By on July 12, 2013


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I recently wrote an article entitled “Going Ugly On Purpose.” This was a piece about how automakers are intentionally uglifying their base-level vehicles so people pay more for nicer models. Many of you read this story from start to finish, absorbed the facts, perused the nuances, and then scrolled straight to the comments where you got into a fight about California versus Texas.

I watched this fight with great interest. I’ve been to both California and Texas, and I’ve never lived in either, which puts me in the highly unique position of being one of those guys on the Internet who takes a position without any firsthand knowledge. But I didn’t take a position, and I won’t take one now, though I will say that California, to its credit, does not have to share a border with Arkansas.

The other thing that came out of that article was that some people, and I won’t name names because I don’t want to embarrass Compaq Deskpro, thought the wheels on that SL350 looked good. Actually, it wasn’t just him. My girlfriend texted after the article went up, not to say that she found it informative, or well-written, or humorous, but to announce that she, too, thought the wheels looked good.

Of course, this is a mistaken viewpoint. On an objective basis, those wheels look awful, and Mercedes-Benz executives are currently on vacation in Monaco from the money they’ve made off people who couldn’t upgrade fast enough.

The good news is that everyone else – or at least, those who weren’t fighting about Texas and California – agreed those wheels were awful. This got me thinking: if we agree the SL’s wheel is so bad, could we possibly agree on a wheel that’s good?

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My personal favorite wheel comes from the 1995 Ferrari F512M. This was the final iteration of the Testarossa, a car that came out more than a decade earlier. Because the TR was so hopelessly outclassed, even by Lamborghini products (at the time, this was a considerable feat), Ferrari had to do something cool. And that cool thing was this unusual five-spoke wheel design.

I’m not entirely sure what Ferrari calls it, but I believe it looks sort of like a starfish dancing with a brake caliper. In other words: with these wheels, Ferrari had retaken its position as a leader of modern automotive design.

The Volvo S60R wears another handsome wheel. Although it’s just a simple five-spoke alloy with an “R” on one of the spokes, the S60R’s wheel somehow managed to transform a mundane Volvo into an aggressive sport sedan.

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 12.38.25 PM

The only problem with the S60R’s wheel is the same issue most “performance car” wheels had in the 2000s: it sticks out beyond the tire. That means every S60R wheel in existence is covered in curb rash thanks to careless owners who thought the “R” model just added more features.

So those are my choices. What are yours? I’d like to take the responses and create an article in the coming days about what makes a wheel attractive. Assuming, of course, that we don’t get into another fight about Texas and California.

@DougDeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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124 Comments on “What’s The Best Wheel?...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    I really dig the dark painted double 5 spoke wheels on the 2010-current GT500. I wouldn’t buy one without them. I’m a 5 spoke guy all the way.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      5 spokes are king.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      I really liked the 2010 rare as hell five spoke 19″ wheel on the GT500, its to bad you can only order the cast 18″ version from Ford (the 19″ wheel was forged). The Mustang in general has had some good looking wheels ranging from the old 16″ Pony Wheels to the various R model wheels to the Bullitt wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      I’m in complete agreement. I just yesterday bought a cherry ’98 MarkVIII LSC and to my surprise a set of these five spokes were included in the parts thrown in package. Since they’re 5×108, they don’t fit anything the seller owns, so Mama said clear them out. Now I’ll be able to put Blizzaks on the factory directionals, and T/A’s on the Volvo wheels. Life is good.

  • avatar
    carve

    As an overall make, I really like the wheels BMW puts on its sportier cars. The wheels on my 07 335i sport are beautiful, and the wheels on the 135 are even better.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      + 1 on the 07-09 335i wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        kmoney

        My two favourite BMW wheels are these

        http://www.kenrockwell.com/bmw/images/CIMG4465-rear-wheel.jpg

        M parallel spokes or these

        http://www.royalcityfinecars.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2004-BMW-540i-M-package-013.jpg

        Multi spoke 540i wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      barcodescanner

      +1

      Also, this is neat: http://felgenkatalog.auto-treff.com

      It’s in German, but you’ll get the idea pretty quickly. Almost every wheel style by BMW has been catalogued.

