At a Glance
Installers: Eurosport Accessories
Estimated time: 6 hr
Upgrade parts: H&R coilover
BBS RX wheels from The Tire Rack: $1,196 ($299 ea.)
EBC front rotors: $185
Front pads: $59
Rear rotors: $186
Rear pads from The Tire Rack: $49
Neuspeed rear tie bar: $289
Kumho tires: $404 ($101 ea.)
Labor: $50 hr
When the Corrado SLC was first introduced in the U.S., the general consensus was it was a great car-expensive, but very, very good. One journalist even went so far as to call it "one of the best front-wheel-drive cars ever."
Tell me something I don't know.
Despite its age and sizeable odometer numbers (138,889 at last count), the Corrado's handling and behavior remains exceptional. Maybe I just got lucky with this one. Maybe the crew that put it together had great sex that week. Or maybe it was just a great car from the start.
The years had taken a toll on the suspension, and while we fixed some of it with new bushings and mounts, the stock springs and shocks were tired. It was not too noticeable during day-to-day driving, but it became very apparent during spirited canyon runs that the underpinnings could not keep up with the engine. I was driving the car beyond the suspension's limits, and although fun, it was not desirable. Oh, yeah, the stock 15-in. BBS wheels shod with dead rubber did not help, either.
The Tire Rack had previously set me up with a set of SSR Competition wheels (7.5x17) and Kumho MX tires. It was an exceptional choice, performance-wise, anyway. I just was not happy with the look-while very light and strong, the SSR design was too modern for the car (in my opinion, anyway). I was looking for a wheel that emulated the factory's BBS units. Although there are many BBS replicas, none can quite match going straight to the source.
I met up with Joe Interrante, a marketing director for BBS Wheels in Texas during BMP's annual Charity BMW Roundup. (Despite its remote location, some 400 cars converged on Tyler, Texas, for what turned out to very fine day.) Joe is popular, not just because he's a good guy but also because BBS is a cornerstone in the automotive performance industry. People want BBS wheels because they are the best, with a stellar reputation earned on racetracks and roadways all over the world.
In keeping with the Corrado's understated appearance, Joe recommended the RX wheel, a model that has been in the BBS catalog for quite a while. Measuring 7.5x17 in., the RX tips the scale at 18.9 lb and features a tough silver paint and clearcoat that will most likely outlast the car. Although the rage today is ultra-lightweight forged wheels, BBS's casting techniques are damn near perfect, each wheel true to round and superbly balanced. Although the BBS RC in the same dimension weighs an even 17 lb, you pay for it. The RX is a great wheel for the money, and they look perfect on the car, like a special trim package from Volkswagen (think GTI 337).