How much money can I borrow through Affirm?
SHOW SEASON IS ALMOST HERE!
BUILD NOW, PAY LATER WITH YOUR TAX RETURN. LEARN MORE
Leave a Comment

Does Wheel Weight Matter?

March 1, 2021

 

It’s easy to take for granted the impact a set of aftermarket wheels has on a car, but they are one of the most exciting and easiest mods you can add to transform your car's appearance, ride, and potentially its performance. 

 

GTI and FRS

 

Whether you're an avid autocross enthusiast, a car show enthusiast, or just a daily driver, wheel weight can make a difference in your steering response and handling. Companies like Artisa ArtFormed, Enkei, Volk, and Konig make dedicated light-weight and track-focused wheels for this very reason.

 

2017 SUBARU WRX STI BASE

 

SHOP ARTISA AFTFORMED

 

Discussing wheel weight and if it actually matters tends to be a controversial topic for enthusiasts from different segments of the car community, but I'm here to say that yes, wheel weight does indeed matter, for most applications. Let's dive into why this is. 

 

 

This topic can get a little technical so let's simplify things and review a few important Physics terms. I promise it's not so bad. 

 

2017 SUBARU WRX STI BASE

 

Important Definitions:

Unsprung weight: Weight that is NOT supported/carried by your car's suspension | Examples: Wheels, Tires, Wheel Hubs, Bearings

Sprung weight: Weight that is supported/carried by your car's suspension | Examples: Chassis, Body, Transmission, Engine 

Rotational Mass: Describes how easy or difficult it is to rotate an object (accelerate), like a wheel, or stop it once it from rotating (braking for example) | resistance to change

 

CAR ENTHUSIAST DICTIONARY

 

Mazda Miata

 

Quick Links:

 

 

 

Light Weight Wheel Basics | Why it Matters

So, why does wheel weight matter? Wheel weight has everything to do with unsprung weight or rather rotational mass. When something like your wheels is lightweight, this reduces your rotational mass making it easier on your engine to push that weight forward. 

 

2014 FORD FOCUS ST

 

When the unsprung weight of your car is reduced, this helps with steering and cornering responsiveness; this is the biggest benefit of lightweight wheels, especially for autocross and other motorsport enthusiasts. Light wheels can also improve MPG which is a plus for everybody.

 

2011 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTLINE

 

 

SHOP ARTISA ARTFORMED

 

Now, the biggest controversy over this topic is that a lighter wheel doesn't make that big of a difference overall.

This isn't completely wrong, however, reducing unsprung weight, like wheels, tires, and some suspension components is still one of the most effective methods of weight reduction for handling improvements compared to sprung weight. 

 

Toyota Celica GT

 

2lbs of unsprung weight reduction will offer better handling than 2lbs of sprung weight reduction. 

 

SHOP SUSPENSION

 

To put it into perspective for people who go to the drag strip, roughly every 100 pounds shed = a tenth of a second off your time. That may not sound like a lot, but if you know, you just know. Every second and tenth of a second count. 

 

2001 MAZDA MIATA LS

 

But wait, I can already hear people saying "100 pounds! Light wheels can't shave off that much weight". You're not wrong BUT let's say you have a 30lb wheel (120lbs total) and you switch to running the Artisa ArtFormed Titan which is around 18.7lbs per wheel (74.8lbs total), you've already saved 45.2lbs which is basically two wheels.

 

SHOP THE TITAN

 

2001 MAZDA MIATA LS

 

I mean, you can certainly rip out all your interior and get rid of creature comforts like A/C and power steering, but a set of lightweight wheels can help to accomplish essentially the same thing without sacrificing comfort. 

 

FRS

 

The biggest takeaway with lighter wheels is that you'll improve handling, braking performance, and steering even if it's a marginal difference. 

 

READ: FASTEST CARS UNDER 10K

 

2014 FORD FOCUS ST

 

 

What makes wheels lightweight?

