Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wheels

As I research suspension packages, brakes, and how to package these components inside of a wheel and tire package, I am constantly keeping my eye on what's available in the market, and how using an available wheel design will work with our vehicle design. If you've ever done some research on aftermarket wheels, you will know that there are thousands upon thousands of styles available.

However, since wheels have so much to do with a vehicle's appeal and performance, as we continue the design process, we will have to see if we can match an existing wheel to the original design intent, or have a wheel made specifically for the vehicle. Since the tooling costs for such a part can be pretty high and the time to get a first article might take some time, this is something we will look closely at for the prototype and decide if we should use an aftermarket wheel and once we enter production, have wheels made.


This article details some of the "sexiest" wheels from the writers of Car and Driver.

Here's a quote from the article that gives a very accurate description of the importance of wheels on a design:

"Despite much evidence to the contrary, wheels do more than just collect brake dust. Wheels are highly functional and critical in ensuring a vehicle’s sex appeal, which ultimately sells most of the cars on this list. Sometimes wheel designs can be more iconic than the cars they carry, such as those found on the AMG Hammer from the late 1980s. Consumers look to wheels as a way of personalizing their vehicles, and manufacturers offer an abundance of different wheel styles per vehicle at a premium, as do aftermarket companies that move billions of dollars in wheels every year."

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