In the marketing materials, Porsche claims the 4.0's standard center-lock wheel arrangement reduces unsprung weight. According to my scale, that's not necessarily true. Even if it was, the whole system is a huge pain to deal with—you need to buy a special geared tool to amplify the torque to the 440 lb-ft (!) required for each wheel's single nut, and the process of tightening-loosening-tightening is a huge production. The torque is so great that it requires the help of a second person to hit the brakes so the front wheel doesn't spin when you wrench on it, and my wife usually has better things to do.
Always one to look for the elegant (and lightweight) solution, I swapped the whole deal for old-school, five-lug hubs. The change was relatively straightforward; new hubs from a 2007–2008 GT3 and new wheel bearings ($1700), labor ($1700). I also had to buy new wheels ($3500), but selling the old ones ($3000) helped defray some of that cost.
Now the car is on Forgeline GA1R wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. A second set of GA1Rs is wrapped in Hoosier race rubber for the track. They may not be as visually appealing to a certain crowd, but they're a heck of a lot easier to live with. Just ask my wife.
2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Vital Stats
- Base Price: $187,650; as tested $197,190
- Powertrain: 4.0-liter H-6, 500 hp, 339 lb-ft; RWD, 6-speed manual