Set to debut at the 2015 SEMA Show, BBi Autosport is proud to present the lightweight RSR 980 forged magnesium wheels. Designed by MKW Alloy’s luxury wheel division California-based RSR (Road, Street, Race), the Race Series forged magnesium wheels utilizes the latest motorsport materials and manufacturing technologies. In addition to being the lightest structural metal available, magnesium offers excellent fatigue resistance, denting and buckling resistance, and vibration dampening. Each wheel is produced by applying eight thousand times heavier pressure than casting. This process prevents porosity inside the material and creates homogenous metal structure at the molecular level, helping the material achieve high rigidity and strength. The characteristics obtained by the process allows maximum milling capacity and enables to reduce weight dramatically.
The all-new 900 series wheels – a “one-piece” forged magnesium alloy - makes an enormous difference in the overall performance of the car while providing less exertion to the engine. The Race 900 series line will be aimed at performance vehicles such as the Porsche GT3, giving track day and race customers a competitive advantage. Bill Koenig, executive vice president for RSR Wheels and parent company MKW Alloy, notes that lightness is what makes magnesium wheels so heavily sought after. “Saving weight is the number one priority,” said Koenig, “and pushing less rotating mass gives a car a competitive advantage against a similar equipped car with heavier wheels.” RSR magnesium wheels are 30% percent lighter than aluminum and the bonus of magnesium specifically provides decreased rotational weight, allowing drivers to get up-to-speed faster and maintain speed longer with less stress on the engine. Koenig contends that magnesium has the highest vibration dampening rate of any of the structural metals, including aluminum, titanium or steel and helps to absorb road shock while creating a more consistent contact patch for the tires – resulting in a smooth ride and more traction for better accelerating and cornering.
Just a few years ago, Bill Koenig was Carbon Revolution’s Director of Sales and Marketing. In that position, he brought the carbon fiber road wheel maker to such prominence it is now the factory wheel for the Mustang GT350. Now the self-described “lightweight freak” and long-time Porsche owner has a new career as Executive Vice President of California-based MKW Alloy Wheels, where he is on another lightweight wheel quest. Only this time, he’s trading fiber for an exotic (for road cars) alloy.
Koenig was able to convince “a Japanese company that builds forged magnesium wheels for multiple Formula 1 teams” to build a forged magnesium design “optimized for both street and track.” That’s not a bad selling point for a set of wheels that will have real world benefits as well as snob appeal. Porsche’s 911 is the target vehicle for the first production run as these owners are not only well-heeled, they also are rabid about using them at track days. Wheels for the 911 GT3, for example, come in a 19-in. diameter and widths of nine inches (front) and 12 in. (rear). However, unlike the $15,000 Carbon Revolution wheels, the forged magnesium rims — which sit between the factory alloys and composite wheels in terms of stiffness and heat dissipation — cost a relatively inexpensive $8,800. That’s just $700 more, for example, than the carbon composite brake package on a BMW M4.
“The Japanese have metallurgists on staff working with suppliers to ensure the magnesium alloys are to spec.,” says Koenig, and the design works for “multiple applications without having to forge multiple blanks.” A good thing since tooling for each wheel design costs about $100,000. “We developed profiles that work on multiple vehicles,” he says, “and the rotational mass is about three times less than a stock alloy wheel.” To put it another way, that’s just short of the reduction Carbon Revolution is quoting for its much more expensive wheels. MKW’s forged magnesium wheels are part of its RSR (“Road, Street, Race”) line. Road rims are exemplified by cast-aluminum wheels. Street wheels use flow-form casting that spins the heated form in order to get the aluminum to flow and bind together. This creates a wheel stronger than a cast design, but with a thinner cross-section. The Race units are the forged magnesium wheels.
From an environmental perspective, Koenig concludes that magnesium use within the transportation industries is growing alongside the demand for fuel efficient vehicles, and RSR is working to be on the forefront of the competition in regard to using lightweight exotic materials. “In an increasingly environmentally conscious world, the full recyclability of magnesium additionally makes our wheels a very suitable selection.” Light-weight vehicles are able to run on lower fuel levels which aid in lowering greenhouse emissions. The reduced weight of the vehicle can also increase performance and durability allowing for an increased lifespan.
19x9 = 17.96 lbs
19x12 = 20.60 lbs
RSR’s new magnesium Race wheel will be shown at SEMA on a super lightweight Porsche GT3 project car in MKW Alloy’s booth #46097 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. To showcase the best tire and wheel combination designed for the track and approved for the road, it will sport race-inspired Ultra-High Performance Sport Michelin Pilot® Sport Cup 2 tires (235/35/19 and 325/30/19).