Carbon fiber wheels (GT350R), are they worth it?

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat Wheels and Tires' started by The Max, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. The Max

    The Max Gold Member

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    The company in Australia, that makes these wheels out of carbon fiber claim their reduced weight rims reduce the unsprung weight and reduce rotational energy. Wondering if it helps the GT350R accelerate faster and handle better? They claim 13 lb difference/ per wheel which provides a 40% drop in rotational energy.

    The way technology keeps getting better and better just wondering if it would benefit the Hellcat?
     
  2. NorCaletch19He77Kat

    NorCaletch19He77Kat Silver Member

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    of course it helps
     
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  3. Motorcat

    Motorcat Senior Hellcat Member

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    Good article on this subject in February issue Car and Driver, Page 18, Quantifying the benefits of the Shelby GT350R's carbon fiber wheels. Yes they help
     
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  4. BLK_MAGIC

    BLK_MAGIC VIP Hellcat Member

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    They help but, how durable are they for everyday driving?
     
  5. Top Cat

    Top Cat Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Fastest Cat/Record Holder HCC Charter Member

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    How much was one wheel?
    TC
     
  6. paul suloff

    paul suloff Silver Member

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    Several companies make them, I searched google for them. Sent an email to one company. They replied that no current fitment for our cars, but price was close to $4K a wheel!!
     
  7. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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    I bet it helps a lot as unsprung weight is huge. The caveat is that if you think a Hellcat wheel is overpriced I can only imagine what one of those suckers will cost from Ford when a replacement is needed.

    If you hit a curb hard does the wheel break into pieces and turn to dust? I'm being serious... Just curious and don't know. I'm sure it doesn't disintegrate but I have to think the end result is not pretty. I love the idea but I wouldn't want it on a daily driver (I realize the GT350R isn't a daily driver for the vast majority)!
     
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  8. Top Cat

    Top Cat Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member Fastest Cat/Record Holder HCC Charter Member

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    The GT350R is a pretty serious factory race car for the twisty's and for those that race the cars money usually doesn't matter too much, add the CF brakes @25K and it starts to add up real fast, love the car for what it was designed for.
    TC
     
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  9. ppowell1983

    ppowell1983 BANNED Gold Supporting Member

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    I would think that rather than spending 10k or more on lighter wheels I bet there's cheaper ways to get the same performance outcome. If the design is to get the car to go around a race track faster then there has to be easier ways to do that. If its to go down the drag strip, add 200HP and it will be better than lighter wheels for the same cost...

    Just my thoughts.
     
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  10. BLK_MAGIC

    BLK_MAGIC VIP Hellcat Member

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    Wow! $4K per wheel? That car would only be used for racing, thats $41K in brakes and wheels not even considering tires.
     
  11. carcass

    carcass SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    there expensive, but that technology is trickling down to lower price parts, I think soon they'll be in reach of mere mortals. If I could swing it I'd buy em. 13 lbs a tire is huge. I'd bet it would be immediately noticeable. in any type of driving.
     
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  12. BLK_MAGIC

    BLK_MAGIC VIP Hellcat Member

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    I think that would be true, in racing everything comes down to weight.
     
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  13. The Max

    The Max Gold Member

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    Had a chance to read Car & Driver article about these carbon fiber wheels. They will put these on the new Ford GT.

    They performed acceleration runs 30 - 130 mph Aluminum wheel 17.7 sec Carbon fiber wheel 16.5 sec 1.2 sec.quicker. that is very impressive and probably a couple of car lengths in a race. If I did work to my car and had that result I would be happy.

    As production increases, technology gets better costs will come down, maybe they won't be unobtainable for the rest of us.

    This would benefit acceleration, suspension, braking, grip and probably a better overall feel with less unsprung weight
     
  14. BLK_MAGIC

    BLK_MAGIC VIP Hellcat Member

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    I wonder what sizes and widths they're gonna offer.
     
  15. Driver72

    Driver72 Gold Member

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    Keep in mind the acceleration advantage of the 350R over the 350 isn't solely from the lighter wheels (saves 60 lbs or 15 lbs per corner, 13 in wheels and 2 each in tires).
    The car itself is lighter too (130 lbs overall) due to no back seat, no A/C, less carpeting, less sound insulation, and other weight savings.

    The question of, "is it worth it"?
    I'd say if you race for money or even for bragging rights a lot, and you can comfortably afford them, and the cost of replacement if/when you damage one or more of them, sure go for it.
    But for the average, and by average I mean 90% of the people who will buy a GT350, it wouldn't be.
    I'd get a GT350 with the standard wheels, pull them off, and find a nice set of aftermarket wheels that weigh less than the stock GT350 wheels/tires. This way you've dropped a bit in rotational mass (maybe not the 13lbs per corner the CF wheels do, but maybe 3-5 lbs) and you don't have to worry about spending $4-5k on a wheel replacement if you damage one.

    I know the C&D article showed a pretty decent improvement with the GT350R over the GT350 due to it's less weight, but I also read an article somewhere else that tested them both and there was a much smaller difference between the two.
    The GT350R got off the line quicker mostly due to the less weight and stickier tires, but as speeds increased the GT350 was closing the gap a bit....mainly due to the fact the GT350R has more downforce, which slows you down in accelerating as speeds increase. Same issue the Corvette ZO6 with Zo7 package has.
    The biggest test would be to do a full battery of performance tests with the GT350R stock.
    They pull off those wheels/tires and put the stock GT350 wheels and tires on, and run the tests again.
    Then order a set of the stickier tires from the GT350R and put them on the GT350 wheels, and run the tests again.

    This would give you an idea of what both the lighter CF wheels does for you, but also how much the better tires on the GT350R contribute to that improvement.

    If you are a track junkie and can afford it, the GT350R is worth it. If not, I'd just get a nice GT350 and do some upgrades to it and still have spent several thousands less than the GT350R upgrade would cost you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
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