Ford blew everybody's hair back when it announced that the Mustang Shelby GT350R would ride on carbon fiber wheels. Not counting the Koenigsegg One:1 and its seven-figure price tag, the super 'Stang was the first large-scale production car to offer carbon fiber wheels. Now, it sounds like General Motors wants to get in on the lightweight unsprung action.
William Rodgers, a light polymer systems researcher at General Motors, that the automaker hopes to introduce carbon fiber wheels as optional equipment on its top-tier performance vehicles.
It's likely that GM would work in partnership with Carbon Revolution, the Australian company that manufactures the carbon fiber wheels found on the Mustang Shelby GT350R as well as the upcoming 2017 Ford GT, which can be equipped with the clear-coated carbon fiber split-five-spoke wheels shown above.
GM's Rodgers indicates that carbon fiber rollers could shave 35 lbs. off a vehicle's curb weight, greatly reducing rotational and unsprung weight to improve dynamics. "It's a performance-driven execution," Rodgers told Autoblog.
Right now, GM is conducting wear and tear tests to see how carbon fiber wheels stand up in daily driver duty. Rodgers indicates that, for the most part, a damaged carbon fiber wheel would have to be replaced outright, since repairs to carbon fiber are notoriously difficult. The Mustang GT350's carbon fiber wheels , though per-wheel replacement cost soars to more than $4000.