Braided Carbon Fiber Wheels: New from Porsche
By Zlatan Stankovic on August 22, 2017
Braided carbon fiber wheels; something that has been talked about for quite some time and Porsche has finally decided to include them on the brand new ultra-limited 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. Available for a little over $292,000, the model is extravagant, beautiful, and, with a stunning gold finish, striking. As always, Porsche know how to design the exterior with grooves and curves running alongside the vehicle. However, it seems to be the braided carbon fiber wheels that are catching most of the attention and for good reason.
Innovative and lightweight, the feature has been designed solely for the 911 Turbo S Exclusive. How much are they worth? Good question. Although it’s early days yet, experts believe this one feature alone contributes a whopping €15,000 to €18,000 to the asking price.
According to Porsche, they are the very first car manufacturer in the world to offer this feature and you might be wondering why it’s so important. If the science is to be believed, the wheels are 20% stronger as well as being 20% lighter than your standard alloy which makes a huge difference to performance and control. With the feature being made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer, the tires should absorb lateral and longitudinal forces while sticking to the road more efficiently.
When driving the car, the driver should feel a difference in the reaction time after pushing the accelerator and braking pedals and this is a result of low rotating masses. Furthermore, it’s also an important move because the production process is said to be difficult (to say the least!).
Manufacturing Process - Using the biggest carbon fiber braiding machine in the world, the wheel requires 200 different components. As soon as it has been assembled, resin is used to impregnate the wheel before then experiencing high pressure and temperatures. Once the wheel has been allowed to cool down significantly, on goes the central lock and a clear lacquer is used for preservation. With most car manufacturers looking to save money in this key area, Porsche believe they are the first automaker on the planet to utilize this advanced technology.
With the final result, the wheel will also be more dense and compact which means there is less waste material with each product. Using just eight square meters of material, the process doesn’t even end there because it has to go though painting; after painting the rim and spokes gold, they get covered in black and a laser burns away the dark colors to reveal the gold hidden underneath.
With the 911 Turbo S Exclusive being released towards the beginning of 2018, the carbon fiber braided wheels will be available as an option from release day. We assume that Porsche is hoping people won’t mind the extra €15,000 after paying out considerably for the car itself!
Will other car manufacturers follow suit? Will the risk pay off for Porsche? Only time will tell!