  • avatar
    salhany

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen a Ferrari in that maroon color in the first picture. What color did they call that? I love it.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    ’73 911 RSR – not that the wheels themselves are amazing. Its the combo of car size, stance, offset, tire sidewall, and insane width that makes it come together.

  • avatar

    Fusion used to have very nice wheels in the previous generation, which step away from the simplicity towards a more intricate design. It is also difficult to pull off. Wrangler in 2013 has a similar type of wheel and it’s nowhere as good as Fusion’s. Also, completely out of place on an off-road vehicle, but whatever. Unfortunately, Ford could not carry wheels over on the redesigned Fusion.

    Oh, and BTW that Ferrari wheel can only work with directional tires, which limits where it can be used.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Ford could have carried over the wheels from the 2012 and earlier models if they wanted to, it just appears they didn’t want to.

      I’ve never heard of a wheel that can only work with directional tires, yes there are directional and in some cases corner specific wheels but that doesn’t mean that you can’t mount a non directional tire on it. It just means that you can’t follow standard rotation patterns.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ve always loved the mammoth wheels (in terms of width, not height) fitted to the Lamborghini Countach 5000QV.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    I think the 512 TR wheels are pretty awful actually. The Testarossa’s original center-lock wheels are much better.
    My favorites: Porsche 993 RS three-piece-wheels made by Speedline.

    PS: Ever been to Arkansas? It’s nicer than you think.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m gonna go with the Infiniti 25-spoke wheel from the 1st generation I30.

    http://www.originalwheels.com/infiniti-wheels/images/infiniti-i30-wheels-73644-b.jpg

    It’s versatile and unique, was on moderately attainable cars, and is from the 90s like all things good-automotive. You can put it on a big luxury sedan, or you can put it on a sports GT or coupe. It’s symmetrical, solid, and not directional.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      I’ll see you those I30 wheels and raise you mid series 1st gen. FX 35 wheels

      For lack of my ability to find a photo online, visualize the 20″ chrome variant

      http://www.originalwheels.com/infiniti-wheels/images/infiniti-fxseries-wheels-73678a-b.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      CGHill

      The second-generation I30, by contrast, has incredibly boring six-spoke wheels which are nearly as effective at collecting brake dust as they are at putting passersby to sleep.

      See what I mean:

      http://www.allnissaninfinitiparts.com/new-arrivals/640×480/003036_wheel.jpg

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The 7 spoke twists on the Esprit. 15″ thin crust, up front, 16″ deep dish in the back.

    http://www.lotusespritturbo.com/Lotus_Esprit_4.jpg

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Have to disagree with you Doug on both the Ferrari and Volvo wheels pictured. The Ferrari wheels are just weird compared to the normal Campagnolo 5-spokes without the twist, and the wheels on the Volvo just look WAY too big, like wagon wheels.

    I don’t think there is any one best wheel, the wheel just has to look right on the car. Porsche ‘phone dial’ wheels just look perfect on the 924S, but would not look right on a 911. Mercedes ‘Bundt cake’ alloys look perfect on a w123 but would look weird on just about anything else. Similarly Saab ‘Bologna Slicer’ 3-hole directional wheels would not look right on anything but a Saab, and look WAY better on C900s than on 9000s. Some wheels are more universal, BBS cross-spokes and knockoffs of them look pretty good on just about anything from an e30 BMW to a Lincoln Clown Car. Just not too big…

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    I flat love the Alcoa five-spokes on my Challenger SRT-8. I’ve seen SRT-8s with aftermarket wheels and it always leaves me wondering why. Every single one I’ve ever seen would have looked better with the OEM wheels. In after market wheels, I love the classic look of American Racing’s 200S or the old Keystone Klassics. Jeep has put out some extremely nice looking wheels and the Cadillac CTS-V has great rims as do most recent Vettes. The old Trans Am honeycomb style wheels still look good today as do the Mopar and GM steel rally wheels and the Ford/Mopar/AMC Magnum 500s. Everyone likes something a little different. Personally, I think the wheels on those pictured Ferraris are ugly.

  • avatar
    readallover

    There are LOTS of good looking wheels. The real challenge is finding the best of the remaining hub cap/wheel covers.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Oh! I forgot one of my absolute favorites!

