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Mustang Wheels & Tires - Bigger Makes a Difference ('05-'14)

Written By: Gin Yum

Shop Mustang Wheels

Putting larger tires on your Mustang first requires bigger rims. Get the traction and control your Mustang needs by throwing a wider set of tires.

Shop Wheels

Bigger wheels and tires do more for your Mustang than altering its look. More rubber means more traction and more power your pony can get to the ground.

American Muscle

Quick Performance Gain Tips

  • Factory tires are undersized for the amount of horsepower a stock Mustang produces
  • By upgrading to a wider tire, you’ll be giving your Mustang better traction to tackle corners and grip the road while accelerating
  • A staggered setup can lead to better traction and better performance and handling
  • In addition to upgrading your tires, also upgrading your wheels will provide performance and handling advantages that complement a larger tire

Our 2011 Mustang V6 Bolt-on Build-Up Series

When you want to make a statement with your Mustang, nothing quite does the trick like a nice set of new wheels and tires. As you can see in the example below, wheels helped to completely transform our lowly, stock V6 Mustang into an intimidating machine in our Bolt-on Build-Up series. The effect wheels have on looks is obvious, but can upgrading your wheels and tires really help to gain performance? Whether you desire a better launch at the drag strip or better handling on the street, a new set of wheels and tires will help out significantly. Here’s why.

Stock vs. Aftermarket Wheels

Factory Mustang Tires are Undersized

When a company like Ford builds a car, they need to make sure that it appeals to a large audience. As far as the Mustang goes, while most people will be happy with the car, performance enthusiasts won’t be 100% satisfied with its factory condition. One criticism of the Mustang is it comes with undersized tires. For example, the 2013 Mustang GT was shoed with 235s. That’s smaller than the factory tire on the New Edge Mustangs, even though the 2013 has 160 more HP. Not only that, but 235s are what come standard on most Ford Fusions, and a Mustang GT has 245 more HP!

2013 GT Mustang with Aftermarket Rims

A Mustang With More Rubber = Better Grip 

It’s pretty clear the Mustang in its stock form is limited by tire size. By upgrading your tires to a wider size, you’ll be giving your Mustang more tread to accelerate and tackle corners. In order to safely run larger tire sizes, you will need to buy wider wheels as well. Figuring out what tires fit and which wheels fit your Mustang can be a bit confusing. This is why we’ve already done all the research to figure out the best wheel and tire combinations on your generation Mustang. The easiest way to shop is by selecting one of our wheel and tire packages. They take all the guesswork out of figuring out fitment, and you get an immediate idea of what each package will cost. On top of that, they will even arrive to your door mounted, balanced, and ready for install.

Convertible Foxbody on a Drag Strip

A Standard or Staggered Setup on Mustangs

When looking through your choices, you’ll notice there is usually a choice for going with a staggered setup. This means the rear tires will be wider than the front tires. Ford sticks to the same size all around to make it easier to build and service the Mustang, but you can gain performance by going with a staggered setup. On a high powered rear wheel drive car like a Mustang, getting wider rear tires can be a real help. The more tire contact = better traction = more power to the ground, propelling you forward.

Some people prefer to stay with a standard setup because they want to retain the ability to rotate their tires for better wear management. The counterpoint is larger rear tires will last longer because they’re not being overpowered as much. Another concern people bring up is a staggered setup could make your Mustang understeer. This could be a concern if you were leaving your front tires stock. As long as you’re upgrading all four tires, a staggered setup is still going to significantly improve handling overall.

Boss 302 Mustang with Staggered Setup
The Boss 302 comes from the factory with a staggered tire setup

Shorter Sidewalls = Less Flex 

Besides increasing tire width, another major reason for upgrading is to get larger diameter wheels. An obvious reason for this is because they look better, but larger wheels can also improve handling. When you change out your wheels and tires, you want the total diameter to remain the same. The larger the wheel, the shorter the sidewall on the tire becomes to compensate. Shorter sidewalls don’t flex nearly as much as larger sidewalls during cornering, which results in a more precise handling and better steering feel.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your ride for looks or performance, a new set of wheels and tires will help you achieve your goal! We carry a large selection of wheels and tires in every size and for every budget. Check out all our styles at AmericanMuscle and always feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

2007 GT Mustang with Bullit Style Rims