Getting carbon-fiber wheels on the road for a reasonable price may be a reality soon. The obvious return is a lighter vehicle which in turns helps improve fuel economy
. A lighter wheel also requires less power to start and stop the vehicle, resulting in lower emissions. One automaker says reducing vehicle weight by 66 pounds is like adding 40 horsepower. The problem has always been cost, but Dymag Racing
out of the United Kingdom is quickly developing the technology that is at least putting the price tag in the realm of high-performance cars. The company has been building carbon-fiber motorcycle
wheels (shown) but is now working on higher-volume wheels for cars. Right now the cost is over $2,000 each. Whether or not a consumer could recoup much of the extra cost in fuel savings is debatable, but as this technology expands to other markets the cost is sure to drop. And they do look cool.
[Source: High Performance Composites]