American Racing Burnout Rims and Toyo Proxes 4+ Tires On Our ’11 GT

Of all the things we do to our Mustangs probably the single thing that makes the biggest visual statement are the wheels and tires. Wheels also don’t typically require any reprogramming or other special work to install them. As such, they’re often one of the first things many owners change when it comes to personalizing their Mustang.

WheelPros outfitted our 2011 GT with some American Racing Wheels Burnout VN472 wheels. We also ordered some new Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires to complete the package.

For our 2011 Mustang we went with a set of American Racing 20-inch wheels and Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires.

Styles of wheels have changed with the times and changes in manufacturing processes. Wheels can vary from stock to wild, subdued to outrageous, and drop dead gorgeous to absolutely hideous. Tires not only affect the appearance but also the ride, handling, cabin noise, and safety of the car.

With so many different styles and manufacturers available to choose from these days our options are infinite. Our 2011 Mustang GT Project “Wild E. Coyote” has already run the gambit in terms of wheels starting out with the stocker five spokes to a transition for a short while on some SVT wheels. Still we’re trying to set this car apart from the herd in a lot of aspects.

Choosing the right wheel and tire combination that would achieve our goals of both setting off the look of our car as well as giving us a comfortable ride while maintaining optimum performance is no small task. With all of this in mind we turned to the folks at American Racing Wheels and Toyo Tires to shoe our prized pony properly.

The Wheels – American Racing VN472 Burnout

We chose for our car a staggered set of American Racing Burnout wheels, part# VN472, in  20″ x 8.5″ for the front 20″ x 10″ in the rear.  The wheels were designed with late model performance cars in mind, especially those with larger brake options.  “The VN472 is a new wheel this year designed for late model cars like Mustang, Camaro and Challenger,”  says Chris Anderson of American Racing. “Another good feature of that wheel is it’s designed to clear a lot of the larger brakes on late model cars, while still having a flat looking center.” The Burnout was designed to clear these brake systems when ordered properly and still offer that flat center look.

Left: We're running Baer 14 inch rotors and 6 piston calipers all the way around this car, proper clearance is a must. Right: The Burnout wheel is a thing of beauty offering stealthy black finish with just a hint of shine in the right places to set it all off.

Another good feature of that wheel is it’s designed to clear a lot of the larger brakes on late model cars, while still having a flat looking center. – Chris Anderson

With it’s two piece design this wheel can be had in a variety of options through the American Racing custom shop. “All of our two piece wheels are finished at our Custom Shop in Cerritos, CA,” Anderson tells us. This means quality control and final assembly are handled here to help ensure customer’s receive the correct part that they ordered. We really like the clean five spoke appearance with painted black centers and polished edges. The Burnout normally comes with a polished lip, but thanks to American Racing’s Custom Shop, we were able to make them flat black.

Our Burnout wheels were available in a variety of sizes and backspacing options. The American Racing Custom Shop can vary backspacing in 0.25″ increments to get customers the exact specifications they need to fit their car properly. Custom backspacing is something that not many customers are aware of as available. Backspacing is key to fitment so that the wheels not only look right but also don’t interfere with the body or suspension components.

Size

Min Backspacing

Max Backspacing

17×7

3.5”

5.0”

17×8

3.5”

6.0”

17×10

3.5”

8.0”

18×7

3.5”

5.0”

18×8

3.5”

6.0”

18×9

3.5”

7.0”

18×10

3.5”

8.0”

18×12

3.5”

10.0”

20×8.5

3.5”

6.5”

20×9

3.5”

7.0”

20×10

3.5”

8.0”

20×10.5

3.5”

8.5”

20×12

3.5”

10.0”

20×15

3.5”

12.0”

22×8.5

3.5”

6.5”

22×9

3.5”

7.0”

22×10

3.5”

8.0”

22×10.5

3.5”

8.5”

Custom Shop

In the past you’ve had to either cross your fingers and hope the wheels you ordered were the proper fitment or go to a great deal of expense to get a custom wheel that’s fitted properly for your car’s applications. There have been shops in the past too that offered to modify the wheels you ordered, but again this is can be cost prohibitive. Enthusiasts were in most cases restricted to what they could order at the local parts store or tire dealer or what was available via mail order catalog.

