Finspeed Launches Line Of Ready-To-Ship Lightweight Track Wheels For Porsche 911 (992) GT3

08/31/2022

Finspeed Launches Line Of Ready-To-Ship Lightweight Track Wheels For Porsche 911 (992) GT3

08/31/2022

The latest addition to Finspeed’s ready-to-ship product line brings support for the 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 as well as the upcoming 992 GT3 RS. Available in the company’s Evo and Spyder designs, these wheels are purpose-built for the demands of Porsche’s most capable road-going sportscars while opening up the platform to a much wider range of tire options. “A lot of our customers are hardcore track guys, but we also have a significant amount of folks calling in who aren’t tracking their cars at all," says Daniel Finke, Director of Finspeed. "In the case of the GT3, they just don’t want to run the factory 21-inch wheel on the car.” The transition from the 991 GT3 to the 992 GT3 brought with it a totally new double wishbone front suspension design, a change which allows for wider rubber up front and thus even greater levels of overall grip. Moving to a 19 or 20-inch wheel not only expands the roster of performance tires that are compatible with the new platform, it can also improve ride quality out on the street thanks to taller sidewalls.


And in the case of Finspeed’s products, it also ensures that the wheels on your track-focused Porsche 911 are truly up to the task. Finke tells us that isn’t necessarily the case with an OEM wheel that was originally designed to be used with a conventional street tire.


Finspeed #48 Porsche front quarter


“If you’re going to run the factory tire, you’re probably not going to exceed the capability of the factory wheel – the necessity for a wheel like ours comes when you move to a stickier tire. Everybody in the wheel industry in the United States uses a standard called Street Tire Load Rating, and it is nonsense. We don’t use that because it’s not an accurate way to score a track wheel that’s going to be running a sticky tire, and it’s very easily manipulated by a manufacturer. When you send something out for certification testing, you get to pick a street tire. If a manufacturer picks a junk brand for this testing and they put a wheel under load with that tire, the tire will slip before the wheel actually sees the load that you’re testing for. So we always use racing slicks in our physical testing. And as far as I know, we’re the only people who do that.”

Advances in tire technology have played an instrumental role in evolution of street car performance in recent years. Offerings like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R and Pirelli Trofeo R have taken the capability of summer tires to heights that were unheard just a decade ago, in turn making them a critical component in the battle for Nurburgring production lap record supremacy between sportscars like the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR. But as impressive as the latest summer tires are, a purpose-built track tire will still take a vehicle’s performance to an entirely new level, and with that comes entirely new levels of force and stress that are applied to that vehicle’s wheels.


“I started Finspeed because I was breaking wheels,” Finke said. “And really, that started happening around 2005 or 2006, when Hoosier launched the A6 and the R6. That was the first time a really sticky tire was readily available, and I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who was breaking wheels. So I noted where the failure points were and I reached out to a few different manufacturers to ask them about making something – I modeled up what I wanted, did the engineering work, and I offered to fund the project. And the unanimous answer was no. At that point I decided to figure out why these manufacturers didn’t want to do it.”

Finke discovered that the majority of wheel manufacturers were working off of the same playbook, and that playbook was incompatible with his ideas. “They were all using similar styles of tooling, similar fixtures – they basically had all bought the same package from the same group, and that meant their manufacturing capabilities were limited in similar ways. We chose to take a different approach: Rather than focusing on ease of manufacturing, we decided on what we wanted to end up with and then figured out the path to get there. And that included making our own tooling, fixtures, and processes from start to finish.”


While many manufacturers will take a standard wheel design template and adapt it to different diameters and widths to accommodate a range of applications, each Finspeed wheel is engineered specifically for the application that it supports. “A 19x11-inch wheel is a good example,” he says. “That size can be run on the front of a C7 Corvette or the rear of a McLaren. A typical wheel manufacturer will take the same wheel and modify the hub to fit the car it’s intended for. The problem is that the wheels on the front of a Corvette and the rear of McLaren have vastly different tasks to accomplish, so you either end up with too much weight or a wheel that is too weak. It isn’t fully optimized for either application. But every wheel that Finspeed makes is engineered specifically for the vehicle that it is going on.”


And rather than using flow-form and rotary forging processes that ultimately compromise the strength of the wheel, Finspeed utilizes a traditional forging process to ensure that their wheels are truly ready for the demands of hardcore track use.

Finke discovered that the majority of wheel manufacturers were working off of the same playbook, and that playbook was incompatible with his ideas. “They were all using similar styles of tooling, similar fixtures – they basically had all bought the same package from the same group, and that meant their manufacturing capabilities were limited in similar ways. We chose to take a different approach: Rather than focusing on ease of manufacturing, we decided on what we wanted to end up with and then figured out the path to get there. And that included making our own tooling, fixtures, and processes from start to finish.”


While many manufacturers will take a standard wheel design template and adapt it to different diameters and widths to accommodate a range of applications, each Finspeed wheel is engineered specifically for the application that it supports. “A 19x11-inch wheel is a good example,” he says. “That size can be run on the front of a C7 Corvette or the rear of a McLaren. A typical wheel manufacturer will take the same wheel and modify the hub to fit the car it’s intended for. The problem is that the wheels on the front of a Corvette and the rear of McLaren have vastly different tasks to accomplish, so you either end up with too much weight or a wheel that is too weak. It isn’t fully optimized for either application. But every wheel that Finspeed makes is engineered specifically for the vehicle that it is going on.”


And rather than using flow-form and rotary forging processes that ultimately compromise the strength of the wheel, Finspeed utilizes a traditional forging process to ensure that their wheels are truly ready for the demands of hardcore track use.

Finspeed’s shelf stock wheels are outfitted with knurled bead seats to limit tire slippage under heavy braking and acceleration, and they can also be optioned with custom powder coating and engraving for those who’re willing to wait a few extra days to take delivery. Buyers also have a choice between traditional center caps and RT, the latter being a no-cost option which opens up the center of the wheel to provide easier access to the lugs while also removing roughly a pound of weight from each wheel.


The 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS wheels join a growing variety of Finspeed shelf stock wheels that includes F100 and Evo models for the McLaren 570S, 600LT, Artura, 720S, and 765LT as well as Spyder and Evo models for the 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3, C6 and C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, C8 Corvette Stingray, and even the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06. “The C8 Z06 wheels are shipping before these customers have even taken delivery of their cars,” Finke adds. “And that’s because these folks want to make sure that their cars are ready to run at the track right out of the gate.”


Finspeed Porsche 992 quarter


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