culture, that is the question.
I would strongly consider Vorsteiner’s wheel options when looking to outfit your sporty whatever. They may not be the most flashy, or even the lightest weight, and they’re definitely not the cheapest. What they are is a high-quality, premium wheel that will impress while performing solidly at the same time.
Words: Niel Mclean and Noah Nunamaker