    Those funky tons of spokes wheels that were fitted to the Citation X-11 and various Pontiacs (Sunbird GT, Grand Am, Fiero, Firebird, maybe others) in the 1980s. Dunno what they were called, but I love em.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    I always liked the 80s Toyota Supra wheels — 8 spokes but it looked like a negative-image 4 spoke, if that makes any sense.

  • avatar
    marc

    As part of the Cali-Texas feud, it provided a brief distraction from…. wait what are we talking about?

    Oh yeah. Door handles, I mean DLO fails. Oh, wheels.

    See now I can crane and strain my neck and avoid civil conversation for the next few days as I stare at wheels, like I have been doing recently for door handles and DLO fails.

    BTW, notes from the neck craning…. Audi and BMW didn’t appear to jump on the pull out handle wagon until recently, about the same time as the Japanese and Americans. So it was pretty much everyone copying Mercedes, not just the typical Germans invented it first and everyone copied Germany meme. And the Fusion does have a really nasty DLO fail.

    So now wheels. The Ferrari ones above are those nasty directional wheels that recently gave me a few days of a strained neck trying to look at not just one part of a car, but 4 parts, on 2 sides. People honestly have no idea what I’m doing when I’m on city streets. But as was pointed out here not so long ago in a GM rant natch, (I won’t miss those) about the new Vette, directional wheels can go hopelessly astray, pointing in the wrong direction! And boy were you right. I saw it repeatedly.

    So boo on the Ferrari directional wheels. Their simple 5 spokes are much better. Every car should have perfectly straight 5 spoke wheels, with 5 lug nuts. (Don’t go there, a whole ‘nother rant.) And they can be stylized a bit. I like the Scion tC’s. But so long as it is 5, radiating straight from the hub, each with a nut. Perfection.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I dunno, I like my Volt’s chrome wheels quite a bit.

    http://www.mychevroletvolt.com/wp-content/gallery/voltcruzeopenhouse/img_1206.jpg

    Also a fan of my old S-class’s steel wheels, though mine definitely needed a sandblast and paint..

    http://www.germancarforum.com/community/attachments/_origin_w126-7-jpg.18118/

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    First gen Chrysler SRT8 wheels. Big but not boastful, not chrome or black thank the gimmick Gods. Just a nice purposeful wheel. It says I kick ass softly!

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    I think that the 5 split-spoke wheel design is quite nice, where it looks like 5 double spokes with the spacing VERY wide apart, or if you look at it in a certain way, it’s a design where the hub starts in a short single spoke but splits into a Y at the wheel rim.

    An example that I find very handsome is on the Regal GS.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    VW ‘Long Beach’ wheels from MK4 Jetta

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    Credit does have to go to Saab for making 3 spoke wheel that actually worked. Don’t know how they did it, but they fit the car. Heck they even made 6-spoke wheel that looked like 3-spoke units.
    I don’t think anyone, for all eternity, will ever perfect a 3 spoke like they did.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    My favorite wheels currently are the black steelies from the base model Camaro. They make a somewhat boring v6 ponycar look lean and mean.

  • avatar
    dmchyla

    Seriously, the F512M wheels are horrible. Somehow, they manage to look like they have been downsized to 14″ steel wheels with cheap K-Mart hubcaps. They are completely out of place on that car.

    Compare that to the simple and elegant 5-spokes on the 512TR:

    http://www.motorcars-intl.com/images/Ferrari/512TR/505_M-4082/full/Ferrari_512TR_1.jpg

    No contest.

  • avatar
    pharmer

    I still find the “Turbo Twist” wheels from the 993 Turbo to be incredibly good looking. A wide body 993 just doesn’t look right without them…

    http://flatsixes.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/seinfeld-porsche-993-turbo-s.jpg

    Continuing the Porsche theme, you can really argue with the classic design of the 16″ Fuchs, either black or polished. The deep dish ones are especially tasty…

    https://www.sierramadrecollection.com/store/secure/images/products/939.jpg

    http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploads6/211133732695.jpg

    Blacked out Torque Thrusts with the machined lip look awesome on just about any classic muscle car, pony car, hot rod, etc…

    http://www.carid.com/images/american-racing/wheels/ar-torq-thrust-original-gray-machined-ford-mustang.jpg

