The first set of carbon fiber wheels first appeared in 1972 on the Citroen SM. These rims were developed by Michelin in order to turn the SM into a rally car. Now, BMW is developing its own set of carbon fiber wheels. However, BMW carbon fiber wheels are not necessarily being made in order to make their future vehicles any more performance worthy than they already are; instead, the carbon fiber wheels will be the result of BMW taking a “green” approach and putting the excess carbon fiber from the production process of the i-series cars to good use. Auto Express says these wheels could come to production in as little as two years.
Two of the best benefits from carbon fiber are its light weight and its strength. According to BMW, a set of its carbon fiber wheels would be 35 percent lighter than a set of forged alloy wheels. Any weight a car can lose, whether from its wheels or elsewhere, increases its efficiency. Carbon fiber wheels would also be less prone to damage.
And, BMW is recycling its carbon fiber for other parts, too, including steering wheels and a propeller shaft for the new M3 and M4 cars—the latest iterations of which recently benefitted from some considerable lightweighting.
BMW had all of these pieces on display at the Innovation Days in Munich earlier this month.
Would you choose BMW carbon fiber wheels if they were an option on your BMW car?