Now, Porsche has decided to create its own. For the first time ever, it will offer a braided carbon-fiber wheel on the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series.
The wheels only weigh 19 pounds each making them 20 percent lighter than an aluminum alloy wheel of the same size. Being carbon fiber, they’re also 20 percent stronger than the much cheaper alternative. Lower rotating masses at the wheels means slight improvements in acceleration, braking, and overall driving dynamics.
These high-tech wheels bring a menacing presence to an already striking sports car.
According to Porsche, each wheel consists of more than 200 pieces, but there are two main components: the base and the center. The material for the base is created with a nearly 30-foot-diameter wheel that braids strings of carbon fiber together. The center is created with carbon-fiber fabric cutouts that are hand-assembled into the shape and structure of the wheel. The base and center are then braided together, and a resin is added to the carbon fiber to create the polymer.
Pressure, plus extreme heating and cooling, hardens the wheels into their final structural form before a protective clear lacquer coat is applied. This method of assembly is intended to create denser carbon fiber, which inherently uses less material while creating a more rigid and structurally stronger product.