Gear and Tech : January 23, 2009
While viewing coverage for this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, I’ve noticed a few trends that might take off here in the States.
The main thing that I’ve seen is wheel vinyl…As in printed vinyl on the lips of wheels. Printed Graphics on cars is nothing new of course, but putting this type of thing on wheels directly is new. On the right vehicle, with the right pattern, it can look cool. What I see happening, however is this getting played out faster than tirefly’s or lambo doors. This trend is going to be abused and die out very quickly, I imagine. I can see one advantage to this technology, however, and that would be the ease of changing rim color. How many of you have thought about getting some different colored wheels? With vinyl, you could just recolor your lip as you please.
Personally for me, I stand on the fence as far as this goes. I’m not too sure what to think about it. On one hand, I think it’s a great idea and it’s definitely innovative, but on the other hand, it can only go downhill from here. I know that there will be a few JDM fanboys that try this and epically fail. There is something dramatic about such a style clash from a Badass track/drift car with Floral print wheels. I don’t see how practical this could be though, and I’d be curious to see how well these lips work in real world conditions with all the heat and grime associated with driving.
All in all, these wheel vinyl’s are pretty cool, but I don’t see that lasting for very long. I have a feeling it’s going to get played out really fast, but who knows…I’ll be curious to see where it goes, if anywhere at all.
[Pictures Courtesy of BulletProof Automotive]