Recently we have discussed many things about Porsche, from the car James Dean tragically died in all the way to the way their steering wheels stand out in the proverbial crowd. And anyone who is familiar with Porsche at all knows the German company puts out some very special luxury vehicles indeed. From sport cars to SUVs and sedans, Porsche has been wowing all of us since 1931, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
With the passage of time, it seems that things are only getting better in terms of the vehicles they design and produce. From the body to the interiors, electronics, and safety features, Porsche cars just get better and better. As we discussed recently, even something the general public would consider unimprovable, like the steering wheel, was apparently primitive in the eyes of the iconic company. To say the very least, they made incredible improvements to that particular vehicle part, and many others. But making things better can only go so far, right? For instance, some things just cannot be improved upon, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.
Take, for example, the wheel rims. Other than giving them a bit more sparkle and shine, how could Porsche possibly figure out a better rim? Well, if this is something you’ve been wondering, you have come to the right place for the answer. The fact of the matter is that Porsche AG has designed and manufactured wheel rims that stand above all the rest. How could that be? What could they possibly have done to RIMS? We aim to show you exactly how…and what…Porsche can do to something as simple and seemingly ineffective as a set of rims to make them stand out from the rest.
Read on to have your curiosity satisfied once and for all.
A Rim by Any Other Name…
Wouldn’t ride as sweet? Probably not. But we should take a look at rims in general just to give the lesser aware an idea of what we mean. First, let’s take a look at the rim, as it is defined by the automotive industry.
According to Wikipedia, rims are defined as ‘the outer edge[s] of a wheel, that hold[s] the tire’. Now, we aren’t talking about the ‘hubcaps’, which are the round, plate-shaped objects that cover the actual wheel hub and come in many designs. No, we are talking about the actual wheel that the tire of the vehicle fits around securely, enabling it to roll and hold the car up once attached to the actual axle.
The first rims were wood, and over the years were (way, way back in the day), but by the 1st millennium BC they were iron. Over time, and with the development of alloys like aluminum, wheel rims were made of such because they are of lighter weight. The design is quite simple, whether the rim is for a car, bike, truck, or any other wheeled vehicle: a hoop (either narrow or wide) of metal, with lips around the inside and outside to grip the tire that fits around it. Tires are sized to fit different rims, and it is easy to learn which goes on your car by checking the auto manual or asking a tire dealership.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a rim actually is, let’s dive in a bit deeper and discuss Porsche rims and how they differ from those of other car brands.
Porsche Rims: Giving an Edge to Rubber
Before we get right to it, it should be pointed out that different car brands have different stud patterns on their rims. In other words, the lug nut patterns, and number vary from make to make, and sometimes model to model. There can be a few reasons for this, but mostly the differing patterns can be attributed to vehicle size rather than aesthetic or anything else. According to Quora.com, bigger, heavier vehicles can have as many as five or six bolts, while smaller ones can have as few as four. Semis and other trucks typically have many more. Now, let’s get into Porsche rims.
In the sixties Porsche began using ‘Fuchs’ wheels, which were rich in design and still used today. Originally, they were designed for 911 Porsches. These particular wheels were considered ‘revolutionary’ back in those days because car companies were still mostly using steel or wire in their wheel production. The Fuchs wheel, on the other hand, was constructed of lightweight aluminum, which was better when it came to making the car more lightweight, and therefore, faster.
Cast aluminum wheels were tried first but proved to be unsuccessful when it came to handling all that was thrown at them. But Otto Fuchs design used a single-piece aluminum wheel that was forged rather than cast (the same method is still used to this very day). These proved successful in handling both vehicle weight and speed, making them a hit with Porsche, who was also manufacturing race cars, as we all know. To be honest, that’s really all the difference is, but the fact of the matter is that those are big differences that mean better handling, better speed, lighter car weight, and a snugger, safer fit for your wheels.
It should be said that Porsche wheels can be used on other vehicles, and the wheels from other vehicles can be used on Porsches, but it likely isn’t for the best for many reasons. For one, performance is lessened by using wheels other than those manufactured for Porsche. The car will be heavier, which affects gas mileage and speed. Sure, the price for high-quality Porsche wheels is going to be higher, but you will be much more content and satisfied with the end result if you stick with things as they are intended by the manufacturer.
Bringing it Together
The bottom line? Porsche wheels are indeed different than those on other cars. They are made especially for the car they are on and will give the best performance if used. When considering the price of any Porsche worth buying, it only makes sense to, in turn, use the very best accessories and parts. While it may seem like a very small, insignificant thing to many, the fact remains that performance, safety, and the integrity of the vehicle are all affected by the use of improper parts, and that includes rims. So, while they may all look the same to the layman, it should be known that they are not…especially when it comes to Porsche. So choose wisely and stick to what was meant to be if you want your baby to be top notch in any and all given situations.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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