    My favorites, though, are the 5-spoke 4th generation 17″ Corvette ZR-1 wheels. The proportions are perfect, and the simple design made the aging Gen 4 ‘Vette look fresh and modern all over again…

    http://mcspeed.homestead.com/files/fvette_left_front.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Those Porsche turbo wheels are about the only “directional” wheels I like. Otherwise, directional wheels are so “1980′s”…and not in a good way. The wheels on the Ferrari above are nothing short of hideous…they look like an unholy combination of a cheap hubcap and a beadlock wheel meant for an off-road vehicle.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    BMW “M Parallel” split 5-spoke, NOT in chrome. They are perfect.

    http://www.globalautoshop.com/images/wheels/replica/bmw/bmw_m_parrarel_2.jpg

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The “perfect” wheel?

    Well, in my book – and I’m gettin’ old, remember, is either the classic Cragar “mag” wheel – polished rim and center with muted gray 5 spokes as used in the 1960s or what we used to call “star mags” or “astro mags” – not sure how else to describe it, but also by Cragar, I think. I couldn’t afford either one…

    Of course, the steel Chevy “rally wheels” used on Monte Carlos and others in the early 1970s are great, too, but my personal favorite is the old standard, stock black steel wheel with three bumps to hold baby moon hubcaps. I could and did afford those! They are the best – trim rings optional.

    Best rule of thumb: Number of spokes are determined by the number of lug nuts – no more, no less. You can thank me later…

    Split spokes are OK.

    ANYTHING that smacks “Gothic” style should be destroyed immediately, as there are enough pagan things in this wicked world to deal with!

    My 2012 Impala’s wheels ain’t half-bad, either…

    My biggest pet peeve on wheels is the ongoing trend of black wheels. If you’re going to pay bucko bucks for a nice set of custom wheels, don’t you want people to actually SEE them? Kids nowadays…

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      You have to admit it though Zackman…a red car with tasteful black wheels with a polished lip can be quite sexy…

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Agree on the Cragars…wide Cragars (or Keystones for the cheaper of wallet) inspired much envy on the Camaros of my youth (que Cousin Vinny…”yewt”). A little too wide with big white letters on the sidewalls. Proper ratio was a 60-series. Never mind that most of the cars they were actually on couldn’t spin them on dry pavement…they looked GOOD. Then, of course, you had your Chevelle’s with Centerlines.

      I personally love the black wheels on the base modern Camaro. Maybe it’s the lingering envy of the “Better Off Dead” Camaro that makes me want to spec out a SS with those wheels. And a ski rack. Or a French girl.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Best:JDS (Japan Datsun Service)turbine wheels for the German market Z31 300zx.

    Worst:Lexus SC430

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Late ’90s Audi 5-spoke wheels on the A4 and A8. Classy.

  • avatar
    Slab

    I like simple wheels, like those on the Volvo. Fortunately, nearly every manufacturer has a version of those. I find anything with more than 6 spokes too fussy, and partially painted wheels too cartoony.

    I remember when manufacturers each had a signature wheel. Back in 1977, my father was filling out an order for his new company car – a Buick Regal – and asked for my input. “You can’t get a Buick without the Buick wheels!”

  • avatar
    moorewr

    I’ve always liked the Audi “AVUS” wheels

    http://www.audi-20v.co.uk/images/My_S2/Avus%2001.JPG

  • avatar
    jwilson165

    e30 B3 Alpina’s
    http://www.alpina-automobiles.com/en/models-alpina/historic-models/bmw-3-series/e30.html

    Lancia Delta Integrale
    http://hatchheaven.com/archives/928

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    A couple of my favorites. From modern cars 03-04 Mercury Marauder/08-09? Mustang V6 optional 18″ (Same wheel except for the center cap mounting depth) Mustang Mach 1, Mustang Bullit.

    Old school favorites. Cragar S/S, deep dish Aluminum Slots, American Racing 200s, Minilites.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’ve always loved body-color wheels like the ones on classic Mercedes-Benzes. The Beetle’s simple chrome discs are pretty sweet too, and they manage to look fantastic on the new model without coming off as silly or overly retro. A third favorite of mine would be black Fuchs wheels, such as those you’d see on a Porsche or Stang.

