The wheels make the car. Fact. And choosing the right set of aftermarket wheels for your ride can have a dramatic effect on the look and the performance of your car. There are a seemingly infinite number of aftermarket wheel companies making high-tech wheels for everyone's taste.
However, there are some cars that came from the factory with the perfect wheels already fitted. These rims have the right look, the right fitment and gave the car the right attitude. Here are some of the best wheels that perfectly matched the vehicles they came with.
M4 GTS Wheels
In 2015 BMW introduced the F82 M4 GTS. Designed as a rival to the Porsche GT3, it featured a trick water-injection system and adjustable suspension. But the real eye-catcher of the GTS was the wheels.
Silver spokes with a copper/orange rim really stand out and make a statement on the street or the track. They measure 9.5 x 19 inches up front and 10.5 x 20 inches in the back. The lightweight design fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires made the GTS a formidable track weapon. Just goes to show you don't have to sacrifice style for speed.
AMG Monoblock Wheels
The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door is a brand new car for 2019. Think of it like a sports car that fits your entire family and can be spec-ed with up to 630-horsepower. As you might imagine with one of the world's premier luxury car manufacturers, there's a long list of options, packages, tech and goodies that allow you to personalize the super-sedan. One of the best looking options is the AMG Monoblock Forged wheel in black. It's a retro-inspired design that's based on the AMG monoblock wheels from the past. At 21-inches, they're big... but so is the statement they make!
Lamborghini Muira SV Campangolo Wheels
The Lamborghini Miura is supercar genesis. The original bedroom poster dream machine that ushered in a new era of mid-engined high-performance sports cars. Fitted with a longitudinally-mounted V12 and one of the greatest designs ever created, the Miura is a true legend.
When the Miura SV debuted, Lamborghini turned to famed manufacturer Campagnolo to make a set of wheels that matched the epic SV. They came up with a magnesium wheels design for the "knock-off" hub that perfectly fits the Miura's aesthetics. They measure 7.5 x 15 inches, which is tiny by today's standards, but looked perfect on the Lambo.
Halibrand Pin Drive Knock Off Wheels
Halibrand wheels are solely responsible for the term "mag wheel." In 1946 the first set of sand-cast magnesium alloy wheels were offered by Halibrand. They were designed for racing and offered a mix of light weight and high strength. They have been fitted to hot-rods, drag cars, Indy 500 winners and land speed record holders.
Aside from the Indy 500 winners, perhaps to most famous application of Halibrand wheels are on the original Shelby Cobra and the Ford GT40 run by Shelby Racing. Those cars both used the Halibrand magnesium pin-drive "knock-off" wheels and their record on the race track is the stuff of legends.
Borrani Wire Wheels
Founded in 1922 by Carlo Borrani, the Rudge-Whitworth Milano Company developed handmade wire-spoke wheels for racing cars. When a young Enzo Ferrari won the Coppa Acerbo race in 1924 at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo fitted with Borrani wheels, a relationship quickly developed.
Borrani became the sole supplier of wheels to Ferrari and all of their road and race cars were fitted with them from 1946 to 1966. Borrani's wire wheels would go on to be fitted, as standard, to vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Bianchi, Auto Union, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Maserati and many more. Their wheels are still made, by hand, in Milan, Italy.
Alpina is a German auto manufacturer that is best known for tuning and modifying BMWs. Their re-working of BMWs is so extensive that they are recognized as a true manufacturer and not a tuner. Alpina's cars are often developed alongside BMW's cars and they share the same production line.
Known for their distinctive take on BMW's sedans, Alpina is known for their engine performance upgrades and focus on luxury. Part of the Alpina treatment is, of course, changing the look of the cars. Subtle body kits and pinstriping are used along with the company's signature 20-spoke wheel. Fitted to all Alpina cars, they seem to fit the BMW body lines perfectly and define the Alpina aesthetic.
