Revival of old thread, but OK, I'm game.
I know I had 16" dedicated winter wheels, and I sold them. Now I have a tad bigger than what I like for winter wheels, but now I can say they work. They're 18".
Getting back to 16" wheels: when I had them, they barely cleared the brake calipers (front). The rears had some space to spare, but not much. Personally, I would NEVER place chains on a e39 after studying how close the clearance is of these wheels to the wheel well. I have seen chains snap. Before they go off the wheel, the damage is impressive.