A small Australian firm wants to reinvent the wheel.
Known as Carbon Revolution, the firm has developed what it claims to be the world’s first one-piece carbon fiber wheels. Super-light but extremely costly, CF is seen by many as the material of the future, at least for the auto industry. And the wheels offer many, if not more, advantages than using carbon fiber for automotive body panels and chasses.
The Australian start-up is pitching the wheels as a durable, light alternative to traditional aluminum alloy wheels. There is, of course, a trade-off at about $15,000 for a set of four. But company officials insist that if they can get their technology into mass production prices could plunge to a point where the carbon fiber technology could be competitive on mid-range luxury models or even more mainstream vehicles.
During a recent demonstration of the new technology, Carbon Revolution CEO Jake Dingle and Design Director Ashley Danmead demonstrated a pair of new wheels crafted for use on the latest Porsche 911. At barely 15 pounds for the front wheels and less than 18 pounds for the back, they weigh in at about 11 to 13 pounds less than Porsche’s stock wheels.