Mazda designed the chassis under the Fiat 124 so much of what we learned from the 4th generation "ND" MX5 got us a head start with the Fiat. Just like the MX5, the Fiat 124 responds best to lightweight wheels like the ones we offer. Our favorite Fiat 124 street tire currently is the Continental ECS (ExtremeContactSport), for it's excellent mix of good grip, ride, and low noise, and good in dry or wet. The max size we suggest in ECS tire for street use is 225/45/17. Despite racing weekends on 17x9 with the popular 200 treadwear 245/40/17 tires (Rival, RE71R, A052), we take them OFF THE CAR at the end of the race weekend for obvious reasons that include unnecessarily rough daily ride and tramline behavior. If you go 17x9 for weekend racing, YOU must check clearances to items like fender lip on the outside and brake lines to the inside, rubbing plastic fender liners with any tires over 225/45 in size is normal. We consistently recommend folks do suspension mods BEFORE the bigger wheel and tire package because bigger wheels and tires need additional roll resistance, and lowering springs and/or coilovers provide access to more negative camber that tips the top of the tires inward under the fender lips for easier fit.
See tabs below for more answers to the most common questions when shopping wheel options for the Fiat. All our Konig and Advanti wheels include center caps, but not valve stems or lugs or hubcentric rings. Most our Enkei wheels include center caps AND valve stems unless otherwise noted.
WEIGHT: ADD LIGHTNESS!
Like the Mazda MX5 it shares the chassis and suspension with, the Fiat 124 is very sensitive to what is called unsprung weight (which can best be understood as what hangs off the Miata suspension rather than what sits on it). Mazda designed the chassis under the Fiat 124 for LIGHT weight wheels. The MX5's BBS 17x7 wheels start at just 15 pounds, but Fiat went for style and stock Abarth wheels are ridiculously heavy at 22 pounds each for just 17x7. The good news is Fiat 124 owners have the opportunity with a change to lighter wheels to improve ride quality and make the Fiat 214 handle even better.
Unlike other vendors who rely on overly optimistic wheel weights as listed by the wheel manufacturers, we weigh each wheel that we sell to verify the weight that we list!
DO YOU NEED HUBCENTRIC RINGS?
Hubcentric rings ensure that the wheel is centered on the hub, even before the lug nuts are tightened down. It's a nice bit of low-cost piece of mind knowing that you can't end up with a wheel off-center due to incorrect lug nut tightening. However, hubcentric rings are NOT mandatory. The lug nuts seats are conical for a reason; as long as you tighten the lugs correctly (done by hand and in a criss-cross pattern) then the wheels self-center as the lugs are tightened. However, some shops don't take the time to correctly tighten lugs, they just zap them on with an impact gun and the Miata is too sensitive to imbalances for that to be good enough. So, you don't have to use them, but they won't hurt and they're cheap insurance. As a rule of thumb, the racers know they don't want hubcentric rings because they know what they're doing and the rings just become an extra thing to worry about... but if you're asking if you should get hubcentric rings, then the answer is probably "yes" for you. Note that all our hubcentric rings are sold as sets of four, so order just quantity one for a set of wheels.
Most modern wheels are clear coated just like the paint on your car. Therefore, do NOT use anything on your wheels that you would not use on your Miata's paint. Only clear coat safe products should be used on wheels. We like to put a coat of fresh car wax on new wheels before we put them on our Miatas here, helps keep them clean.
TPMS operates off ABS system with the ND, that means NO sensors in the wheels to worry about for most Fiat 124 (though oddly the Abarth version alone has sensors in the wheels that will need to be transferred to new wheels or replaced).
most 15 inch wheels do NOT clear the big brake calipers, even on cars without the Brembo upgrade, and the effective offset to make 15 inch clear the brakes will usually put the tire outside the fender lip (and the fender arch on ND/Fiat 124 is bigger than prior Miatas, doesn't look right with 15 inch anyway). Thus, we do NOT suggest 15 inch choices on the Fiat 124.
195/50/16 tire size fits within the fenders on wheels down to about 35mm offset. For customers seeking more performance in 16 inch sizes consider 205/50/16 up through 225/45 on 16x7 and 16x8 wheels with higher offset. See product description for 16x8 Enkei RPF1 for pictures of this popular choice on our own Fiat 124.
With stock size 205/45/17 tires you can run offsets as low as 40mm and still fit in factory fenders with 1 degree negative camber or better, we have run 38mm with more camber. An easy upgrade in 17 inch is 215/45/17 and that fits with our wheel choices that are 42mm to 50mm offsets.
MAX TIRE SIZE
Maximum tire size that will fit in stock fenders without a fender roll is 235/40/17 using our Advanti Racing, Konig HyperGram, and 6UL Racing Wheels in either 17x8 or 17x9, as long as you have about 1.5 degrees of negative camber or more. If the car is lowered and/or raced, this size will typically rub the plastic fender liners inside the wheel well at full steering lock and/or over big bumps/dips in turns depending on amount of lowering and amount of lowering and amount of negative camber (same story with taller 225/45/17). This is all even more true for 245/40/17, which can be used by SCCA STR competitors with a fender roll. Picture above is our own Fiat 124 with our 17x8 Bronze 6UL wheels and 245/40 tires, and lowered with KONI SPORT shocks and our Race Spec Springs.
Torque lugs to 85 ft/lbs and check that torque again every week for first month of owning new wheels or lugs.