So what actually makes wheels lighter? Manufacturing processes like Enkei's MAT process and Artisa's ArtFormed Technology as well as the actual design of the wheel are what make a wheel lightweight. 

 

SHOP LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELS

 

2017 SUBARU WRX STI BASE

 

Artisa's ArtFormed Technology uses a rotary forged process and weight reduction barrel construction to...well reduce weight. Using a strong aluminum alloy material, their wheels are shaved of unnecessary weight on the back-pad, through spoke millwork, and a bowl-cut hub design to make them as light as possible while still maintaining a high level of strength and durability through barrel grain realignment. 

 

SHOP ARTISA ARTFORMED

 

FRS

 

As far as the design goes, Artisa ArtFormed wheels have achieved something that no other aftermarket wheel company has before with their light-weight Deco Directional design work. Artisa creates a left and right-side mold for every wheel model to ensure their directional designs turn the same way; a design they coined "Deco Directional". 

 

READ: ARTISA ARTFORMED LINEUP

 

FRS

 

ARTISA ARTFORMED CARRIER

 

Normally, directional wheels by nature are heavy, but they were able to create wheels with an average weight of 20lbs which is incredibly light for the average aftermarket wheel

 

2017 SUBARU WRX STI BASE

 

 

Popular Lightweight Wheels

There are some wheels that every enthusiast has seen or at least heard of before, and if you haven't, well you probably haven't been to enough car shows. Here are a few of them.

 

SHOP POPULAR WHEELS

 

2013 SCION FR-S BASE

 

Artisa ArtFormed Titan

 

Artisa

The Titan is the lightest wheel from Artisa coming in at 18.7lbs which is insanely light. This particular wheel is designed for the sports coupe market and features a beautiful Deco Directional 6-spoke design. The Titan is one of the lightest and strongest directional wheels ever made. 

 

2018 HONDA CIVIC SI

 

Artisa ArtFormed wheels only launched a few months ago, but I can guarantee that you'll see this wheel at every car show you go to in the next year or so. 

 

2018 HONDA CIVIC SI

 

SHOP ARTISA TITAN

 

Enkei RPF1

Enkei Logo

 

The Enkei RPF1 is a notorious wheel from Enkei and for the car enthusiast community because it looks good and is exceptionally light at around 19lbs for a 18x10.5. 

 

WRX

 

This wheel is a very popular choice for track-focused builds. I've seen the RPF1 at the autocross track so many times now, especially on Miatas.

 

VIEW MIATA GALLERY

 

Mazda Miata

 

SHOP ENKEI RPF1

 

Konig Hypergram 

Konig Logo

The Hypergram from Konig is a staple lightweight wheel in the car community. The Hypergram is part of Konig's Flow Formed series with an old-school motorsport-inspired design that weighs around 19lbs for a 18x10.5. 

 

Infiniti G37x

 

SHOP KONIG HYPERGRAM

 

Volk TE37 Ultra Track Edition

Volk Logo

 

The Volk TE37 is the most iconic wheel of the Volk Racing line and the new and improved TE37 Ultra Track edition is one of the lightest and strongest 20-inch rotary forged wheels on the market coming in at only 19lbs.

 

1999 NISSAN 200SX BASE

 

SHOP VOLK TE37

 

 

 

Do you need lightweight wheels?

2013 SCION FR-S BASE

 

The answer to this question really depends on what type of build you have or would like. If you want to build a dedicated track car, 100% yes, invest in some lightweight wheels. 

 

SHOP POPULAR WHEELS

 

You will feel a difference on the track, even if it's more steering response. That still counts for something. 

 

2013 SCION FR-S BASE

 

What do you think about wheel weight? Does it really matter? Why or why not? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

 

Comments (0)

Be the first to leave us your thoughts!

*Subject to approval within a 24-48 hours time frame.


WHEELS
WHEEL WEIGHT
ARTISA ARTFORMED
ARTISA
Outdated browser detected Unfortunately we do not support Internet Explorer. We recommend that you use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.