Cue the blizzards - we've swapped the weedy winter wheels/tyres on the Golf GTI for the proper Edition 35 18s
OY61 EBM calmly awaits its fate
You could call it a fit of vanity, or maybe more charitably a sensible reaction to the rather mild winter temperatures, but whatever the reason the PH Fleet Golf GTI Edition 35 now wears a set of summer rubber. And the 18-inch alloys that nature (all right, the VW design department) always intended for it.
Rusty-C gets stuck in to winter wheels
Yes, we know that mid-January is a bit of a brave time to be dumping winter rubber in favour of tyres that serve their best in more clement weather, but there is method to our apparent madness.
Firstly, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D rubber is designed to give its best on at or below the 7C mark, so when temperatures are skittering into double figures these tyres simply aren't the right choice. Secondly, if we played it safe and really waited until genuinely warm weather, we wouldn't be able to assess properly how much difference the winter rubber makes over 'normal' tyres in cold conditions.
Looking better already?
Thirdly, there is the undeniable aspect of vanity. Plenty of PHers - and others - have commented in the two months we've had the car that, to put it bluntly, the wheels look a bit <expletive deleted>. So it's time for the Golf GTI Edition 35 to stop looking like a Polo Bluemotion - or a 1.6 S halfway through a Max Power makeover - and stand up for itself a bit more in visual terms.
It's too early to give you an in-depth assessment of how the new wheels and tyres compare with the old set (expect that in the next PH Fleet report in a few weeks time), other than to say that there is an immediately obvious extra degree of bite on turn-in, in dry conditions, at least.
A fine set of alloys?
What we can say with some confidence, however, is that myself and PH classified admin guru Rusty-C (the chap in the pics) will not be opening a tyre-fitting business any time soon. We were at it 45 minutes and had got through just one and a half wheels before Haymarket facilities man Richard took pity on us and helped out with the rest. We would probably still be struggling with the final locking wheel nut if he hadn't been there...
We've managed it now, however, and have but one question for you: whaddaya think?