  • avatar
    redav

    My views about attractive wheels:

    - I like wheels with an odd-numbered rotational symmetry, i.e., 5- & 7-spoke designs look better than 4- & 6-spokes.
    - I hate all directional wheels, regardless if they are on the ‘correct’ side.
    - I don’t like chromed or shiny wheels. Pale aluminum looks good on many cars, and black can look good with certain colors. But my favorite is is a gray or gunmetal type of color. I like the darker color because it doesn’t draw too much attention to the wheels, nor does it show brake dust & dirt, but black too often creates a bland emptiness.
    - I’ve found I like y-spoke patterns. They seem to fill space well without looking cluttered. The current black Miata wheels look great
    http://jinbaittaimxfive.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/mazda-mx-5-karai-roadster-coupe-special-edition-black-alloy-wheels-photo.jpg
    but would be even better in gunmetal than black:
    http://media.caranddriver.com/images/10q4/378791/2010-mazda-rx-8-r3-wheel-photo-378946-s-1280×782.jpg
    - I also like wheels that use a combination of machined face & painted pockets–IF they keep it subtle. The accent makes the wheels ‘pop’ and creates depth. A painted lip around the wheel can also work really well if it coordinates with the rest of the car.

    As far as Doug’s gf–he has a gf? dafug’s up with that?–she’s wrong, but don’t tell her that. And given the hundreds of reasonably priced aftermarket wheels, it seems silly that people would pay thousands more at the dealership to upgrade their wheels.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m the first one to say Pontiac Snowflakes?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Nothing beats a tasteful understated 5 spoke. 7″ 03-05 Mazda 6. Simlar 16″ on the Protege 5. 17″ B6 A4 Cabrio. 18″ RX-8. Heck, even Honda offered on the Civic coupe, and Oddysey a really nice 17″ 5 spoke similar in concept to the Volvo R wheel above.

    An all time favorite of mine is the 16″ 5 spoke on the S10/Sonoma SLS Stepside. The bowl shape really worked on those trucks.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I’ve been living in California since 1970 and I still like Texas very much ~ I’m trying to work up some plausible excuse to drag my brother there again after some old car/truck parts or whatever , we always have a grand time in Texas .

    Mercedes ‘ Bundt ‘ wheels _suck_ ~ this from a guy who’s managed to trim his old Mercedes W-123 fleet down to three and so has to WASH the damn things weekly because the flusherginner Germans designed it so the brake heat (and thereby corrosive brake dust) blows _out_ , soiling the wheel in maybe 200 miles .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    Tough to beat the 17″ Merc AMG monoblocks

  • avatar
    mktimes5

    3rd gen acura tl type s:

    http://auliaparama.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2008-acura-tl-type-s-blacknighthawk-black-pearl-2008-acura-tl-35-type-s-exterior-photo-iako8awg.jpg

  • avatar
    Lou Wambsganss

    The Hyundai Veloster can have a nice set of wheels. They look to be 18″ and have a body color stripe down each spoke. Not sure if it’s a Turbo-only option, can’t find it in the configurator.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Pontiac 8 lug wheels please….

    Always been a sucker for the Buick Chrome road wheels, the Pontiac Rally II’s, and the cross lace on the late 80′s pontiacs, preferably in gold.

    Though the magnesium wheels on the 50th anne. corvette with the gold tint are nice too.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    A couple of cans of Plasti Dip and a 6-pack and you can make any wheel look good…

    It all depends on the vehicle, SUV’s look good with a certain wheel that would never be ok on a roadster

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I have 3 to choose from:

    1. BMW E39 17″ Style 42 mesh wheels (which are different from the E39 M5 wheels which I also love)
    http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSy6kJXq-k0RMfi-wC2Ba_2QoG3lcR1OgwuWiHf3Hp0dsFOaj7rGw

    2. 2006-2007 Subaru Legacy Spec-B wheels
    http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS7DVq2ird7xkE3CpW70fMvCINxrIFWum13MU2kIzMsl8wApppK

    3. Holden Mondaro VXR 19″ split spoke wheels
    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdhFYG09Fmdpf9IEV1mFttOTeep_C-rnYdSkkZGRhDc9lLKd-78Q

  • avatar
    mies

    On currently available vehicles, I think Buick is doing a pretty good job on most of their vehicles. The base Verano comes with 18″ five spokes that look good. There is another trim level that has some ugly wheels though. THe top trim level for the Lacrosse has some nice 20″ rims.

