At this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas, we got a chance to catch up with President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg. We spoke with Sandberg about a number of things (more on that later), including his podcast, Brembo Red, which hosted GM design chief Michael Simcoe back in September. During the podcast, Sandberg and Simcoe discussed the design of the “corners” of the vehicle – the wheels and brakes. One of the more intriguing topics is the move towards larger wheels.
Sandberg discussed the importance of wheel design with regard to consumer perception of a vehicle, noting that the wheels are some of the most attention-grabbing features in terms of aesthetics. Prior to Brembo, Sandberg was with Maxion wheels, so the importance of a good-looking wheel package isn’t lost on him.
Simcoe agrees, saying “any designer you’ll talk to will talk about how to make a vehicle look good and lower, longer, wider. And you add to that large-diameter wheel and tire.”
“Where we are today, an 18-inch wheel is a small wheel,” Simcoe added.
Later, Simcoe indicated that the future of wheel design, and naturally GM design as well, will be bigger and bigger – upwards of 24- and 26-inch wheels, in fact.
“We’re headed toward 24- and 26-inch wheels,” the head of GM design said.
Sandberg also asked Simcoe about the look of the wheel itself, and whether he thought the future was with in open designs, or a more closed design.
“The wheel style will be styled to suit the vehicle itself, so pretty much anything goes. Clearly as we brand the vehicles, we style the wheels too,” Simcoe said.
The GM design chief also talked about mating wheel style with brakes, mentioning how Brembo has worked with The General in colors and styling of the calipers. Simcoe mentioned that brakes “used to be just a functional item,” but are now part of the overall aesthetic of a vehicle.
To note, Brembo has provided braking components for a number of high-performance GM vehicles in the past. Some of the most recent examples include the new 2020 Corvette C8, which offers Black, Bright Red, Edge Red and Yellow calipers. Other examples include the Cadillac CT5 and CT4 in the Sport and V trim levels, which offer Red, Blue, and Black calipers from Brembo. Meanwhile, the Cadillac CTS-V offered a yellow brake appearance package, while the current line of GM full-size SUVs on the K2 platform (Tahoe/Suburban, Yukon/Yukon XL and Escalade/Escalade ESV) offer an optional high-performance brake package from Brembo with red calipers.
Do you think bigger is better with regard to wheel sizing? Are you a fan of stylized brake designs? Is this the direction in which GM design should be headed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to subscribe to GM Authority for around-the-clock GM news coverage.
Source: Brembo Red