We <3 Wheels: A True Love Story Featuring Volk & Advan
We love wheels. They serve a multipurpose function allowing individuals to subtly express their style while also enhancing overall vehicle performance. Wheels are a modification where sacrifice between form and function is not a necessity. After all, we like to think of the relationship between form and function like that of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it just goes better together. Now, we don’t want to wheel shame, but let’s be honest for a moment. There are ‘wheels’, and then there are ‘wheeeeels’. The latter being drawn out to correlate with the verbal expression often said when you set sight on said wheeeeels (daaaaamn!). Aftermarket ‘wheels’ are your everyday run of the mill, different than OEM, look decent options. Aftermarket ‘wheeeeels’ are pieces of precisely engineered physical art that place function first. Both can serve the purpose of rolling smooth and looking good while doing so, however, only one places an insistence on the details that go beyond what the eye can see.
1 piece mold-form-forged wheels are the industry standard suited for time attack. Very few companies have mastered this process in the same way as Rays Engineering. Now synonymous with performance, Rays Engineering produces multiple highly sought after wheel brands including Volk and Gram Lights which feature some of the most iconic wheel designs in the automotive import aftermarket. Birthed in 1996, the Volk TE37 hit the scene as an instant classic. The 6 spoke all-aluminum construction allowed for a lightweight and rigid wheel that could withstand the punishment of apex curbing. 22 years later, the Volk TE37 remains a time attack front runner having evolved in style to include the Volk TE37SL, TE37RT, TE37 ultra, TE37 saga, and various other iterations. The Volk TE37 is a wheel that looks right at home on just about any track build and is sure to offer the level of performance any enthusiast requires.
The Volk CE28, a 10 spoke beauty that has stood the test of time, is one of our all-time favorite wheel designs that compliments just about any vehicle body style. When paired with a proper offset, (I’m looking at you 18x10.5 +18) this wheel puts off a level of aggression that is sure to make Chuck Norris cower. Similar to the TE37, the CE28 has also received rounds of performance based revisions in the form of the CE28SL, CE28RT, CE28 club racer, and many more. Made from the same mold-form-forged process and A6061-T6 aluminum as the TE37, the Volk CE28 has a level of rigidity and tensile strength perfect for any circuit.
One of the newer belles of the ball (I’m sure many of you are too young for that reference) is the highly anticipated Volk ZE40. What can we say about the Volk ZE40 that keeps our fanboy in check? Simply stated, it’s beautiful. A smooth 10 spoke design that matches the lines of many of today’s more modern era cars. Without sacrificing too much offset, Volk is offering many versions of the ZE40 with a highly sought after concave face. Additional bells and whistles include lip knurling to limit tire slippage as well as engraved logos on the inner hub area. During the initial release of the Volk ZE40, colors consisted of bronze, diamond dark gunmetal, and a stunning matte blue gunmetal. Limited edition colorways of the Volk ZE40 are now available in the always iconic time attack color pattern as well as custom paint to sample. If you can’t tell, we have every intention of putting this wheel to work soon.
With all the offerings from Volk, you honestly can’t go wrong. The standards in which these wheels must conform when being developed is taken to another level even beyond the regulations set forth. All Rays Engineering wheels undergo a series of tests which include radial load fatigue, 13-degree impact, 90-degree impact, drum endurance, and the list goes on. Testing is even extended to the wheel coating which is a process of exposing the wheel to ultraviolet radiation and ensuring durability in finish to avoid peeling, chipping, and scratching. JWL is the Japan Light Alloy Wheel Standard. For Rays, that wasn’t good enough. Hence JWL+ R was created in order to hold themselves to the highest and most strict standard to meet the reliability necessary for high performance time attack racing.
Japan’s other automotive wheel powerhouse, Advan, produces some of the most timeless designs suited for time attack abuse. Utilizing a similar mold-form-forged process as well as flow formed, Advan has been able to take a solid piece of A6061-T6 aluminum and shape it into the various structures that we all know as the GT, RS, RG, TC, and RZ models. Instantly recognizable and synonymous with quality, Advan has created a catalog of wheels that stand the test of time and handle the abuse of repetitive apex cornering.
The Advan GT model is a true time attack contender made from a 1 piece mold-form-forging process. This wheel is right at home on any circuit prepped Japanese vehicle, most often seen on the GT86, Mitsubishi Evo X, Subaru STI, or Acura NSX. It’s bigger brother, the Advan GT premium, can be found looking right at home on the Nissan GTR. Typically available in various shades of black, white, and blue, the Advan GT comes in various sizes ranging from 18x8 all the way up to 20x12. The simple 5 spoke design really comes alive in the lower offset spec setups as the deep lip and inward concavity provide for a dramatic finish. The Advan GT is one of our top wheels seen on many of our time attack setups.
Advan’s RG model wheel has been around for quite some time, but still looks perfectly in place on any modern day vehicle. The Advan RG has taken on many iterations and evolutions over the year to where we now have the Advan RGIII and RG-D. The Advan RGIII is a more refined version of the wheel that came before it, the RGII. Available in many different color finishes, the RGIII features a flow form casting and has side cuts on the spokes to offer additional weight savings. The barrel logo is machined to allow the natural aluminum to shine through with spoke stickers in place designating the model. The spokes have a somewhat exaggerated concave to them which provides for brake caliper clearance and a visual that is easy on the eyes. The RG-D model is nearly identical to the RGIII wheel with the main difference being a deeper lip where the spokes meet the barrel. This thin 6 spoke design is the perfect option for reducing weight and showing off your aftermarket brake setup that lies beneath.
Similar to the RGIII, the RS and RZ model wheels have iterations that have optimized over time to where these models now sit. The RSII and RZII are lighter, more robust versions of their predecessors that are also offered in a more dish version. These wheels are also high quality flow form forged wheels that feature a 10 spoke design. The RS spokes are equidistant from one another for a perfectly symmetrical design while the RZ model has a smaller gap between every 2 spokes. Both models are some of the most beautiful wheels that Advan offers and are certainly up to the task of time attack punishment.
As said before, we <3 wheels. Being able to set ones car apart from the next while simultaneously improving performance is one of our favorite modifications on any track build. If you’re looking to purchase a new set of wheels for your vehicle, take a look through our vast inventory and reach out to us today for the best prices and sizing for your vehicle.