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    • Testing the difference between OEM Porsche aluminum GT3 wheels and Carbon Revolution carbon fiber wheels on a Porsche 991.1 Carrera S

      Carbon fiber wheels were once a dream but are increasingly becoming a realistic performance upgrade for enthusiasts as prices drop. It certainly helped that Ford sold the GT350R with production carbon fiber wheels which, yes, Carbon Revolution supplied.


      This test by Motoiq is very well done but it does read a bit like a Carbon Revolution sales pitch.

      What does the average person know? Carbon fiber is light, strong, and expensive. The reason carbon fiber wheels were relatively rare is because not only is the expense an issue but when carbon fiber fails, it shatters.

      Think of breaking glass rather than bending metal. If you bend an aluminum rim, you likely will be in better shape (as will your car) than shattering a carbon rim.

      As Carbon Revolution and Motoiq show, modern carbon fiber wheels are much stronger than their aluminum counterparts:






      Steel can not be beat for stiffness or cost but it is not light. Aluminum we all know well but you will have to sacrifice stiffness to lower weight. There is no way around it.

      Carbon fiber blows the competition away as far as stiffness for the weight of the material.

      Also, keep in mind, aluminum fatigues over time or even over a race. You can lose camber after intense lapping simply due to the metal flexing.


      Ok, we can sit here and look at charts and theory all day. What about some real world testing? That is exactly what Motoiq did at the Las Vegas Speedway Infield Course. Keep in mind this is a tight, short course.

      They picked up a set of OEM 19 inch 997 GT3 aluminum wheels and a set of 19 inch Carbon Revolution wheels. Both sets wore the same 235/35/19 up front and 305/35/19 Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires.



      Weights (in lbs):

      GT3 Wheels
      21.0 front, 26.0 rear

      Carbon Revolution CR-9 Wheels
      17.5 front, 21.0 rear

      Right up front you save seven pounds up front and 10 in the rear.

      How did this work out on the track?


      .38 seconds shaved right off the bat. Not bad, right? Extrapolated out on a larger road course they estimate over a second at VIR. Let's just say saving over a full second just from lighter wheels is well worth it for hardcore track junkies.

      The carbon wheels were easier on the tires too:


      Are these worth it? That depends if $12k for a set of carbon fiber wheels is worth it to you.

      In the next few years we will no doubt see quality carbon fiber wheel options for under $10k.

      Source

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Testing the difference between OEM Porsche aluminum GT3 wheels and Carbon Revolution carbon fiber wheels on a Porsche 991.1 Carrera S started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. Bowser330's Avatar
        Bowser330 -
        great business to get into, I can see carbon fiber wheels becoming more popular among enthusiasts.

        Ford has OEM carbon wheels
        Porsche has OEM carbon wheels

        I can also see 3D printing creating a lightweight wheel once they develop an advanced enough carbon polymer.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Bowser330 Click here to enlarge
        Ford has OEM carbon wheels
        Porsche has OEM carbon wheels
        Both from the same source I believe.
      1. ///M3THOD's Avatar
        ///M3THOD -
        I just read through the MotoIQ article. Certainly reads like a sales pitch, although there is no denying some of the benefits of a CF wheel.

        One point of concern is exactly as you outlined with the failure mode of the CF wheel with a hard impact, the other being, as they did mention in the article, they outrageous replacement costs. You can't really, to my knowledge anyway, touch up a cosmetically damaged carbon wheel.

        Sure it may be road safe, but no one wants to roll around with rashed wheels on their car and painting them kind of defeats the purpose right? If you can't see the carbon weave, is it really carbon?!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ///M3THOD Click here to enlarge
        Sure it may be road safe, but no one wants to roll around with rashed wheels on their car and painting them kind of defeats the purpose right? If you can't see the carbon weave, is it really carbon?!
        Well the finish on the GT350R is not exposed carbon weave from what I understand. Does it matter?

        Probably much easier to touch up.
      1. ///M3THOD's Avatar
        ///M3THOD -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Well the finish on the GT350R is not exposed carbon weave from what I understand. Does it matter?

        Probably much easier to touch up.
        I was only kidding about painting them, but the exposed carbon is probably extremely difficult to touch up since the resins are basically clear showing the fiber structure.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ///M3THOD Click here to enlarge
        I was only kidding about painting them, but the exposed carbon is probably extremely difficult to touch up since the resins are basically clear showing the fiber structure.
        Nobody would know they were carbon fiber but I'd probably just do this finish:

        Click here to enlarge
      1. SpeedLimit?'s Avatar
        SpeedLimit? -
        Aren't HRE wheels this expensive? I saw a video a guy who bought a rs7 at copart and it came with HRE wheels valued around the same amount which he found out from the owner who said they went with the car because they were covered by the policy so maybe you could get these covered by your insurance too.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SpeedLimit? Click here to enlarge
        Aren't HRE wheels this expensive
        No. I paid a little under $2k a rim but you certainly can go a bit cheaper depending on options.

        These will run you $3k a rim.
      1. marcvtec's Avatar
        marcvtec -
        https://www.hrewheels.com/wheels/for...construction=2
        the new stuff at HRE starts at 2,800 each.
      1. Sticky2's Avatar
        Sticky2 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by marcvtec Click here to enlarge
        https://www.hrewheels.com/wheels/for...construction=2
        the new stuff at HRE starts at 2,800 each.
        Never pay retail...
      1. Eleventeen's Avatar
        Eleventeen -
        These wheels seem to have made a noticable difference, but they would definitely be toward the bottom of my upgrade list if I had $12k to spend on performance mods. Imagine what a difference $12k would make to lap times if you spent it on suspension or engine or brake mods, instead. I guess these are what you buy when you’ve run out of stuff to buy.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Eleventeen Click here to enlarge
        Imagine what a difference $12k would make to lap times if you spent it on suspension or engine or brake mods, instead.
        The guy spending $12k on wheels is not choosing one or the other, he's upgrading everything.