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If I remember correctly, you have a 6MT, which means that the smallest wheel size that fits is a 17" and only certain wheels of that size will clear the brakes. As for whether going down to a 17" size is worth it, please read the argument and my posts in the currently active thread about 14" wheels in the wheels and tires subforum on miata.net. The choice is yours.
(This is probably the wrong forum to ask this question.)
I figure if I install the smallest and lightest wheels possible, my 8 would handle even better. Anyone here also care about the unsprung weight, or just content with the compromise of the 18 inchers.
Would the 16" fit?
The old (2004) bone stock AT's come with 16"s I have mine in my back yard. Now days a lot of the dealers have AT with 18's on hand. Or you can order one with 18's.
The 5 speeds from over seas would come with 16's as well. I dont know about now.
However, the rotors and calipers on the "sport-suspension" AT's are the same as the MT RX-8's. That means if you have 18"s and try to put 16" they wont fit. On the other hand 17"s will and you can run a sick off set!
Also the AT's with 16"s dont have "sport suspension" where the AT's with 18"s like the MT, will have "sport suspension"