"Carbons" will soon replace "alloys' as synonym for wheels.
The word "alloys" may soon be a thing of the past for the car industry as BMW has its sights on rolling out a set of full carbon-fiber rims. The carmaker developed a new system of industrializing carbon fiber for its 'i' sub-brand and is now looking for other uses for its patents. Along with the ultra-light wheels, BMW will create a full carbon fiber steering wheel and a one-piece propeller shaft for the X5 and new M3/M4.
BMW has also developed a carbon fiber/alloy hybrid wheel that's 25 percent lighter than a forged alloy wheel. A completely carbon-fiber wheel is a further ten percent lighter. "The carbon fiber wheels are very damage resistant. They're actually more damage resistant to curb hits than standard alloy wheels because the damage polishes out really easily. You can scratch it when you park and it's better to polish out than aluminium. You can have the metal finish to it with the alloy hybrid, but it's technically a better solution to go all the way and have a full carbon fiber wheel." If Auto Express is to be be believed, we could see them on the market within the next 24 months.