Hyundai N Models to Receive Carbon Fiber Wheels
The UK-based wheel specialist from Dymag and composites wizards from Korea's Hankuk Carbon have announced the development of a line of hybrid carbon-fiber wheels for Hyundai’s N cars.
A prototype of the new N Performance carbon hybrid wheels were showcased at the Hyundai stand at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside the spicy and all-electric Ioniq 5 N. Based on statements from Dymag, it may be the first model to receive them.
While the world can continue to debate whether Korean automakers have matched Japanese brands in terms of overall reliability, any discussions about performance are over. Hyundai and Kia have been offering some of the most entertaining vehicles in their respective segments and it’s starting to become embarrassing for the rest of the industry.
Hyundai’s high performance N models are consistently excellent and frequently go the extra mile to cater to driving enthusiasts. The brand always seems willing to push the envelope. Adding carbon fiber wheels are a continuation of that theme, as they were formerly exclusive to super cars regular people couldn’t possibly afford. Though it’s hard to say if this is the best place to spend money if you’re trying to maximize your performance dollars. While Dymag and Hyundai have been cagey on the details, these wheels will almost assuredly be optional extras and likely relatively expensive vs a set of alloys.
However, they probably won’t be as expensive as what you can option on something like the Chevrolet Corvette. This is because Dymag’s design consists of a composite outer rim and a forged metal center. While it probably won’t help to avoid any cursing when you inevitably curb them, the design should make a set cost a few thousand dollars less than wheels that were made entirely of carbon fiber.
The N Performance hybrid wheels are supposed to offer 40-50 percent weight savings against a traditional cast aluminum wheel. This is handy for reducing unsprung mass and rolling inertia. However the UK-based company said the units also improve overall stiffness and strength. Under extremely high loads the outer rim will flex, rather than deform like aluminum might. Harmonic characteristics of carbon fiber are likewise supposed to help reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.
Dyman announced its partnership with Hankuk Carbon in May, stating their intention to build lightweight composite wheels at scale. Lowering manufacturing costs was a key component of the joint program. But few were under the impression that Hyundai would be their first customer.
“The price-point for these wheels will be appropriate for both luxury and performance-oriented versions of road cars, particularly the growing high-end electric vehicle market, thanks to Dymag’s technology benefits in improving EV range and NVH,” Dymag CEO Tom de Lange stated in an earlier release. “For all automotive sectors, the dynamic, durability and aesthetic benefits of carbon composite hybrid wheels will become accessible to a larger number of consumers through OEM programmes [sic].”
The company has since said it’s in advanced development stages with multiple automakers, with further original equipment supply agreements set to be announced in the near future.
“This is the start of what we hope is a long and fruitful relationship with Hyundai, which will bring our game-changing technology to a wider audience of global automotive customers,” said de Lange. “Carbon hybrid wheels from Dymag bring many benefits for high-performance vehicles, with very low capital expenditure for car makers thanks to our patented technology and lean production methods. We look forward to announcing further OEM agreements very soon.”
Full specifications of the wheels will be made available in the coming months.
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