The new Fast EV Wheel for Model 3 is coming - help me design it!

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PNWmisty

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#21
Hey all,

After much rumour mongering we"re getting down to the nitty-gritty on our new lightweight aero EV wheel, which will have a specific 18x8.5 application for Model 3 to start (including P3D... OBVIOUSLY :)) and possibly more sizes and Tesla applications if all goes as planned.
We're close to finalizing the design, however I'd really appreciate it if you could all take 30 seconds to have a look and answer two questions about the removable aero inserts.
Survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KGB57QB

I'm sure this is going to prompt a slew of questions, and as laways I'll be more than pleased to answer, however please note that I'm currently travelling on vacation so responses may be somewhat sporadic.

Many thanks for your input!
Good for taking the initiative on this!

Things that are important to me in a wheel:

1) Light weight that goes beyond just weight and considers rotational inertia. This means the rim needs to be well forged/worked to comply with #2.
2) rim is strong against impact damage/deformation
3) top quality (hard) finish
4) precise manufacturing to keep tolerances as tight as possible in terms of lug placement, roundness and dynamic balance.

Screw affordability, we're talking wheels here! Maybe the aero covers could be made out of thin, unpainted, stamped titanium plate. I'll add that although I voted for non-visible screws, if they are done with the proper placement and look, they could definitely add to the aesthetics. In otherwords, the overall effect could be one of "high-tech". If so, put one vote from hidden screws to visible screws.
 
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#25
An aero wheel already exists in 18". It comes as standard when ordering a M3! ;) It's not as pretty, though.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#27
If the added weight is light enough, it does not.
It's really tough to make a full alloy aero wheel without incurring a weight penalty, certainly one that looks good anyway. This is why you see so may OEMs using a lightweight minimalist alloy wheel with either a plastic inserts or full plastic cover solution for the aero surfaces, it's far more efficient solution.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#29
Good for taking the initiative on this!

Things that are important to me in a wheel:

1) Light weight that goes beyond just weight and considers rotational inertia. This means the rim needs to be well forged/worked to comply with #2.
2) rim is strong against impact damage/deformation
3) top quality (hard) finish
4) precise manufacturing to keep tolerances as tight as possible in terms of lug placement, roundness and dynamic balance.

Screw affordability, we're talking wheels here! Maybe the aero covers could be made out of thin, unpainted, stamped titanium plate. I'll add that although I voted for non-visible screws, if they are done with the proper placement and look, they could definitely add to the aesthetics. In otherwords, the overall effect could be one of "high-tech". If so, put one vote from hidden screws to visible screws.
Great list.
Where we stand on your points:

1) We're using flow-forming (or rotary forging as some prefer) for the barrel construction as this dramatically reduces mass at the outer radius and gives you the biggest win on reducing inertia while keeping pricing in mere-mortal range.
2) We're building and testing to 20% beyond Model 3 load requirements
3) & 4) We're using the same production facility, materials, processes and tolerances that we use to build our OEM program wheels for Mazda, Kia and Hyundai. Trust me, these folks are picky :)

I hear you about the screws, we're working on what we hope will be an aesthetically pleasing solution, news as it happens.
 

MichelT3

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#30
As it is a kind of "aero wheels for those who don't like aero wheels", it normal that those who like aero's don't like these ones.
I personally like the fact that you can remove the "covers".
On the factory Aero's you can remove the Aero covers too and end up with very nice spoked wheels (if you add caps).
 
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#35
I can't understand the designer's fixation on angular lines. Also, it's not such an issue with a 3 but, making the wheels a chore to clean with hidden angles and tight corners.
I applaud the thought but I don't think these designs are production worthy.
 

PNWmisty

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#36
I can't understand the designer's fixation on angular lines. Also, it's not such an issue with a 3 but, making the wheels a chore to clean with hidden angles and tight corners.
I applaud the thought but I don't think these designs are production worthy.
I like easy to clean wheels too but perhaps the Model 3's regenerative braking and almost complete lack of brake dust make it less important.
 

doghouse33

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#37
Survey done, love the idea.

Here's a newbie question. Has there been any consideration to a wheel that could accommodate the OEM Aero cover? I realize this would make the wheel is exclusive to Model 3 with the bolt pattern/hub bore combination and not be as viable, to a manufacturer, as a hub ring fitted wheel. Could a hub ring be designed to extend to the outer face, or an outer hub ring, so the Aero cover could snap in? Obviously, the face of the wheel would need the recessed space for the Aero cover.

I am currently very seriously considering the FC04's but would love the option of a wheel that one could snap on the Aero covers for longer trips.
 

PNWmisty

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#38
Survey done, love the idea.

Here's a newbie question. Has there been any consideration to a wheel that could accommodate the OEM Aero cover? I realize this would make the wheel is exclusive to Model 3 with the bolt pattern/hub bore combination and not be as viable, to a manufacturer, as a hub ring fitted wheel. Could a hub ring be designed to extend to the outer face, or an outer hub ring, so the Aero cover could snap in? Obviously, the face of the wheel would need the recessed space for the Aero cover.

I am currently very seriously considering the FC04's but would love the option of a wheel that one could snap on the Aero covers for longer trips.
If you want to do that, why not just use the OEM 18" wheels?
 

Mad Hungarian

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#39
Survey done, love the idea.

Here's a newbie question. Has there been any consideration to a wheel that could accommodate the OEM Aero cover? I realize this would make the wheel is exclusive to Model 3 with the bolt pattern/hub bore combination and not be as viable, to a manufacturer, as a hub ring fitted wheel. Could a hub ring be designed to extend to the outer face, or an outer hub ring, so the Aero cover could snap in? Obviously, the face of the wheel would need the recessed space for the Aero cover.

I am currently very seriously considering the FC04's but would love the option of a wheel that one could snap on the Aero covers for longer trips.
Oh we most certainly have looked at that idea, two reasons it could be appealing:
One, to offer people the option of a different base wheel design (obviously not radically different) that can reuse the OE cover. This is probably a marginal audience.
Two, to offer people in northern climates a lower cost option for a second set of summer or winter wheels that can reuse the OE cover. This might be a little more viable.

To start we figured we'd take a shot at creating what we think is a slightly spicier design that's a wee bit lighter and still offers some aero benefits (everyone loves Wheels With Benefits, no?)
But love hearing what you all think the next thing should be on the list.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#40
I'm right with you. I'd be down for a flat convex wheel for aero. That wheel is stationary while the car is in motion. How did they do that?
That's actually not a terribly hard trick to pull off, you just need to incorporate a bearing into the assembly that connects the cover to the wheel to allow it to rotate independently of the wheel and add a heavy weight to the bottom most point of the cover so that when the car moves the cover will want to stay in that fixed orientation.
Rolls uses this method to create stationary center cap logos on their OE wheels, and marketing companies have also used the same concept to turn wheels into advertising spaces years ago.
 
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