The technology behind them is still in its infancy, but imagine if it goes mainstream.
There's certainly no shortage of newborn supercar manufacturers in the motoring world today. Here's one more that should be on your radar: Spyros Panopoulos Automotive. As we reported back in April, the Greek startup is currently hard-at-work on a stunning 3,000-horsepower supercar named "Chaos", powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V10 burning E85 and spinning up to 12,000 rpm, generating about three times as much power as the Koenigsegg Agera or twice as much as the Bugatti Chiron.
Now, as if the supercar's unfathomable power rating and cutting-edge Zylon poly monocoque weren't enough, Spyros Panopoulos has just teased yet another wild and crazy trick safely nestled up its sleeve: 3D-printed titanium wheels. Have you ever seen 3D-printed titanium wheels on a passenger car? Neither have we.
At least, not in-person. The technology behind them is still in its infancy, and it was less than two years ago that HRE Wheels and GE Additive unveiled the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheel, the "HRE3D+". The wheel was manufactured using EBM - or Electron Beam Melting - technology; rather than putting successive layers of melted material down as in a traditional 3D printer, raw titanium powder was fused together, layer upon layer, using an electron beam within a vacuum.
That's the stuff of science fiction, and it's yet another reason Spyros Panopoulos Automotive is a company worth watching.
The finished product is absolutely gorgeous, with five stunning, complex winding spoke structures bound together by something akin to webbing. They appear to be left unfinished - something only possible thanks to titanium's non-corrosive properties - and they're as scant as any production wheelset we've ever seen, leaving an almost absurd amount of rotor surface area exposed.
Of course, with 3,000 horsepower on tap and perhaps the most exotic construction we've ever seen, the Spyros Panopoulos Chaos is certainly going to cost far more than most could ever hope to afford, which raises the question: will we ever see 3D-printed titanium wheels like these trickle down into the automotive mainstream? We can only hope.