Cars with slanted wheels, what’s their drama?
If you’ve ever seen a car with the tires angled into the wheel wells like the xxx pictured above, you’ve likely thought, Wow, that looks cool.
Or, Wow, that looks awful.
One thing is for certain, slanted wheels get reactions. Your second thought was likely why someone would do that to their car?
And how do they get around like that?
Believe it or not, there are benefits (as well as setbacks) to slanted wheels.
What is Camber?
Camber angle refers to the angle of a car’s tires relative to the vertical axis when looking at a car head on.
The type of wheel slant we’re talking about today is referred to as negative camber.
This is when the top of a car’s tires is angled inward toward the wheel wells.
When this angle is increased significantly, you have what’s referred to in the tuner world as a stanced car.
Stanced cars are also usually slammed.
This means the body of the car is really close to the ground.
Another feature of a stanced car is that by law they require body kits to keep the wheels partially covered by bodywork.
How Does Slanted Wheels Affect Cornering?
A major benefit of a car with this kind of set up is that it helps you go around corners fast.
The body roll that happens as a car bends a curve causes the tire on a car with slanted wheels to become flat against the road surface.
This increase in contact improves grip and traction, which is the exact combination you need to take on corners at high speeds.
Weight Distribution is Improved with Slanted Wheels
Not only does this increased contact through corners reduce tire wear. But it helps with the even spreading of load.
In races where you corner hard at ferocious speeds, a car with slanted wheels helps you avoid having to use the brake as much.
Cars with Slanted Wheels Have Their Downside Too
As you can see, slanted wheels certainly have their benefit.
But excessive negative camber has its drawbacks which bears consideration to help you assess just how far you should go with slanted wheels.
Slanted wheels can cause the inner part of the tire to wear out faster.
If wearing out your tires prematurely wasn’t bad enough, while properly slanted wheels allow you to brake less through turns.
Your tires reduced contact with the road makes braking and accelerating worse in a straight line.
It also increases the likelihood of tire puncture.
Slanted wheels with negative camber also strain your driveshaft, wheel bearings, CV joints and bushings.
In extreme situations slanted wheels can even cause your wheels to break loose.
Excessive negative cambering also reduces stability when driving straight.
That’s why if you’ve ever watched dune buggies racing the driver never seems to be able to keep the car tracking in a perfectly straight line.
Did you know that most cars come with slightly slanted wheels from factory?
Specifically German cars.
Negative cambering helps improve handling performance.
Even if the wheels on your car aren’t slanted whether for the track; to take on a fast road; or just for show.
You can stance it yourself.
Stancing can turn out surprisingly good performance if you do a lot of cornering.
Just be aware that doing so will result in considerably more tire wear.