Manufacturers like Aston Martin, Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz were the first to begin abandoning cast alloy wheels. They fit their performance models with forged alloy wheels - a shift that has caught industry and consumer attention.
During the manufacturing process, technicians subject forged alloy wheels to extreme heat and pressure, resulting in a dense, durable - but still lightweight - material. Forged alloy wheels, while more expensive than their cast alloy counterparts, provide the ultimate in performance: better cornering, faster acceleration and improved braking.
Mark Lisnyansky is a board member of "Lightest," a Belgium-based fabrications company, whose EAD (European Automotive Distribution) subsidiary is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-end automotive wheels. According to Mr. Lisnyansky, "Forged alloy wheels use the lightest materials available, yielding fuel savings and a smoother, more maneuverable ride."
SMW Engineering is another European company educating consumers on what professional racers have known for many years: Forged wheels go the distance in ensuring top performance.
High-performance vehicle manufacturers are turning to lightweight forged alloy wheels to increase driving agility through a 30 percent weight reduction in the wheel. The use of magnesium instead of aluminum alloy reduces wheel weight by an additional 25 percent. Furthermore, a forged alloy wheel is about 40 percent stronger than its cast alloy counterpart.
Although forged wheels are still regarded by many as something exotic, more appropriate for motorsport use, they do create an opportunity for substantial drive-quality improvement, which positions them as an investment well worth considering by any automobile connoisseur.