• BMW getting close to production of a full carbon fiber lightweight OEM wheel

      BMW is taking their weight loss seriously. Let us just hope something comes of this for their actual performance cars and not just to save weight and rotational mass for the electrics and hybrids. BMW's head of lightweight construction Franz Storkenmaier is all for replacing alloy wheels with carbon wheels, We save 25 percent in weight compared to a forged alloy wheel with the hybrid wheel and another 10 percent if its completely carbon.

      That is a good amount of weight savings in a very important spot. He further stated, "Its the most important kind of weight because its unsprung mass and there are also rotating mass advantages. The carbon fibre wheels are very damage resistant. Theyre actually more damage resistant to kerb hits than standard alloy wheels because the damage polishes out really easily. You can scratch it when you park and its better to polish out than aluminium. You can have the metal finish to it with the alloy hybrid, but its technically a better solution to go all the way and have a full carbon fibre wheel.

      Finally the kind of product development news from BMW that BimmerBoost likes to hear. Apparently leftover carbon fiber from i3 and i8 production is being put to good use, We have tried to use the leftover raw carbon fibre from i3 and i8 production to make carbon fibre parts, mixed with plastic. We chop up the leftover fibres and mix them all together, so it doesnt matter where they come from or what their original job was supposed to be. After we cut them up, we mix them with plastic and this mix can be used in a regular plastic-moulding machines, but it comes out stronger and lighter than any thermoplastic. We are the very first car maker to use carbon fibre on an industrial scale. Now are we able to use the leftover from the mainstream production on an industrial scale, too.

      Something performance oriented for enthusiasts may actually come from the i3 afterall. Somewhat amusing that its leftovers are more exciting than the actual car itself.

      Keep in mind carbon fiber wheels already exist. The aftermarket already has solutions so if relatively small producers can do it so can a company with BMW's resources and pocketbook.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: BMW getting close to production of a full carbon fiber lightweight OEM wheel started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 24 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by R.G. Click here to enlarge
        I'm thinking of Dymags. Carbon/Magnesium. Stress cracks were the issues.
        I was going to say Dymags but they were not full carbon. Yes, they had cracking issues.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        I too remember full carbon wheels being talked about a while back by a big name...not the ones above, not Dymag...those are magnesium centers and carbon barrels. I really thought it was HRE..but I might be wrong. They were going to be super expensive and extremely limited-prod. - looks like I'll be on google for another hour :p
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        HRE did carbon wheels although they were not full carbon. You might be thinking of those.
      1. Puerto Rican 335d's Avatar
        Puerto Rican 335d -
        wont survive Puerto Rico!! To many potholes and to many thieves jajajaja hey Im saying the truth its my island.