Industry Insider: A Look at the Technology Behind RAYS Wheels


mike kojima volkMike Kojima

With beautiful, non-gimmicky form follows function design, superior engineering and manufacturing technology, strength and ultra light weight, we greatly prefer Rays wheels. Wheel weight affects more than just the obvious acceleration, it also affects how well the car's suspension and braking work. A lighter wheel's rotation can be sped up with less power and slowed down with less braking force. Less unsprung weight also means that the wheel/tire can follow irregularities in the road better giving less tire shock and more traction. We attempted to model the weight equivalency of a pound on a wheel vs a pound on the chassis and feel that it is around a 6:1 ratio making wheel weight perhaps the most critical area of weight reduction on the car. Porsche racing greats Manthey has studies showing that one pound of weight on the wheels equals 10 pounds on the chassis around the Nurburgring. Lighter wheels can also greatly affect fuel economy. Rays has an Eco Drive line of superlight wheels for Hybrids. On a Prius they resulted in a 10% increase in fuel economy in hybrid vehicles and a 17% increase in range in electric car testing.


Rays ECO drive wheel on a Honda CRV
Rays innovative Eco-Drive line of wheels for hybrids and e-vehicles are super light and improve performance, range and fuel economy on these vehicles by a measurable amount.


rays cnc machining
A CNC machine finishes cutting out the spoke windows from the near net shape forged blank.  The lip and rim contours are given a light cut for really accurate trueness.

Stiffer wheels mean that the tire can be held flatter to the road with less static negative camber under cornering load aiding handling. Stronger wheels mean that the wheel can take an impact without ruining it or if the impact is very high, high enough to destroy the wheel and damage the car, the failure will be less likely to be catastrophic where the wheel breaks into pieces or the tire loses air causing a complete loss of control.


fake volks
Fake Volks like these are dangerous!  The Volk wheel is optimized with FEA for the strength of Rays special aluminum alloy and sophisticated forging process.  A cheapo cast wheel using Volk's shape and geometry can be seriously weak.  We saw these winners at SEMA, Vork wheels by Ravs, I am sure!

Inexpensive cast wheels or inferior forged wheels tend to crack or shatter under a hard impact. This is very serious, and can cause a total loss of control. A high quality forged wheel is more ductile and will bend quite a bit before breaking. I was in a serious racing accident and although the car was destroyed and I was seriously injured, the bent and battered Volk wheels held together and the tires even stayed inflated! If I had not gotten knocked out, there would have been a chance that I could have maintained some directional control.


mike kojima volk

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