Porsche has become the world’s first vehicle manufacturer to offer light-weight wheels, constructed with braided carbon fibre. The new wheels are now only available as an option for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, measuring 9.0J x 20 for the front axle and 11.5J x 20 at the rear axle.
The use of carbon fibre which shaves around 8.5 kilograms off from than standard alloy wheels, which delivers a ‘unsprung’ weight reduction of 20 per cent. The carbon fibre wheels are also 20 percent stronger and perfectly optimised for absorbing longitudinal and lateral forces. A testament to over 2 million kilometres of testing.
Manufactured entirely from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), the wheel is essentially comprised of two components -
First, the wheel centre, made from carbon-fibre fabric, involves cutting and assembling over 200 individual components.
The second component is the rim base made from braided carbon fibre, made by the world’s largest carbon fibre braiding machine - with a diameter of approximately nine metres.
The assembled wheel is then impregnated with resin and pre-hardened at high pressure and high temperatures. The finished wheel is hardened at high temperatures followed by a long cooling process. The central lock is then inserted into the finished wheel and the wheel is protected with clear lacquer.
Porsche is the first company globally to use this complex braiding technology over the more conventional method of manufacturing from pre-impregnated carbon-fibre fabric.
Porsche claims that this production technique allows for the material structure of the carbon to be denser and more compact while increasing rigidity at the same time.