They're certainly getting more popular.
You know the trick carbon fiber wheels available on the Ford Shelby Mustang GT350? Well, they’re not actually made by Ford, instead, they come from a small Australian supplier that’s about to get much larger.
It was recently announced that Carbon Revolution would be growing the size of its staff and warehousing space in Geelong, Australia. The company will gain an extra 500 employees, which will see its workforce nearly triple in size and push its annual production capacity from 10,000 to more than 150,000 wheels. The Shelby GT350R was the first production car to make use of the company's revolutionary 1-piece constructed carbon wheels, Ford also decided to stick a set on the new GT, and this year CR announced it would also be providing wheels to Ferrari for use on the 488 Pista.
The expansion, which is worth more than $100 million could indicate that there are more takers queuing up to use the ultra-light wheels. The ramp up hasn’t been defined as of yet so it’s possible this is geared towards motorsport applications or potentially even electric car demands.
The carbon wheels reduce unsprung mass and help reduce vibrations, these are virtues that can be put to use in the quest for speed, or perhaps even maximum efficiency. Regardless, we have to ask, who’s going to be buying the additional 150,000 wheels? That’s enough scale to fit an additional 37,500 cars.
Of course, with the increase in scale should come a massive reduction in cost efficiency.
Currently, a set of wheels from Carbon Revolution will set you back somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000, but with production capacity increasing by 1,500% we will hopefully see costs come down by an order of magnitude, which means maybe you’ll soon be seeing them on a Prius or something.