Porsche introduces the technologically advanced wheels with braided carbon fiber. These will be initially available on the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. Being the first car manufacturer to offer such innovation, the wheels will come with a massive sticker price of 15,232 Euros (or $17,970 after the current exchange rates).
Braided carbon wheels are made from CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced polymer) which is an extremely lightweight material that’s optimized absolutely for the absorption of longitudinal and lateral forces. It is also said to be 20% lighter and 20% stronger than regular alloy wheels. Besides trailing the road more efficiently due to lesser unsprung weight, the lower rotating masses would also mean spontaneous braking and acceleration. These would all result to more pleasurable driving plus better driving dynamics.
Porsche uses its massive carbon fiber braiding machine that has a measurement of 9 meters in diameter to cut and assemble more than 200 individual parts of the wheel. After the assembly, the wheel is pre-impregnated with a certain type of resin and baked using high levels of pressure and temperature. This is followed by an extensive cooling process before the finished wheel that will be inserted with a central lock and painted with lacquer as protective coating.
Be that as it may, the intricate paint procedure involves painting the rim and spokes first with gold before painting the entire surface with black. The next procedure entails the use of a programmable laser machine which is set to an exact level of intensity to burn down the black layer resulting to a more intense shade of gold.
Since the technique they use also allows the carbon material’s structure to be more compact and significantly denser, Porsche’s highly sophisticated technology provides more benefits over the more traditional procedure of manufacturing pre-impregnated carbon fiber. There are in fact 8 sq. meters of carbon fiber fabric for each fancy Porsche wheel.
For a hefty amount of 17,970 USD, we wonder how Porsche’s braided carbon fiber technology would measure up with all the carbon fiber wheels out now in the market. There seems to be a growing interest on carbon fiber wheels following Ford’s partnership with Australia’s Carbon Revolution. As for Ford, they will be offering the limited series production wheels for the new GT and the GT350 R. Then there is also Koenigsegg’s hollow carbon fiber Aircore wheels. Porsche’s braided carbon fiber wheels will be optionally available only on the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series and should come out by early next year. The automaker will be offering it with 9x20 in diameter (front) and 11.5x20 in diameter (rear).