    Less is more with wheel design for me. I like simple 5 spoke and multi-spoke wheels with machined faces the way Buick is currently doing it. It’s a very honest and attractive design. Chrome wheels look garish and I think the gun metal paint jobs on a lot of new wheels will look dated in a few years. It’s one of the things I don’t like about the wheels on my ’13 Honda Fit Sport. I think the wheels on the ’09 to ’11 Fit Sports looked better. THe only upside to the dark paint on the rims is that brake dust doesn’t show up as readily.

  • avatar
    Tinker

    My mother was born and reared in Arkansas, earned her teaching certificates, and Master degrees at Ouchita Normal, as they called it then. Before I was married I picked up and drove across Arkansas, to see my grandmother, then living on the other side of Memphis, in Arlington. Grandmother died, soon after, and my mother was happy we made the trip. So, Arkansas gets history points, from this Texan, and then it has Texarkana, too. Not bad at all. (If Texas shared a border with Mississippi, that would be worthy of note, not to mention, the almost complete loss of the South, as we know it.)

    California has the biggest idiots in the world. (WHO DESIGNS 5 lane ONRAMPS? Who gets in the outermost lane and expects to merge, at 20 mph?) No wonder they have traffic jams.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    BBS had pretty wheels that could pass for OE in the looks department but also were lightweight unlike OE.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I like the 6-spoke Nismo wheels for the GT-R.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3n97kjZ_DMQ/SIi-3lDkG_I/AAAAAAAAB5I/jAP_DXoi-uc/s400/MOTUL+NISMO+GT-R.wheels.jpg

    Also like the old 5-spokes on the R32.

    http://cdn4.automotiveset.com/pics/9b/9b/Nissan-skyline-r32-gt-r_7d2f9.jpg

    Going up in spoke count, I think that NX2000 wheels look nice on B13 Sentras.

  • avatar

    Saab “super Aero’s” – 16×7 (I think by 7) on the 9000 Aero, 3 spoke, perfect wheel.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Of all things, look at the standard wheels on the Buick Encore. Simple, cleanly-styled 5-spoke brushed aluminums. Who would have imagined?

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    My favorite wheels, and I might be a little biased here, are the twin 5 spoke wheels on the S63, although the ones on the BMW 740iL sport might be even sexier. Hell any twin 5 spoke wheels look good to me, most 5 spoke in general are the best looking wheels. I do have a fondness for BBS wheels also, but they have to be on the right car. The new twisty, million spoke, expensive wheels on the new Range Rover are kind of cool too. Audi had a real nice 12 spoke flat wheel for the A8 also.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    The forged BBS’s that come standard on the Evo X MR.

    The “Detroit” wheels from the Mk. VI GTI, but I don’t believe there’s a single Vee-Dub fanboi that feels the same way.

    And my oddball choice is the “swiss cheese” alloys Chrysler put on their version of the Dodge Daytona hatchback. I think it was called the Laser. Early-to-mid ’80′s.

  • avatar
    KindaFondaHonda

    I think Chrysler had some great alloy wheel designs in the mid to late 1980s, especially those on the 1988 LeBaron Convertible/LeBaron GTS (15″ w/Eagle GT+4′s) and 1988 Dodge Daytona Shelby with 16 inchers. Also, the GLH cars had fantastic wheels for the times. A rarity for the OEMs.

    I also love the 6-spoke 17″ wheels on the 2000-2001 Nissan Maxima SE. I love wheels that are dished in a bit instead of flat-faced (like hubcaps). I loooove the dished-in OEM wheels on the previous Gen. 7-Series BMWs. Nice and meaty.

    No doubt, wheels make the car.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    Some of my favorites:

    - 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon “Moab” 5-spoke wheel. I like these better than the original machined finish 2003 wheels since they hold up better and I think the simple silver paint serves the bold style of the wheel better. The newer “Moab” wheel on the 2007+ Wranglers doesn’t have enough dish to the wheel and the spokes are too wide – they effectively ruined what was a great looking wheel.