Porsche Fuchs Wheels
It's not possible to discuss beautiful wheel designs without talking about the Porsche Fuchs wheel. The Fuchs wheel was originally designed specifically for the Porsche 911 in the late 1960s. Otto Fuchs AG, Heinrich Klie and Ferdinand Porsche Jr. all had a hand in the design and development of the wheel and it remains one of the most recognizable and quintessential wheels ever produced. When you see it, you know immediately that it belongs to a Porsche.
Today, Fuchs still makes wheels for Porsche but can now add Alfa-Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen as customers.
BMW E30 M3 Basket Weave Wheels
The BMW E30 M3 is one of those legendary cars who seem to become more iconic with every passing year. Its competition history is second to none and despite debuting 33 years ago, is still quick by modern standards. An iconic car deserves an equally iconic wheel, and the E30 M3 doesn't disappoint as it's fitted with the classic BBS "Basket Weave" wheel. A multi-spoke design that is eye-catching and functional.
BBS was founded in 1970 and pioneered the 3-piece racing wheel. Today they are the primary suppliers of wheels in F1 and IndyCar and is one of the most famous wheel manufacturers in the world.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Carbon Fiber Wheels
The wheels on the Mustang Shelby GT350R are simple, tasteful and full of 21st-century tech. Made by Carbon Revolution the wheels are constructed almost entirely out of carbon fiber. The process starts with thousands of strands of thin carbon fiber which are woven together to fit a wheel mold. A resin keeps the carbon fiber from separating and aluminum lug-seat inserts keep the lug nuts from damaging the wheel.
The wheels alone remove 58 pounds of weight from the GT350R, which translates into a measurable performance gain in acceleration and braking. They look good, they perform even better and they're full of high-tech construction techniques.
BMW M2 Competition Package Wheels
BMW's "Competition Package" for their M-Cars takes the power, performance and handling up a notch. There's a host of upgrades that goes with the option including a re-tuned engine for more power, track-focused suspension tweaks and, of course, a cool wheel and tire package.
The M2 Competition might have the coolest wheel of the bunch with a split-spoke design that features a polished face with a black rim and lug-seats. It's a modern twist on the famous split-spoke wheels used in sports car racing. Measuring 9 x 19 inches up front and 10 x 19 inches in the back, their massive size matches the massive performance of the M2.
Bugatti Type 35 Wheels
The Bugatti Type 35 is the single most successful racing car in history. To date, it's racked up over 2,000 wins and was the weapon of choice for racers and Grand Prix drivers during the 1920s and the 1930s.
The car was full of innovations, but one of the most striking features is the wheel design. The wheels are 28-inches in diameter and are cast aluminum with 8-spokes. The brake drum is integrated into the wheel and the spokes are angled in such a way to facilitate better cooling. A classic racer with handsome good looks and equally handsome wheels.
BMW M1 Campangolo Wheels
The M1 supercar was born out of the racing rivalry between BMW and Porsche. It was envisioned that the M1 would enter Group 5 racing challenging the Porsche 935 and the other marques competing. BMW didn't have experience building a high-performance mid-engine sports car, so they initially partnered with Lamborghini and race car manufacturer Dallara to help develop the chassis.
For the road cars, the M1 was fitted with a special set of Campangolo wheels that used a unique alloy. Measuring 7 x 16 inches in front and 8 x 16 inches in the back, the wheel is pure 1980s Italian design and looks both retro and futuristic at the same time.
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Wheels
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione was a front-engined rear-drive sports car that was designed to be reminiscent of the company's racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s. The car featured a 4.7-liter V8 built by Ferrari and a carbon-fiber body. It's arguably one of the best looking sports cars made in the last decade.
A bold car makes a statement and it needs wheels to match. The wheels that Alfa Romeo chose to fit were massive 20-inch alloys with a distinctive horseshoe pattern. They don't look like anything else on the road and fit the 8C Competizione perfectly.
