eVOLVE™ Hybrid Wheels – Another Futuristic Gas Saving Wheel

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When the Ford F-150 Atlas concept showed off its electronically controlled active wheel shutters, we knew it wasn’t going to be cheap or durable. However, there is a new alternative that shows just as much fuel saving promise - eVOLVE™ Hybrid Wheels.

eVOLVE™ Hybrid Wheels

Will these futuristic wheels replace all stock manufacture wheels?

The wheel from Lacks Wheel Trim Systems (LWTS) is “designed to be a lower-cost alternative to the eVOLVE™ Hybrid Wheels – Another Futuristic Gas Saving Technology,” according to SAE.org. They have already made a debut at both the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows on a 2012 Ford Focus. Track and EPA five-cycle testing have showed a highway fuel-economy improvement of 1.1 mpg and .04 city.

In a nut shell, there’s a very basic aluminum wheel with a composite cover attached. The basic wheel is light, and the cover is aerodynamic, so the system boost fuel economy about 3% on the highway, 1% in the city. That’s not much, but on a Tundra averaging 16mpg, that’s almost a 1mpg improvement.

LWTS is billing these tires as an “attractive, highly engineered composite wheels that decrease weight and optimize aerodynamics for increased vehicle MPGs.” This statement has a couple of interesting points: 1. As stated in the SAE article, engineers can build a tire that maximizes MPG, however, they are, well, ugly. 2. The statement comes with the standard disclaimer that MPGs are based on personal driving habits and other factors. This shouldn’t be news to anybody. 3. LWTS says that when you upgrade to their wheels you immediately upgrade BOTH your vehicle’s style and MPGs. Quite a sales pitch.

eVOLVE™ Hybrid Wheels - Ford Focus Side

The eVolve wheels mounted on tires.

The truth is that the wheels weigh 19.20 lbs and a typical production wheel weighs 23.7 lbs. This savings of about 4 lbs per tire adds up. Plus, the composite cover is designed to be more aerodynamic. It has been tested at the AeroDyn wind tunnel in Moorsetown, NC where NASCAR cars are tested. It was also tested by Roush Engineering at FT Techno’s Fowlerville, MI proving grounds. Lastly, it was tested and meet both SAE J328 for radial and rotary fatigue using the GAWR (gross axle weight rating) for North America, also to SAE J175 (curb impact), according to SAE.org. All the testing concluded, it works.

The best part? These wheels are less costly than regular old aluminum rims. This might be one of the many ways that Toyota reduces fuel use on new trucks. LWTS told SAE that they expect “the aero wheel is intended to be an OE product, perhaps used on specific trim levels, not a retrofit,” said James Ardern, LWTS Director of Business Development.

Plus, it’s far better than Ford’s complex louver system on the Atlas Concept.

What do you think of these wheels?

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  1. Dez says:

    1 mpg improvement and restricted to a single design? Tundra owners won’t go for that.

  2. Mickey says:

    Not bad looking rims and can be used in towing. Sweet!

  3. Dez says:

    1 mpg improvement and restricted to a single design? Tundra owners won’t go for that.

    * Copied and pasted from http://www.TundraGeeks.com. ;)

  4. Dez says:

    Oops.. What happened there?

  5. Larry says:

    Not on any truck I will ever own.

  6. BriBri says:

    I can understand the weight benefits (aluminum structure with composite – read: plastic – cover). But from an aerodynamic perspective, I would think that a cover that looks something like a snow saucer (see National Lampoons Christmas Vacation) would be ideal.

    • I think I actually read that the cover is really just for aesthetics (see: not ugly). The ideal was no cover at all, just let’s the air pass through unobstructed.

      -Tim

      • BriBri says:

        I am actually trying to visualize the air flow across the outer plane of the wheel/tire. Going straight down the road, I would want the air to simply flow past the wheel (or be reflected away/past by a flat, smooth cover). Having spoke on the wheel seems to provide holes into which air pressure can accumulate and thereby slow teh vehicle.

        However, I am not an expert in aerodynamics…..I just think logically about things.

  7. Dez says:

    I’m sure aerodynamics is all part of the design…

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