Last night Ian Callum had a big smile on his face discussing the 22in wheels he’d designed for the Jaguar F-Pace, the largest alloys seen on a Jaguar and the largest offered in the segment.
Which got me thinking: how big can alloys go? And to what cost to ride quality?
Callum said a bigger SUV (not that he was committing to doing one…) would mean bigger wheels again, but 22ins was the right size for the F-Pace; 23ins wouldn’t look right to his eyes.
F-Pace engineers Andy Whyman and Dave Shaw said that the bigger wheels had not meant a lower profile tyre, and that the F-Pace’s 22in wheel offered “superior grip, comfort and greater sidewall protection than rival 20in wheels”.
All the wheel sizes on the F-Pace (18in, 19in, 20in and 22in) had tyres of the same diameter and rolling radius, which meant ride quality can be tuned closely between the different options. The 22in tyre is a summer one only however, so don’t expect the same level of off-road ability on that one compared to the smaller wheels.
The F-Pace’s 22in alloy also has the same rolling radius of that of a Land Rover Discovery, which hardly has a brittle ride. “The tyres are a standard height from road to rim,” said Whyman, “this is not a low-profile tyre. We can have the best of both [design and ride].”
The tyres also stick out 12.3mm from the rim to help prevent the rims being kerbed, a figure that’s apparently 240% greater than the protection offered from the largest wheels offered on an Audi Q5 or a Porsche Macan.
Whyman said that the 22ins offered only a very small trade off in ride, and to be fair the products from Jaguar stablemate Land Rover have revealed that large alloys need not mean a shoddy ride quality should the right tyre be fitted. Another piece of intrigue attached to finding out what the F-Pace is like to drive, then.