Is Bigger Always Better? 


Yokohama 335/25VR26 Tires
Product Review

Stephen G. Dye



Since the early nineties, an escalating trend in the automotive industry has become larger and larger wheels and tires. Upon its 1997 introduction, the Chrysler Corporation shocked us all by featuring 20-inch rear wheels and tires on the new Plymouth Prowler. The impact on the industry was extraordinary. No longer were 17-inch wheels considered "big." When Chevrolet graced us with the new C5 Corvette in 1997, they made sure the standard rolling stock included 17-inch front wheels and tires and 18s in the rear. Dodge soon followed suit with its brutally fast Viper by featuring 18s all around. And now for 2002, the all-new Dodge Ram can be ordered with 20-inchers at all four corners. Wow.






Any rational person would imagine that 18, 19 or even 20-inch wheels and tires would be plenty large enough for any application. But it would appear that the folks at Yokohama disagree. Seen here at the recent SEMA show in Las Vegas, an unknown driver showed up in a late model Toyota Land Cruiser sporting a slick black paint job, awesome looking five spoke wheels, and prototype 335/25VR26 tires. Have mercy!

Due to the enormous wheels and tires, the huge Land Cruiser looks as if it's about the same size as a Ford Escape or Honda CR-V. Although the sidewall only indicated that this model was merely a "prototype," CommonDriver staff immediately noticed a tread pattern that closely represents Yokohama's current AVS S/T model. Yokohama calls this tire the Advance Vehicle System for Sport Trucks.



While we can't officially announce whether or not Yokohama will actually manufacture this colossal tire for the American market, it's certainly evident that product executives are dabbling with the concept. From personal experience, this Toyota definitely displays an attention grabbing presence. But we wonder where consumers will draw the line on what looks cool versus what's too big. 



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