As our obsession with wheels and tires continues to grow so does the increasing amount of options we have to choose from. From colors to sizes, diameters to widths, open lug to closed lug, the wheel industry has provided so many paths that it’s hard to decide which one to take.
Like fashion, wheel design is in a constant state of evolution. You’ve got your staple designs (mesh, five-spoke, six-spoke, split spoke, and so on) but now we’re seeing a synthesis of classic designs intertwined into many of today’s most popular wheels. Now, if you’re a wheel buff with historic knowledge, you’ll recognize many of the styling cues borrowed from the most iconic wheel designs ever created. From BBS Turbo Fans, Epsilons all the way to the historic Volk TE37, the incorporation of those timeless designs have been reinterpreted time and time again, and some with striking similarity and very little visual change.
But with all these similar options to choose from, remember one thing: Some wheels may look alike, but they’re probably not built alike. And to provide more insight into this subject who better to talk to than RAYS Engineering, the manufacturer of race wheels for teams like Toyota and Nissan. In this issue we’ll be going over their extensive manufacturing process and reveal how information is extrapolated from race cars and adapted to their consumer line of wheels.
The wheels we choose and how we choose to do it are an extension of our personalities, and much like landscaping to a house, wheels define our very existence while offering insight into our personality.
Now, the old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is common wisdom to live by—though we hardly do—but when it comes to wheel selection on cars, well, yeah … it’s pretty much fair game and open season. As wheel and tire lovers, we tend to judge people by what they put on their ride, but there are exceptions—like the soccer moms and newbies whose innocence and joyous smiles excuse them from judgment from even the whiniest of wheel snobs.
But that’s the beauty of our industry. Again, much like fashion, the wheels you choose may not satisfy everyone’s inner critic, but all that matters is that you like it—and that it suits not only your style, but your budget. So here’s the 2018
Ultimate Wheel & Tire Guide and we wish you the best on your hunt for your next wheel and tire setup.