Once the finished centers first arrive in the custom shop, the edges are prepped for welding. An automated machine then heats the barrel so that it will slightly expand. This is so the center will fit tight inside the barrel once it is cooled. Finally a machine finish welds the two halves of the wheel together.

Wheels you ordered might have only been available in one or two types of finishes such as painted a specific color or chrome. If you were so bold as to find a body shop or other facility that would undertake the challenge of painting your wheels you were still going to shell out even more cash. You also ran the risk of whether that body shop had any experience painting wheels with finishes that would last under road conditions.

American Racing is changing the face of the aftermarket wheel industry. Based in Cerritos, CA they assemble their two piece wheels in house, allowing them to do a lot more with wheels than just box up a few variations on a single rim diameter and ship them. Chris tells us “We’re able to do variations of certain options that are available for the customer to get the custom look.”

Variations include various sizes available for many different wheel styles plus some color options. “A new thing for us is doing the black wheels. We never really did a black wheel, and we saw so many people doing them in black on their own that we started offering that as an option.” Black finishes is gloss or satin are available as are brushed, polished and chrome finishes.

Wheel stud/lug nut spacing is also an area that offers some flexibility. “We won’t drill some of the centers for lugs until we get the orders in. We keep popular variations in stock.” So if you were building something with a less common five lug pattern the guys at American Racing may also be able to take care of your fitment needs.

Customers may not be aware of these types of variations and options either. Most of us are so accustomed to looking at what we see in parts catalogs, magazines and quick online searches. A trip to the American Racing Wheels web site will allow you to quickly locate your nearest dealer. Your dealer should be able to look up and order the wheel fitments that are available for your application.

Toyo Proxes 4 Plus Tires

Unique Tread

The Proxes 4 Plus unique design allows it to act like an ultra high performance tire when the road is dry, but gives driver’s the benefits, safety and treadlife of a more common all season tire

For the tires we chose a set of Toyo Tires new Proxes 4 Plus tires in sizes 255/35/20 for the front and 275/35/20 for the rear. The Proxes 4 Plus was designed with today’s late model performance cars in mind such as the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger. It is an all season high performance tire who’s tread design was derived from the company’s flagship Proxes 1UHP tire. The result is great handling, grip and traction associated with many “summer only” tires in a package that can still get you where you’re going safely when the weather turns nasty. The Proxes 4 plus offers greater tread life than the Proxes 4 as well as many of it’s competitors without sacrificing performance in both wet and dry conditions.

On inclement weather performance Arima also explained, “Independent testing on a 2010 BMW 328i showed the Proxes 4 Plus to be safer in the snow, stopping six car lengths shorter than a similar tire when new and over seven car lengths shorter when worn.” That type of performance in adverse conditions translates into better safety for you whether you drive your car daily or just got stuck in threatening weather on your way back home.

Proxes 4 Plus has many great features including:

  • High Grip Silica Compound: Maximize wet handling and braking as well as increased tread life.
  • Multi-Wave Sipes. The grooves found on the edges of the tire tread area. These close during braking for increased surface contact area while opening under acceleration to shed water.
  • Improved Outside Tread Design: Features wide ribs and a closed outside shoulder design. This offers increased contact patch area for cornering and improvements in vehicle handling response.
  • Inside Tread Design: Features wide grooves and higher sipe density. This helps evacuate rain and snow from the tire quickly and also improves the tires performance in terms of braking and acceleration.
  • 50,000 mile tread life warranty and is eligible for Toyo’s “No Regrets” trial offer.
  • 94% of all Proxes 4 plus tires are manufactured in the USA at Toyo’s White, GA facility.

Driving

We love the way the car looks with the new wheels installed. Further adding to the stealthy appearance of Wild E Coyote. With the new Toyos installed we were also pleased at how it drove. The tires are extremely grippy, especially for an all season design. They offer great traction and don’t disappoint through the corners as well. When the skies let go and we see rain (though it doesn’t happen much in So Cal), it’s nice to know we can rely on these tires to keep us safe, and get us to our destination while providing great stopping power in bad weather.

We’ve also been impressed with how quiet these tires were on the road, especially for a high performance design. Toyo told us as well that compared to other tires on the market these tires will be quieter over their entire life than others. With a fresh look from the American Racing Burnout wheels and long-lasting reliability of Toyo’s Proxes 4 Plus, we are looking forward to spending more time on the road with the Wild E. Coyote 2011 Mustang project.

Article Sources

About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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