Passat BBS Wheels
When I purchased the car I negotiated to trade the 15" alloy wheels that are part of the luxury package for the regular 15" steel rims. I used that credit on the car deal to purchase these aftermarket 17x8" BBS RX wheels from my favorite local Discount Tire. From experience with countless tires on my Porsche I trust my shop to do good work and their price matching policy makes it unnecessary to go anywhere else for a deal.
I had the wheels wrapped in 225/45/17 Kumho Ecsta Supra 712s. I've gotten some good reviews of them from B5 Audi friends and thought I'd give them a try. I don't need the ultimate in performance on this car and it's hard to beat the price: $100 per tire.
I ordered solid valve stems which work well on this wheel. Ordinary rubber valve stems can bend outward toward the edge of the rim under the centrifugal force generated by high speed. This is exacerbated by heavy metal valve stem caps and sleeves. I don't plan on setting any land speed records in this car bit it's nice to know the rims are safe and rigid mounting is easy to use. Just be careful at gas station air pumps and their big, metal couplings. The drawback to these valve stems is that if you brush them on a curb or whatnot they will bend or break and the tire will quickly deflate. Tip (no charge): don't scrape your nice, expensive wheels on curbs.
As soon as we got home from the dealership (and a quick, energizing lunch) I popped off the hub caps, broke loose all the bolts and slid the jack under the car. I washed the remaining vestiges of a wet northern Germany out of the wheel wells as I went and within a couple hours of delivery I already had my first modification performed. These pages chronicle some of the aspects and observations I had during the swap.