Ford GT. Ferrari 488 Pista. Bentley Bentayga. Other than the fact that there’s a good chance you cannot afford any of them, what do these three cars have in common? They are all available with carbon fiber wheels. Usually reserved for purposes of ultra high performance, wheels made of weaved carbon will soon be available on Bentley’s big family hauler. Some SUVs may look better and more at-home on nondescript steelies—the Bentayga clearly ain’t one of them.
Made by Mulliner in collaboration with Bucci Composites, the black-weave rims cut 13.2 pounds of unsprung mass per corner over aluminum, providing better steering and braking. Measuring 22 inches in diameter, they are apparently the biggest carbon wheels available on any production car today.
Bentley also says it took five years developing and engineering ’em to pass all of Germany’s stringent TÜV safety tests—the first carbon wheel in history to do so. These tests included biaxial stress testing, radial and lateral impact, as well as tests simulating tire overpressure and excessive torque. According to the automaker, the woven wheel is actually safer under hard impact than its aluminum equivalent, which would crack and cause the tire to suddenly and violently deflate. Because of how the carbon wheel’s more thoughtful weave layering pulls apart, however, the tire is able to deflate more slowly, giving the driver more time to come to a more controlled, safe stop.
Bentley also tested the Bentayga’s new running shoes at the Nürburgring—because of course it did.
The Bentley Bentayga’s new, 22-inch carbon wheels will be available to order in late 2021.
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