The perfect wheel

Research on materials, technological innovation and design. These are the three elements that wheel manufacturers are focusing on to create the "perfect wheel". As an essential component, the wheel does more than guarantee safety, it can also contribute to enhance the look of a vehicle. Not all wheels, however, are equal, differing in their use, design and materials. For example, M1 approved wheels (intended for passenger vehicles) and N1 wheels (suitable for transport vehicles). Focusing on materials, the prevailing options range from aluminium alloy or steel/iron - mostly for wheels intended for the consumer market - to magnesium or carbon solutions that are decidedly more performance-oriented and intended for the racing world. Aluminium wheels are great in reducing weight and friction thus achieving greater levels of performance and fuel efficiency. Alloy wheels can also be made from cast or forged aluminium. The latter, thanks to a reduction in suspended masses, are lighter and benefit the overall performance of the vehicle. Iron wheels, on the other hand, are definitely cheaper and represent a widespread choice both for original equipment (OE) and replacements, with repercussions not only on style but also in terms of performance and consumption. Approvals are a further crucial aspect. In fact, as of 2015, only approved wheels can circulate in Italy, under penalty of severe fines. There are two types of approvals in our country: Un/Ece 124 and Nad. The former is a European certification specifying that the wheel has OEM specs in line with those indicated by the manufacturer. The Italian Nad approval, instead, was introduced after the adoption of Ministerial Decree 20. In this case, the "special" Nad approved wheels can have different sizes from the original, thus allowing to "customize" the vehicle. In this case, the product is initially tested at a Dekra or Tüv center and the results are sent to the German approval body Kba, which issues a first approval. In Italy, the document is accompanied by further tests at accredited CPAs. At the end of the process, the Italian Motor Vehicle Authority issues a unique Nad code for the product.




Arcasting is a company with twenty years of experience in the production of alloy wheels also as original equipment. Among the latest proposals in the company’s catalogue, we find Gladio, Ary, Victoria and MammuT5 and 6. Gladio is a multi-spoke wheel design made with low pressure technology and is available in several sizes ranging from 18'' to 21'' in glossy black, glossy anthracite and diamond black finishes. Ary and Victoria have a sporty style and are available in different sizes. Ary is available in sizes 8.0x19 and 9.0x19, and later this year also in 20'' and 22'' for SUVs, while the Victoria wheel has been developed in sizes 18'' and 19''. Both have silver, gloss black, gloss anthracite and diamond black finishes. For the light truck and pick-up segment, which requires wheels capable of withstanding high loads, Arcasting has designed the Mammut range in sizes 16", 17", 18" and 20", both with 5 spokes for the 5 holes and with 6 spokes for the 6 holes, and the range of finishes are chrome, glossy black or diamond black.


AVUS Racing

Lots of news at AVUS for this 2021. The Italian company specialized in the production of alloy wheels opens the season with two new wheels, new colours and sizes. The novelties include the world of electric cars and heavy-duty vehicles with three new AVUS proposals. The first is a wheel designed for Porsche and Audi enthusiasts. The AC-M08 is a multi-spoke product with an elegant design, available in black and black polished for a sportier style or anthracite and anthracite polished for a more elegant style. The diamond finish enhances the design of the spokes. Finally, the size range of the new AVUS wheel goes from 20 to 22 inches, also in double barrel version. The second is the AF20, dedicated to Audi. The asymmetrical design gives the wheel an aggressive and dynamic style and ranges from 18 to 21 inches, with the double barrel version for the 20-and 21-inch sizes. The AF20 is available in black polished, matt anthracite polished and black finishes. So far, in 2021 AVUS has decided to expand the range of sizes and colours for the AF19 wheel with the new 7.5x17" size and the new black polished lip finish. New 23-inch size with double barrel also for the AF18, a dedicated to Audi enthusiasts.

Seeing the rapid spread of electric cars on the market, AVUS prepared a specific product for this fast-growing sector: AC-518E, specific version for hybrid and electric cars of the popular AC-518, the company's universal wheel.

Important news also for the heavy-duty market (campers, motorhomes and SUVs) with the new 5-hole AC-V51 and the 6-hole AC-V61. The two wheels, available in black polished and hyper silver, have been designed to bear a maximum load of 1300 kg. The size range goes from 16 to 18 inches, this last measure present with double barrel. AVUS rims are approved by Abe for the German market and Nad for the Italian market.


Gruppo Alcar



Not to be outdone, the ALCAR group presented its own newest products with more in the pipeline. For the Suv segment, ALCAR has the AEZ Leipzig in its catalogue. This product has a Y-spoke design and a size range from 20 to 22 inches for the main Suvs in the premium segment. AEZ Leipzig is available in two variants: black and dark. Offsets from 20 to 50, combined with a load capacity of more than 1000 kg (10.5x22"), make the new AEZ Leipzig suitable for ECE applications on the full-size range of leading premium segment SUVs, such as the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and X6, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. For mid-size models, ALCAR offers the AEZ Aruba light alloy wheel. The wheel features a V-shaped multi-spoke design and is available in sizes from 18 to 21 inches in dark and graphite variants, the wheel is Ece approved for Audi and VW midsize models and Nad approved for a wide range of cars.



