Ford spinning its wheels for better design
Instead of designing wheels the old fashioned way, Lincoln designers had their top six designs rapid-prototyped overnight in six-inch scale in order to evaluate what they look like spinning. If you ever wanted to know how much thought goes into a wheel design, check out an excerpt from Lincoln’s press release after the jump. We’ve seen a sneak preview of the dubs and we can say for certain that they’re an extremely bold design for Lincoln, which hasn't really been known for its wheel design in recent memory.
[Source: Ford] “The trend in wheels is to make a statement. And these wheels do exactly that. They have a sense of importance, a presence, that you find on American vehicles,” he says.
To maximize the perception of the wheels’ size, Gelardi and Mistry used exposed lug nuts on the secondary spokes, allowing the major spokes to travel uninterrupted from edge to center.
“The sculpted shape of the spoke dives toward the center of the wheel, adding visual length,” says Gelardi. “This makes the wheel appear deeper and the tire wider.” says Gelardi.
The five/five spoke design marries luxury and performance in a bi-level arrangement. Five major spokes are positioned at the outer edge of the wheel and five secondary spokes, having a different shape, are placed farther back.
This portrays a sense of depth while accommodating multiple colors and finishes. With five/five spokes, customers have more opportunities to personalize their wheels, choosing polished or vapor-blasted alloy as well as a variety of colors that would match the vehicle’s body.
Depending on the paint and polish treatment of the spokes, the wheels will appear to have five spokes, giving the car a sporty, performance attitude. Or they will appear to have 10 spokes, underlining the sedan’s elegance and grace.
“Using different paints combined with different finishing processes gives you a very cost-effective way to achieve multiple appearances from one wheel,” Gelardi says.
Says Platto: “At Lincoln, we’re just as concerned with how a wheel looks when the vehicle is parked as when it is in motion. We want to make sure our wheel is beautiful in both cases, so we came up with an amazingly simple way to do that in the studio.”
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