Wheels; The Evolution to the Alloy

Following an extensive evolution, alloys, without a shadow of a doubt, hold a prevalence within the motoring world second to the car itself. They represent fuel-economy, handling, strength, and (needless to say) enhance the aesthetics of the vehicle to which they are mounted by ten-fold. 

Where you want your car to stand out, the first port of call is to address the wheels. If you want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to fuel consumption- you consider weight, thus, wheels. In each of these contexts, manufacturers have become very aware of the needs of the consumer and society. Therefore, custom alloy wheels are pretty much commonplace in the context of 2019. 

But how did such an evolution begin? Let’s transport back to the origin of the wheel itself. 

Achilles Wheel

As we all know, the wheel was first realised as an effective method of transportation thousands of years ago. Initially, large logs were rolled in consecutive motion by means of shifting a load from point A to B. This, unquestionably, came with its flaws (though seemed not to hinder the Egyptians during the construction of pyramids). Naturally, this developed to the wooden wheel, which was comprised of rounded-off affixed planks of wood. 

There has been speculation that this model over-stayed its welcome, possibly due to the preference of carpentry over metal forging. Though there were moments of pioneering (such as the invention of the spoke wheel), metal only became an addition in 1000 BC during the era of the chariot. It seems this remained unchanged until the 1800s when the first wire tension spoke reared its head. That’s a long wait.


Driving forward another one-hundred years, we have realised that a mass-produced steel wheel is superior as an option for cost, weight and strength. Similarly, the innovation of the rubber tyre (experiencing its own evolution) has become a vital ingredient to the wheel. 

But, learning from our mistakes of technological lingering, we didn’t stop here for long. 

Elaborating on the mass-produced example, wheels had either been combined of two components of pressed steel (the rim and the disk) which were attached into a single unit. Or, they had been fabricated by a steel/aluminium rim connected at the core by the infamous spoke. Put simply, the wheel would barely recognise its purely-wooden ancestor. 

Hybrids in the motoring world are not new, as the next version of the wheel was a design that combined a steel disk for strength and an aluminium rim for weight-saving. This later became popularly utilised by Porsche and Jaguar in the 50s. 

Meanwhile, though seeing a boom in the 80s ( likely due to accessibility), alloys also belonged to the former years of the nineteenth century, albeit with sporadic presence. Alas, the use of cast aluminium wheels first debuts on Ettore Bugatti’s Type 35 in 1924. 

The composition and manufacturing of alloys have been toyed with since. Between a magnesium or aluminium mix, and through casting or forging, it was quickly realised that alloys would offer unlimited freedom of customisation alongside all their other benefits.  

Alloys; Going the Distance  

Through the relentless trial and error approach to wheels, eventually, the alloy evolution held prominence and came to be the pricier yet upgraded alternative to steel. And it is with no wonder; while substantially lighter, yet stiffer, and with increased heat-conducting properties, alloys are the motoring addition that we know and love today. 

Now, alloys have evolved so far that diamond or laser cutting procedures generate the intricacies in their design. Colour has been introduced. And with the advantages exceeding the steel alternate in our eco-conscious world, alloy wheels are a standard manufacturing addition. And the alloy evolution is unstoppable.  

Though we might note, LMR are masters in the realm of alloy wheels. What a manufacturer’s standard might provide, we will surpass. Our stock entirely reflects what an alloy symbolises; power and individuality. Take a look at our sophisticated alloy wheels here. For any further assistance, click here! Our specialist team is always eager to help.