BBS rolls out wheels for the Chevrolet Corvette
Many people know BBS wheels from their success in the highest categories of auto racing, but more than 70 percent of the company's business involves supplying original equipment rims to more than two dozen automakers, including the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Jaguar and the high-performance AMG vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.
But BBS also is in the aftermarket business and thus the 2007 introduction of its BBS Gold line RS-GT wheels for the latest generation of the Chevrolet Corvette.
"The Corvette is the ideal showcase for BBS engineering expertise because of its amazing acceleration and grip," said Craig Donnelly, director of technical sales for Braselton, Ga., based BBS USA.
The BBS Gold wheels have to be good to justify their price -- $900 each for the RS978 front wheels and $1,290 apiece for the RS979 rears.
Donnelly explained that because of its supplier status, "we only do things at that level." Corners are not cut for the aftermarket, he stresses. "There's no secondary level. It takes longer and costs more, but that's the way it's done."
The ‘Vette wheels not only feature the characteristic BBS aesthetic design, but are two-piece and die-forged and were designed specifically to fit the Corvette, and thus to provide room for the car's large brake package. Donnelly said the company had to create some new tooling to do the Corvette's wide rear wheel.
He added that the new wheels weighed less than cast wheels and were stiffer, designed to allow more air volume within the tire and therefore the tires to run cooler in high-load situations while also providing enhanced ride quality.
Because of the expertise and high pressure equipment needed to "control the shape of the grain inside each spoke area," Donnelly added, BBS starts all of its die-forged wheels in a facility in Japan, where the company also does preliminary work on its Formula One and Indy car racing wheels.
For more information, visit the www.bbs-usa.com website.
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