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Monday 11th February 2013


Coolest wheels on a racing car ever? Dan's got his vote in - what's yours?

I know I've blogged about wheels before but, well, I feel I'm in safe company here.

Deep dish wins every time, especially on IMSA
Deep dish wins every time, especially on IMSA
Anyway, I was browsing some Youtube footage of the old IMSA Audi Quattro over the weekend and wondering if the BBS disc wheels on that absolute monster are the most awesome set of hoops ever slung on a car? Racing cars always have cool wheels of course and many of us sad cases out in the real world like to try and emulate them. Sometimes to great effect, sometimes not. Checked your centre-locks lately?

As wide as they are tall, those wheels on the IMSA Quattro are as key to its incredible looks as the bonkers arch flares and drainpipe exhaust exiting from the front wing. And just a beautiful piece of engineering, the deep dish, delicate, turbo-like cooling vanes around the rim and sheer outrageous width just appealing to my inner child. Indeed, I'm sure I remember similar wheels on the old Schumacher Cats that used to rule at R/C car club. Not that Audi would ever consider putting anything like that on its road cars though. Not conservative old Audi.

Nice little nod to rallying heritage on A1 Quattro
Nice little nod to rallying heritage on A1 Quattro
Oh hang on, they have! Yes, I am enough of a tart that I the main reason I love the look of the A1 Quattro is because of its OZ rally mag-style wheels. Don't care about the Haldex. Not bothered by the price. Obviously the car itself is pretty bonkers really but the fact they've deliberately contrived a wheel that looks to the untrained eye like a plastic hubcap over steelie but is, to Audi geeks, reminiscent of the competition wheels used by motorsport Quattros both road and rally is just cool. Love it.

Audi's an easy brand to mock - we've been known to - but, dammit, they know how to nail the details and how crucial the right wheel is for giving a car the necessary visual signature. The Porsche wheels (plus brakes and mirrors) were the original RS2's little nod of recognition to the geeks like us it was intended for, those chunky five-spokes on the RS6 just looked so right (especially on the Plus) and those brutal grey rims on the RS3 have great visual clout. We'll pass on the 'it's been a heavy night' red-rimmed versions though.

Deep dish look doesn't look bad on 911s either
Deep dish look doesn't look bad on 911s either
It's not just an Audi thing of course. Plenty of wheel designs from Minilites to BBS cross-spokes to Fuchs and beyond have made the leap from race to road. But which racing car had the coolest wheels ever? You've heard my vote. Let's have yours.


Author: Dan Trent
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