Aluminum or Steel?
Do you prefer an elegant look with sporty, delicate shapes or would you rather go with a sturdier option? You could spend hours debating the pros and cons of aluminum and steel wheel rims. Some car enthusiasts would rather go by foot than install anything other than alloy wheels, while others are not as interested in aesthetics or driving physics and prefer the steel variant.
If you’ve been driving on steel wheel rims up to now and are thinking about getting new ones, the following arguments and information may be enough to get you to switch to aluminum.
The specific weight of aluminum is only one third the weight of steel. This means that aluminum wheels massively reduce the unsprung mass and noticeably improve driving dynamics. They exhibit lower inertia, which has a positive effect on acceleration and deceleration. The aesthetics are another area in which alloy wheels are the clear choice.
To be fair, it is true that steel wheel rims are much cheaper and easier to maintain. Heavy soiling has hardly any effect on steel wheels, and you don’t have to worry about them being winter-proof.
These advantages come at the expense of the optics though. Aluminum wheel rims are always aesthetically superior to steel ones. The diversity of spoke styles and paint options offers something for every taste and makes each vehicle a unique eye-catcher. What’s more, properly maintained aluminum wheels with clear varnish are equally winter-proof and do not oxidize. Admittedly, the beautiful aluminum options require a bit more upkeep – but fans of these rims gladly invest their time to ensure that the performance and look are on point.
More and more vehicles are being delivered with aluminum wheels straight from the factory these days. Superior Industries, the parent company of RIAL, is among the most important suppliers of high-quality aluminum wheels for numerous automotive manufacturers.