Any car buff will know reducing unsprung mass is good news for dynamics. While big alloys add to the aesthetic appeal of a vehicle, they also add weight in exactly the wrong place. Bentley Carbon Rims: How to Reduce Unsprung Mass for Better Performance
Bentley has been working on a solution that will enable its customers to ride on suitably sizeable wheels, but ones that offer a performance advantage over the conventional alloys they replace.
Behold the Bentley 22-inch carbon fibre rim, said to be the largest such wheel constructed of the stuff. Take that Rolls Royce. At 11.4kg, it’s said to be six kilos lighter than the alloy 22. And it hasn’t been a rush job, the firm working on it since 2015, and collaborating with Italian specialist Bucci Composites. These Italians are said to be whizzes at high pressure moulding, while the process involves controlling the direction of the CF weave. Both these processes are said to be crucial in giving the wheel design its strength.
Bentley Carbon Rims: the Ultimate Upgrade
It’s said these wheels are particularly strong, resisting deflection during hard cornering, unlike a conventional alloy rim. And this rim bending actually causes the steering geometry to be altered, effectively reducing the camber mid-bend. So the CF wheel will help shore up the steering feel and response in hard running as well as being easier for the suspension to control over the bumps.
To deal with heat build up, the CF wheels run a forged aluminium hub, while the layering of the carbon weave in the wheel spoke also helps dissipate heat.
And what happens should the rim fail?
Apparently Bentley went to extremes to find out and rather than a sudden catastrophic failure, the rim is said to deform in a manner that allows the tyre to slowly deflate. These carbon wheels can even be repaired when there is a minor curbing incident. The rim has been type approved for the European market having undergone the prescribed tests, and final sign off by Bentley was achieved after extensive time spent at the Nurburgring.