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I originally posted this over on focusst.org, but maybe more eyes will = more input :)

One of the things I've been curious about is how the RS will handle winter duty. The AWD will obviously be superior to FWD, but those 35 series Michelin PSS tires probably won't do to well in a Wisconsin winter. So this makes me wonder what the options would be for winter. Unfortunately, according to this interview, transferring my current 17" SE wheels is out

Q: The break calipers, will they all be in Nitrous Blue?
A: All cars will come with Nitrous Blue capers. Front brakes are 13.8 in with four pot Brembos up front.

Q: Wheels Size, for us guys with ST's will our 18's cross over, what's the smallest wheel we can run?
A: The smallest wheel you'll be able to run is an 18 in wheel. 17's won't fit, not positive, but the ST wheels should fit.
Just thinking "out loud" here. I'd probably end up transferring my current 18" 57Xtreme Gram Lights wheels over since I much prefer them to either of the options I've seen so far and the prospect of driving around here on 35 series tires doesn't sound very appealing. But I don't really want to use those for winter (for wear & tear and convenient swapping) so I'd probably end up purchasing yet another set of 18" wheels for winter duty. Not exactly ideal, but that's as small as the brakes will allow. If wheel fitment is mostly unchanged from the ST, would 45 series tires fit on 18" wheels without rubbing issues? If I can't go with 17's, I'd at least like a larger sidewall for winter duty.

Anyone else have thoughts on this? Am I overthinking it?

Somewhat related: I wonder how wide the standard 19" wheels will be. We know the tires will be 235/35-19s, but will the wheels be 9" or 9.5"? I also wonder if the turning radius will still be worse than a truck...
 

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Good questions - I'm definitely going to have two sets of rims (I'll probably do 19's for AutoX and 18's for winter duty to start). I really wish the options/packages list would come out so I have something new to obsess over!

Regarding the turning radius, I think the best way to keep it "tight" is put it in drift mode :)
 

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I might have to convert my Titanium Sport Wheels (5 star) to snows. What I put on them TBD but I think just to bury people at the lights, some studded hakkapeliittas are in order.
I thought about doing the same but the five spoke fronts won't clear the massive brake calipers. Nor will the OEM ST 18 inch wheels which have the same offset.

Found this out first hand over in the FoST.org site from Loki C346.
 

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I spoke with the director of marketing, he said he thought the Focus ST 18 would fit. There sure are a lot of mules running around with them, so I guess we won't know for sure until someone tries.
 

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Maybe if the offset is the problem (as in the spokes of the wheels not clearing the caliper) a spacer behind the wheel may address that. Would not run it like that for performance driving, but for winter I would think it would be OK.
 

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Maybe if the offset is the problem (as in the spokes of the wheels not clearing the caliper) a spacer behind the wheel may address that. Would not run it like that for performance driving, but for winter I would think it would be OK.
The offset is the issue. I read that we'll need to be looking for a 18" wheels with less than 47 mm offset for the Brembos.
 

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View attachment 664

I might have to convert my Titanium Sport Wheels (5 star) to snows. What I put on them TBD but I think just to bury people at the lights, some studded hakkapeliittas are in order.
That will be perfect if you drive a lot on unplowed roads.
It may drive you insane on dry pavement or may not be legal where you drive.
Performance winter tires are probably better match for RS.

Krzys
 

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Hard packed, snow covered roads, check, legal in my state, check, good even when the roads are not covered in snow, check. Saving up for them right now!
 

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My roads are usually covered in snow. The 8's would be overkill for anyone that doesent live in snow country. Highest annual snowfall of any urban area in the USA is what I have to contend with.
 

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I may pick up a set of the Nokian R2's, but I may also think about leaning toward a performance snow tire considering the RS will be AWD. Tires are always changing every season so I will wait until we can find out about the ST wheels and also what is around at that time. I ran LM60s on my Balt, they were very good. I decided to go full snows with the ST running Mich X-ice3's, also very good and never got stuck besides the time when I tried to smash through a 3 foot high 4 foot deep berm due to ground clearance but still managed to rock my way out of it surprisingly.
 

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The current plan is to pick up a set of TSW Interlagos 18" 45mm offset, and a set of performance winter tires. Barring that, if the OEM Focus ST wheels fit, those would be a good choice too as I like the OEM look.
 

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"Ford Performance engineers have approved the Michelin 225/40R18 Pilot Alpin PA4 winter tires and developed an 18" RS alloy wheel for cold weather applications. In Canada, a winter tire/ wheel package will be standard equipment on the Focus RS and will be shipped separately to the dealership." This is an excerpt from the Canadian Dealers Product Overview. We get only the fully loaded version including an RS car cover.
 

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My Current Megane RS has Pirelli PZERO winter Tires, and if it is anything above 10° C youll have no grip. Normal mode, driving from the lights? Enjoy no Grip.
 

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Never heard about winter PZERO. Sottozero, Snowsport, Snowcontrol - yes. PZERO - no.

Krzys

Maybe European naming sheme? I bought them because a review suggested them. Or maybe my brain is playing games.

This time Ill probably go for some Dunlop Winter Tires. My current SportsMax RT are extremely Grippi and help quite a lot to reduce breaking distance.
 
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