After running 2 iterations of the black on black scheme, first with the XD9s and then the RS/RZs, it was time to retire that look and move on. I wanted to go back to contrasting and neutral wheels for a timeless and balanced color way that matches the silver accents in the interior. Once the RS/RZs were set for a new home in Ohio on another black RX-7, I had to convert my wheel wishlist into reality.
The decision process was actually fairly easy. I only entertained forged monoblock offerings, which narrowed the options down drastically. In the end, the choice spearheaded between Volk TE37s or Advan GTs, the latter of which is essentially the less prolific, 5-spoke version of the former. The GTs are only 1 of 2 wheels in Advan’s lineup that are forged, and the 18″ versions are relatively new. I opted for the GTs in favor of the classical 5-spokes and their more suitable sizing. And in particular, the “Machining & Racing Metal Black” color seemed like the perfect fit for the style I wanted to achieve this time around. I’m not usually a fan of wheels with shiny lips, but this color is special.
I first exhausted domestic avenues to purchase these wheels, but the inventory Stateside was low. I quickly turned to the source and purchased directly from Advan Japan’s stock. These wheels went out the door with quite a hefty price tag… for example, the cost per wheel is significantly higher than comparable TE37SLs based on the quotes I received. The Machining & Racing Metal Black color added additional expense and I had to bite the bullet with the currently poor JPY to USD conversion rate. I was even hit with a customs duty fee when they landed on American shores.
But it was all worth it. Once I was able to mount them onto the car and pull it outside for a good look, I had an epiphany like revelation – I hit the sweet spot.
The GTs come in an astounding 5 different faces of deeper concavity. I stuck by my tried and true 18×10″ squared sizing: +22 rear and +35 front, which are Face-5 (the most concave) and Face-4, respectively. The disparities between the faces are subtle, the rears are slightly more concave and have a deeper pocket for the lug area.
I brought the wheels to Auto Innovations in Milpitas, who have been my long-running go-to for tire mounting because they are extra careful in their work. I also dismounted my A048s from the RS/RZs there, which are to be reused on the GTs.
Forged goodness from the land of Nippon. The lips have a brushed, machined finish while the centers are a metallic graphite.
Applying the decals, which was especially tricky due to their placement and size. I definitely had to utilize some monk level concentration for this task.
Installed! This is the day after the radiator hose job and during the coolant burping.
Since the rears came in +22, which are 3mm more aggressive than the previous RS wheels, I decided to run with it and spaced out the fronts 5mm to +30 effective. With the meaty A048s, this made the fitment extremely flush and aggressive, front to rear. I was worried there would be rubbing, but with my flattened fenders and alignment settings, they clear like a dream and I can retain lock-to-lock turning with no issues.
Rear under compression:
Front under compression:
Bueno. Now that’s my take on the ideal fitment.
Inaugural drive out to grab Açaí Bowls with friends.