As GM Authority covered way back in June, the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06 may offer an optional set of carbon fiber wheels, drastically reducing unsprung weight for the go-faster track missile. The question is – are carbon wheels even a good idea?
It’s an interesting question. For starters, carbon fiber wheels look very cool – adding carbon bits to any performance vehicle instantly ups the style factor several notches, but putting on a set of carbon fiber wheels is a statement in and of itself.
Of course, there are plenty of other benefits that carbon fiber wheels could add to the C8 Corvette Z06 outside of aesthetics. Carbon fiber is known for its strength and low weight, and using the material for wheels could drastically reduce unsprung mass, or rather, mass that isn’t supported by the vehicle’s suspension. A lighter wheel can improve grip over an uneven surface by more readily rebounding off bumps, and can help improve acceleration and braking by reducing overall rotational mass.
That said, there are a few drawbacks as well. The first is cost, as carbon fiber wheels can be outrageously expensive. There’s also the question of reliability – although carbon fiber is renowned for its strength, the material is not commonly used for street vehicle wheels, and it’s still possible they could crack when used hard. One YouTuber recently experienced exactly that with their 2020 Shelby GT500, as covered recently by our sister publication, Ford Authority.
So then, the question remains – are carbon fiber wheels a good idea for the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06? Composite rollers are currently expected to be part of the optional Z07 package, but is that a smart move, or not?
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