Ferrari 308 Campagnolo Wheels
Ferrari racing cars of the late 1960s transitioned from wire wheels to magnesium and cast aluminum alloys. Those legendary racing cars, like the 330 P4, used a gold 5-spoke knock-off design by Campangolo. That style, the 5-spoke wheel, started to make its way onto Ferrari's road cars, and became one of the defining style elements from the 1970s through the 1980s.
Nothing encapsulates the "look" better than the Campangolo wheels fitted to the Ferrari 308. Lightweight, simple design with a nod to Ferrari's racing cars, all of the road cars shared a similar wheel design. Even today, Ferrari road cars are fitted with 5-spoke wheels.
Porsche GT3 RS Wheels
One of the fastest, most capable track-day cars to emerge in recent years, the Porsche GT3 RS is a road-going race car that is meant for a single purpose... speed. Just like the racing versions of the GT3, the RS road car shares the center lock wheel and hub design, allowing for faster wheel changes and lowering the mass of the wheel and hub.
The wheels fitted to the GT3 RS measure 9.5 x 20 in the front and 12.5 x 21 in the back. The spoke design is a tribute to the Fuchs alloy of the original 911 with the shape of the spoke following closely the original design.
Lamborghini Aventador S Wheels
The Lamborghini Aventador is a machine designed to assault your senses. From the performance to the exhaust note to striking visual appearance, nothing about the car could be described as subtle. If you're lucky enough to own one, Lamborghini has some of the best wheel designs on the market and perhaps their best-looking wheel is the "Dianthus" multi-spoke.
Named after the flower, the spokes are reminiscent of flower petals and the red center makes it all the more striking. Available in a number of colors, the silver with the red center is by far the best looking and will make the Aventador stand-out even more than it already does.
Subaru WRX STI Gold BBS Wheels
In the world of Subaru aficionados, the WRX and WRX STI can only come in one color combination... WR Blue with gold wheels. That is, after all, the official colors of the Subaru World Rally team.
The gold wheels are a special 10-spoke design made by BBS specifically for the WRX STI and are designed to mimic the look of the rally car. The wheels are light and strong and were developed to be able to cope with everyday driving, race track driving and the occasional off-road rally stage. They measure 8 x 17 inches and help make the Subaru a true rally car for the road.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale EVO Wheels
The Lancia Delta, like the Subaru WRX STI, is a rally special designed to tear it up on dirt, snow and tarmac. The Delta HF Integrale EVO II is the last in the line of championship winning cars from Lancia and help the manufacturer to clinch it's final World Rally Championship title before leaving the sport.
The wheel that's fitted to the Delta is identical in design to the wheels that the team raced with during it's phenomenal run of championship titles. They measure 8 x 17 and give the Delta a classic rally car look. This style of wheel is still popular with builders and tuners looking to recreate a rally-inspired look for their cars.
Lamborghini Reventon Wheels
Lamborghini, a company not known for restraint, debuted the Reventón in 2007 as a limited production supercar and as a chance for the world to preview its new sharp-edged fighter jet styling that would become a hallmark of most of their modern cars. Twenty were made, making it also one of the rarest cars produced.
Cutting-edge design and construction was the defining feature of the Reventon and the wheels got special attention. They are a combination of lightweight high-strength aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. The carbon fiber comes in the form of bolt-on fins that pump air past the brakes which help increase the cooling efficiency.
Saab 99 Turbo "Inca" Wheels
Saab has always been known for fun, quirky and innovative cars. The now-defunct Swedish carmaker has a long history of technological advancements and successes in rally racing.
Along with the unique designs of their cars, the wheels that Saab chose to fit also follow that same philosophy. One of the best, and certainly the most visually interesting is the "Inca" wheel first fitted to the Saab 99 Turbo. Named after the Inca people, the design is essentially a set of four stepped pyramids that is both a mesmerizing optical illusion and one of the best retro wheel designs ever created.