Porsche’s braided carbon fibre wheels, originally offered as an option for 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, are now officially available for regular Turbo and Turbo S coupe and cabriolet models via Porsche Tequipment – accessories division.
Manufactured entirely from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), the wheel is essentially comprised of two components. The wheel centre is made from carbon-fibre fabric. This involves cutting and assembling over 200 individual components.
The second component is the rim base made from braided carbon fibre by what is currently the world’s largest carbon fibre braiding machine with a diameter of approximately 9 metres.
The wheel centre is then braided into the rim base. The assembled wheel is impregnated with resin and pre-hardened at high pressure and high temperatures. The finished wheel is hardened at high temperatures followed by a long cooling process. The central lock is then inserted into the finished wheel and the wheel is protected with clear lacquer.
Porsche claims to be the first company in the automotive industry to use this complex technology. The braiding technology offers key advantages over the more conventional method of manufacturing pre-impregnated carbon-fibre fabric: This production technique makes the material structure of the carbon considerably denser and more compact, and increases rigidity. Using the material more efficiently also produces less waste. The new carbon wheel is made from a total of 18 kilometres carbon fibre or 8 square metres of carbon-fibre fabric.
The wheels weigh around 8.5 kg less than the standard alloy wheels and are 20% stronger as well.
Price? Well, €15,232 including VAT (in Germany) for the Exclusive Series. Probably the same for Turbo and Turbo S models.