What is Staggered Wheel Fitment?


Changes in the relationship of wheel dimensions between front and rear on a RWD car changes the balance of the vehicle. The classic Porsche rear-engine cars are perhaps the best examples of how staggered fitments can be used to optimize performance. Porsche engineers have developed suspension settings and staggered fitments to perfection, making these inherently instable designs some of the most well-balanced and entertaining sports cars in the world. A rear-engine car is tail heavy. This makes the car "oversteer", i.e. only a slight turn of the front wheels makes the rear end swing out. This can be countered partly by the way the suspension is set up, but also by fitting bigger wheels in the rear than in the front. The staggered fitment, with bigger wheels on the rear axle, not only puts more power on the pavement, it also counteracts the tendency for the rear to swing out by putting more rubber on the road in the rear, thus providing more friction in the rear than the front. This makes the rear and front wheels reach the slipping point at nearly the same time. If the front loses grip before the rear, the car "plows" straight ahead, it "understeers".