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What Are The Most Iconic Japanese Car Wheels?

June 7, 2022

Features of Japan's Best Car Wheels

There are so many different wheels from all over the world, from monoblock to two-piece, three-piece, cast, directional, non-directional, the list goes on. Today, though, we're jumping across the pond in the other direction to the land where everyone gets their overnight parts from - Japan. We're talking about the best Japanese wheels ever made. Let's not waste any time and jump into our list below!

2021 Honda Civic Type R with Volk TE37SL wheels

Design Features and Specs of the Volk TE37

To rip off the band-aid, let's talk about some of Volk's most iconic wheels - we literally can't make a list like this without mentioning one of the most iconic aftermarket wheels on the planet, the Volk TE37. The first TE37 model ever made was a 15-inch wheel and weighed only 3.7 kilograms, which is where the name comes from.

Not only does this six-spoke simple design look amazing on basically every car ever made, it's also loved for big brake clearances and forged construction, which keeps it super light. You'll see the TE37 on show cars to track cars and everything in between, and it's hard to find a wheel that's been as popular in the last 25 years than this one. To hold that kind of stake in the industry after it's changed so much in that time is no small feat. Plus, Volk also offers a ton of different finishes, submodels, and even limited release colorways - all told, there's a TE37 for everyone.

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer with Volk CE28N wheels

Design Features and Specs of the Volk CE28N

Next up in the race lineup is the Volk CE28N. This wheel is all about performance, taking everything that makes the TE37 popular and upping it just a little bit, not only adding more spokes for increased rigidity, but also somehow even further reducing the weight. Remember our little trick from the last wheel where the number was directly related to the weight? It's the same here - CE28 stands for Competition Expert 2.8 Kilograms, lighter than the TE37's older brother.

This thing just screams that you take motorsports seriously, with 10 spokes that come out from the center and dive back towards the lip of the wheel - this is another design that'll look good on just about anything, but it looks particularly astonishing on most Japanese cars.

Read More: How To Upgrade Your Car Wheels

2021 Honda Accord Sport with SSR Professor SP1 wheels

Design Features and Specs of the SSR Professor SP1

We're switching gears to another Japanese company that also claims to have made the very first three-piece wheel: SSR. SSR is an OG in the wheel game, being founded in 1971, and one of our favorites that had to make the list is the SSR Professor SP1.

The SP1 is an iconic five-spoke multi-piece wheel, offering partially-exposed hardware with some of it being hidden by the spokes themselves. This makes for a really unique look, and being three-piece, the customization options are literally endless, from the widths and offsets to the finishes that SSR offers. SSR was made with racing in mind, so although the wheels are three-piece, they're still very light.

This wheel is a bit more tricky to find, and it's also littler than some others, usually found on AE86s, Miatas, and other smaller JDM coupes, but if you can find one and you've got the right car for it, shoot.

Design Features and Specs of the SSR Star Shark

Another wheel from SSR with a badass name is the SSR Star Shark - this wheel is ultra-rare and very sought after, known for its smaller diameters but also coming in decent widths, at least for the time. This wheel was a huge hit for Speed Star Racing (SSR for long) and was designed and produced in the 80s, coming in some dope finishes that stood head and shoulders above most other wheels from the era. If you can find a set today, you'll probably be paying a pretty penny or two. Or three.

Read More: What Are The Most Affordable Import Cars? 

2019 Subaru WRX with Work VSXX wheels

Design Features and Specs of the Work VS-XX

What kind of JDM wheel list would this be without WORK? Being founded in a similar timeframe to the other JDM brands on this list, we saw WORK pop up right around the late 70s. Nowadays, you can't go to a car show without seeing tons of insane builds, specifically on WORK wheels. The first one we'll be talking about is the VS-XX, another multi-piece wheel with a timeless design that'll always look good on just about anything.

If you go to a show, chances are that you'll see a few sets of these, and for good reason - they offer mesh faces paired with a step or reverse lip, which look absolutely phenomenal in either configuration, and it's a wheel that we expect to keep seeing for years to come.

2017 Volkswagen GTI with Work Meister S1 wheels

Design Features and Specs of the Work Meister S1

Next up, we've got the WORK Meister S1. This is a stubby five-spoke multi-piece wheel that simply looks amazing - the wheel spokes just bend around and caress big brakes in perfection. Fat lips and big, bendy spokes are the name of the game for these wheels, and they pull it off better than anyone else. You'll see WORK Meisters on a wide range of cars, but they look especially good on R32 GTRs, 350Zs, 370Zs, and any two-door Japanese model, really.

2000 BMW 323CI with Blitz Type 03 wheels

Design Features and Specs of the Blitz Type 03

The next wheel we're talking about has blown up on the internet in recent years, and of course it's the extremely-sought-after Blitz Type 03. These wheels are obviously discontinued, and with the hype created around them, they're going for astronomical prices.

There's substance to go with the hype, though - the Type 03 features a split five-spoke design that's aggressive and dives back in towards the barrel. These wheels stand out on any car, and if you want a show stopping set of wheels, the Blitz 03 is the way to go.

Read More: Top 5 Car Wheels Under $1400 For 2022

Design Features and Specs of the RS Watanbe

Last but not least by any means is the RS Watanbe, one of the most iconic eight-spoke wheels in history. The indistinguishable bent-cylinder-style spokes look perfect right out of the box, so much so that we think all Japanese cars should've come from the factory with RS Watanabes. These eight-spoke aluminum wheels have been around forever, and they're still produced to this day. However, following the trends of all the Japanese wheels on this list, they're pretty damn expensive.

The RS Watanbe features a unique design that's been replicated many times, and is a functional, lightweight wheel that still manages to look great year after year.

Shop Aftermarket JDM Wheels For Your Car At Fitment Industries

That's about all we've got for today, but we want to know - what are some of your favorite JDM wheels? Obviously we can't list them all, but we definitely want to see what you guys are rolling. Check out our fitment gallery to see all JDM wheels looking their very best on some of our favorite builds, or roll over to our store and get a set for yourself. Free mounting, balancing and shipping are yours when you package your wheels with new tires!

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