    - 2013 Dodge Dart “Rallye” wheel – kind of a spiderweb/snowflake design with great surface detail.

    - Mid 1980′s Ford F-150/Bronco argent steel “wagon” wheel with chrome center caps and brushed trim rings (with the two red pin stripes). I put a set of new vehicle take-offs on my 1976 F-150 and they looked fantastic on it – in spite of being a decade newer, they looked completely appropriate on my 1970′s truck. Much better than any of the crappy aftermarket white or chrome wagon wheels.

    - Magnum 500′s look great on just about any late 1960′s/early 1970′s muscle car, especially Ford and Mopar muscle for some reason. Even the Ford argent Magnum 500 look-alikes are petty good looking too.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Tastes are subjective. First I must say that I don’t find the Ferrari wheels on pictures above very balanced. The ring of gear-like teeth make the wheel look over-engineered and kind of blingy for the car, if that’s even possible in case of a Ferrari. These sort of remind me the little fake diamonds you can see on cell phone covers sometimes.

    As for wheels that I liked:

    The three-spoke wheels on some pre-GM SAAB 900 and 9000.

    The five-spoke wheel on AMG C-Class.

    The honeycomb wheels on the last generation Ford Fusion SEs:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/04/02/review-2010-ford-fusion-se-6mt/

    BMW 850i wheels on in the link below:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-K8yNp12lW3U/T-5po1fhAwI/AAAAAAAAAVs/_ZTisPbTEl8/s1600/850i+1.jpg

  • avatar
    obsolete

    The best OEM wheels are the staggered 5-spoke 16s on the Starion/Conquest.

    These:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZqSE-ikbZ9Q/T4ZaMc1dJPI/AAAAAAAACsU/to7jc1CKy-k/s1600/1987+Conquest+Station+TSI+006.jpg

    240sx guys also seem to like them a lot:
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7182/6898607291_391c2381e2_b.jpg

  • avatar
    rolladan

    http://www.wheelsandcaps.com/images/Product/icon/20150.jpg
    Later first gen rav4 wheels for sure. 5 spoke silver with polished lip. You’d never notice them unless you saw the wheel by itself.

  • avatar
    JD23

    I’m a fan of the 20″ Titanium colored wheels on Audi RS5. Granted I may be biased because I have a 19″ version of that wheel on my car, but it is a clean, sporty, and modern design. I’m also partial to darker wheels because brake dust is not as noticeable.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    What makes a wheel attractive to me is: 1. A realistic size, 2. Steel, and 3. There are 5 of them attached to the truck. Incidentally I got my Nissan with steel wheels and a fullsize spare of course, but while it has the same tires on all 5 rims and the spare is the same size as the other 4 rims, it is different so looks like I’ll be hitting the junkyard.

    Anyway, put me down for old school steelies with a dog dish hubcap!

  • avatar
    bufguy

    The Buick chrome road wheel from the 60′s and 70′s would make your grandfather’s LeSabre into a sporty looking car…I thought the wagons looked especially looked good, but the LeSabre sport coupe looked great.

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    5 spoke always looks good no matter what.

    Heres my list :

    1. Dodge Dakota/Durango 17′ R/T painted split spoke.

    2. S197 Ford Mustang GT Optional 18″ lip-less chrome 5 spoke. Standard Mustang 2010+ Mustang 18″ painted wheels.

    3. Gen 1 (07-09) Mazdaspeed 3 18″ 10 spoke (Actually two sets of 5 spoke, one recessed behind the other)

    4. Chrysler Sebring 16″ 10 spoke painted wheel (Early 2000′s)

    5. Ford F series steel wheel with dog dish “Ford Motor Company” printed on the outer ring. Late 70′s to mid 80′s.

    6. Chevrolet car steel rally wheels from 1970′s. Chevrolet truck rally wheels from the 1980′s. (Corvettes and Monte Carlos looked especially good with them. GM knows how to do steel wheels right.)

