Distinctive Lightweight Wheel Sharpens Steering and Dynamics
CLEVELAND--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Alcoa Auto Wheels business is supplying lightweight forged aluminum wheels for the new and critically acclaimed Ferrari 458 Italia.
The use of forged aluminum wheel technology pioneered by Alcoa ensures that the front wheel weighs just 22.8lbs. (10.3kg), while the rear wheel weighs 25.3lbs. (11.5kg), a significant saving compared to a typical cast aluminum wheel and a result that is only achievable with a forging process.
These weights are all the more remarkable in view of the sizes; wheel diameters are increased to 20 inches to accommodate large carbon-ceramic brake discs, and rim widths of 8.5 inches (front) and 10.5 inches (rear) are required by the latest generation of high performance tires.
Lower wheel mass decreases rotational inertia, meaning forged wheels require less energy to spin up to speed during acceleration. This also helps reduce the gyroscopic effect of high speed rotation, improving steering response and performance. The lightweight wheels also improve grip, traction and braking resulting in better vehicle control and a smoother ride, because Alcoa’s wheels stay in contact with the road better than heavier cast wheels.
“The weight saving possible with Alcoa’s forged aluminum wheels helps to achieve the sharp handling and steering response for which Ferrari is famous,” says Victor Marquez, Vice President and General Manager, Alcoa Auto Wheels.
“As well as styling freedom, Alcoa’s forged wheels offer a quick-to-market, cost-effective weight reduction,” explains Marquez. “We are able to provide new wheel programs rapidly to meet vehicle launch schedules.”
Alcoa is building a growing number of relationships with prestigious OEMs worldwide; its relationship with Ferrari has been built up over several model generations, of which the 458 application is the latest. Wheels for the new Ferrari are forged at Alcoa’s Cleveland, Ohio (US) Works Plant. For more information, visit www.strongwheels.com.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.
About Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products
Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, serves the commercial vehicle, automotive, and defense markets with products used in a range of applications including forged aluminum wheels, aluminum space frames, specialized vacuum die cast products, niche products such as Dura-Bright® and Dura-Flange® wheels and M-Series™ medium truck wheels, as well as a variety of other aluminum components for these markets. AWTP is composed of three divisions: Transportation Products, Commercial Vehicle Wheels, and Automotive Wheels. It employs 2,800 people at 30 locations worldwide.