DOTZ, still in the ALCAR group, has several new products in its catalogue. The first, the LagunaSeca alloy wheel with crossed spokes is clearly inspired by the motor-sports world. The dimensions range from 8x19 to 10x21” and is available in a double option grey and dark, a wheel specially developed for medium and high range vehicles, such as BMW 3, BMW 4, from BMW 5 to BMW 8 and from Audi A3 to Audi A7. Next the Sepang Blaze which features a cross-spoke design with an offset outer ring. This product is available in a single 8x19-inch size. For the DOTZ Suzuka, on the other hand, the ALCAR group has planned a range extension with the introduction of the new blaze finish variant in silver with polished front spokes. The combination of the silver finish and the high gloss surface is achieved through the application of a specially developed paint, able to give a double gloss effect thanks to specific metal particles. The ALCAR group has also extended the range of its best seller, the DOTZ Suzuka, by developing four additional applications. For the Bmw 3 series and Bmw 4 series new ECE approved wheels are available, also in sizes 8x19, 8,5x19, 8x20 and 8,5x20. The DOTZ Suzuka range is available in three variants: glossy black, black front polished and silver front polished. DOTZ Suzuka is available from 18 to 20 inches. For compact and mid-range cars ALCAR created an asymmetrical 10-spoke design. This is the DOTZ Spa available in glossy black front polished and black matte colour variants with sizes ranging from 7.5x17" to 8x19". All the indicated products have Nad approval.


DOTZ Survival 4x4

Moving on to the heavy duty, off-road and RV wheels, the ALCAR group presented the new Kalahari, from the DOTZ Survival 4x4 line, which has a load capacity of up to 1,150 kilograms per wheel. The DOTZ Kalahari features an 8 spokes design suitable to withstand the stress of driving on the roughest terrain. And for off-road enthusiasts, ALCAR has launched the new "Extreme" variant of the DOTZ Dakar in 2021. Extreme sizes, extreme applications and extreme offsets: a true die-hard off-road wheel able to tackle the most diverse types of terrains. The ventilation openings in the hub cup have been designed to achieve greater resistance and to meet the needs of even the most extreme off-road drivers. This wheel does not require approval for N1 category vehicles or off-road use.


 Gruppo Oz



SUVs and Crossovers represent a fast-growing segment on the world scene and in an attempt to cater for this rising demand, the OZ Group unveiled the MSW 41. The five double spokes design can be fitted, the company points out, to a wide range of car brands and models thanks to the wide availability of sizes and diameters. In fact, this wheel is produced in diameters ranging from 19 to 21”, with numerous combinations that make it possible to equip several cars that require different applications between front and rear. Switching to vans and light trucks, the group has extended the range of the MSW 48 with the addition of the new 6.5 x 16 and 7 x 17 sizes. MSW 48 van capitalizes on a design already destined for SUVs and Crossovers, thus strengthening the hub and partly also the spokes. As a result, the wheel is able to support a maximum weight of 1,350 kg. Like all the wheels produced by the OZ group, MSW 48 is approved according to the directives and tests provided by Tuv.


OZ Racing

No shortage of options at OZ for 2021 and among the most significant is the Aero project. The result of decades of experience in the motorsport sector, OZ has managed to synthesize dedication, skills and innovation, creating a product suitable for both ICE and electric vehicles. The High Light Technology production process produces mechanical characteristics similar to those of a forged wheel, increasing resistance and reducing weight. Thus, OZ engineers were able to combine lightness and performance. Superturismo Aero is an aftermarket wheel with racing-derived features. The wheel features an airflow extraction system, similar to what we find in F1 “cars”, that increases air circulation, dissipating the heat generated when braking. The Central Lock Look Cap simulates the single nut lock typical of racing cars. An alternative version of this wheel was designed for electric vehicles: Aero-e; equipped with special Full Aero Flaps designed and developed exclusively for high performance electric vehicles that require optimized aerodynamic flows, further reducing the CX of the car to save energy and increase mileage. In fact, the Full Aero Flap surface is covered by concave hemispheres that create the Magnus effect, capable of minimizing surface turbulence as the wheel rotates. Special wing profiles and vertical slots ensure air extraction both on the outer lip and along the spokes, to maintain the correct level of brake cooling. As an alternative to the Central Lock Look Cap, OZ in this case has designed the Central Aero Cap, integrated with the wheel structure thus obtaining a flat hub area.




Record is Sparco's latest creation, which represents a new expression of the technical “precepts” stemming from the brand's sporting tradition. Not only the name, but also the shape of this wheel represents a strong reference to the world of motorsports. In fact, Sparco Record was designed inside the OZ tech lab, the research centre where OZ engineers develop all competition wheels. The Sparco Record alloy wheel features a design with five very thin double spokes and multilayer construction which features the use of a side-cut, a construction technique that makes it possible to reduce weight while maintaining the same structural rigidity. The new model is suitable for just about all the compact sports cars on the market, even in their most extreme versions. Sparco Record is available in a wide range of sizes with diameters ranging from 17 to 19” and in 3 finishes: gloss black, rally bronze and matt graphite on selected applications. Like all Sparco wheels, Record is Tuv and Nad approved. Another new product from the research and development centre of the OZ Group is the new 8.5x20" Sparco Assetto Gara. This size, available in matt black and matt bronze finishes, can be fitted, as the company points out, on several medium and large-sized cars.



For 2021, Mak presented a series of new products also designed for electric vehicles.

The new Electra wheel, inspired by the design of the latest Volkswagen, the company specifies, is compatible with the original hardware and hubcaps used on Audi, Skoda, Tesla and, of course, Volkswagen. Mak Electra has a multi-spoke design with three different finishes: m-titan, gloss black and black mirror. Electra is available in 19, 20 and 21” sizes and is Nad and Tuv/Kba approved. Similar features can be found on the Kassel, available in 18 and 19” sizes. For this product too, Mak worked side by side with designers and technicians to succeed in combining style and innovation. Kassel is Nad and Tua/Kba approved.