    7. Mazda RX-8 wheels.

    8. Any and all SRT wheels.

    9. Most BMW wheels.

  • avatar
    z9

    I loved these wheels so much I bought one of these cars.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ThlSXCpWn6Y/T5ZiFV0ZWwI/AAAAAAAAGxs/l88x83oE-qM/s1600/Lancia-Beta_Montecarlo_1974_1600x1200_wallpaper_02.jpg

    Unfortunately in real life the wheels were cheaply painted and looked pretty sad. Generally, owning the Lancia was a useful life lesson in the difference between fantasy and reality. Such as: the fantasy that I could drive more than a few miles without the shifter breaking off in my hand.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I like those wheels too.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I love those wheels too. I even love the three-spoke rip-off version of them that Ford put on the high end versions of the early Fox Mustangs. Unfortunately, they were TRX sized, so they’re pretty much gone now. Be careful when telling the truth about Lancia ownership. You could get mobbed with abuse from people that have never been closer to a Lancia than seeing it on Top Gear. Have you ever seen ‘Modern Problems’ with Chevy Chase? There is a scene portraying the joys of new Beta Coupe ownership that probably reveals actual experience.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    1) The double-forged wheels on the 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si, as shown here:
    http://jaxsportscars.com/car/44735226.html
    http://jaxsportscars.com/car/44735226-13.html

    2) The 2006/2007 BMW Z4 3.0i wheels, as shown here:
    http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/z4/2007/
    http://www.rhollensheadautosales.com/VehicleDetail.aspx?InventoryId=75439&MakeId=25&ModelId=146&BodyId=3915&Year=2006

    ————

  • avatar
    tylerthetechguy

    The best wheels are the ones on James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. Not only do they look cool, they’re very practical (if you’re James Bond!). Here’s a pic: http://www.autoweek.com/galleryimage/CW/20130208/CARNEWS01/208009993/PH/1/4/1964-Aston-Martin-DB5-James-Bond-for-sale-wheel-spike-blades.jpg

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    A few years ago I thought the wheels on my mother’s new Fusion were great but then I did a double take – they were hubcaps. 5-spoke with a sort of honeycomb thing going on, satin finish.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Buick rally wheel from the mid 60s thru the early 80s and Slot Mags.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    I find it interesting that the wheels (at least the upper option wheels) that make it to production typically look better than the concept’s wheels. almost no other part of the concept improves through the journey to production (unless you call existence an improvement, and then license plate brackets, door handles and mirrors improve).

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    80′s Corvette sawblades

    http://www.corvsport.com/Corvette/C4/1984/Images/1984_Wheel.jpg

    VW Golf GTI Pirelli Edtion

    http://www.cartype.com/pics/6693/full/pirelli_p_wheel_2.jpg

  • avatar
    Sam P

    The BBS RS from the 1980s.

    They look so right on 70′s through 90′s BMWs.

    http://www.bbsrszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/bbs_rs_bme_e9_30_csi.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Indeed they do. I used to have a few old Road & Track issues from 1985 and one of them had an ad for BBS wheels, showing a red 3 series Bimmer with gold RSes on. It sure was pretty.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Best-looking OEM wheels that I’ve seen lately are the 19″ G37 wheels (the ones on the 2010 model) and the 19″ wheels that come of the Audi A5 with the S-line or Sport Pkg.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Dodge Charger police car wheels. The black ones with the chrome center cap. Seriously, if the Charger were available with a manual transmission, I’d be really tempted to get one with those wheels and raised white letter tires (if they still make those!).

    The 1999 Saab Viggen had some really beautiful, wispy 5 spoke wheels in a silver satin that went just amazingly great with the purplish blue color of that model year. Those wheels absolutely made that car.

  • avatar
    andreroy55

    Some of my favourite wheels, just in the order I thought of them:

    Pontiac “Honeycomb”
    http://www.akhwheels.com/pages/images/akh047.jpg

    Chrysler Road Wheels (mostly on big barges)
    http://www.imperialclub.com/Repair/Wheels/covers/76-78NYBRoadWheeltn.jpg

    Plymouth Rallye Wheels
    http://image.moparmusclemagazine.com/f/featuredvehicles/e_body/mopp_1001_1970_plymouth_cuda_coupe/30979647+w799+h499+cr1+ar0/mopp_1001_03_%2b1970_plymouth_barracuda_coupe%2b1970_rallye_wheels.jpg

    and Minilites!
    http://www.minisport.com/mini-spare-parts/minilite-gen.jpg

  • avatar
    PeteyCrack

    Ruf….


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