Carbon fiber wheels are all the fashion in efficiency vehicles proper now. Everybody needs that candy, candy weight discount, particularly relating to unsprung, rotating mass. However what if you happen to’re a maker of finances efficiency autos, with out the power to drop $12,000 per automobile for a set of brittle, breakable wheels? Whenever you’re banking on quantity, these prices — each in development and n guarantee claims — add up shortly.
So Hyundai, for its N vehicles, is taking a unique observe. It’s working with two firms. Dymag Wheels and Hankuk Carbon, to create a semi-carbon wheel — carbon rim, metallic spokes. From Dymag’s standpoint, the brand new design must be the most effective of each worlds.
The producer claims weight financial savings of 40 to 50 p.c over an everyday solid aluminum wheel, which might be extra like 5 to twenty p.c weight financial savings over a high-quality cast wheel. This may increasingly not sound all that spectacular, however with wheels there’s extra to contemplate than weight — that you must think about weight distribution, and the way it impacts the wheel’s second of inertia.
Whenever you need your wheels to vary path on a dime, second of inertia is what actually issues. It’s outlined by a bunch of uninteresting equations, however the core idea is that this: Given fixed momentum, a rotating object will spin extra shortly when its middle of mass is nearer to the axis round which it’s rotating. Image a determine skater pulling their limbs inward to hurry up a spin, or the way in which a tall bicycle tire resists leaning over when it’s spinning.
By making the outermost a part of the wheel from carbon fiber, Dymag can scale back a wheel’s second of inertia — seemingly by a substantial margin, since inertia scales with radius squared — with out shelling out for full carbon development. Meaning higher response from the entrance wheels when altering path, quicker acceleration and deceleration, an outsized impact from the comparatively small quantity of carbon used.
How the maths all shakes out on Hyundai’s new wheels is but to be seen — we don’t but know their dimension, mass, weight distribution, any of the numbers we’d must calculate out a discount in second of inertia. However, behind the wheel, you seemingly received’t want all that math anyway. If Dymax and Hankuk acquired their new development technique proper, you’ll really feel the distinction.