The Top 10 Awesome Modified Cars with Lame Wheels
Here at Sub5Zero, we love modified cars. Who wouldn’t? Like an adopted child that just happens to be quiet, smart, cute and run the 40 in 2 seconds. There is nothing not to love. Our favorites are the cars that – already exciting and fast to begin with – are taken in by some loving parents who have great knowledge of ECUs, turbo-chargers and bigger cylinders. These geniuses mold cars into supercars, and super-cars into 4 wheeled adrenaline shots, capable of burning tires faster than a 5 year old with a roman candle and a bottle of ether. But…
Smart as they may be, building a great car does not give you license to turn it into Frankenstein. What I mean is, as talented as your Bugatti-beating GTR may be, if the company that built it bolts on a set of wheels offensive enough to warrant the FCC visiting your house, there is a problem. Wheels are one of the first and most important aesthetic mods you can do to your car, so it’s imperative that the choice made is a good one.
So many companies are building phenomenal cars right now; Turbo-charged 599s, 9 second Porsches, BMW’s that make it possible to simultanesouly let your kid watch a Dora’s Greatest Exploras video while you break the sound barrier, etc. Yet so many of these companies have hired a wheel expert with the aesthetic taste of an 85 year old Floridian lottery winner, and it ruins the whole car. So here are ten examples of cars we would give all our toes to drive, but feel the person who picked the wheels should be sentenced to designing the backing of office desks and nothing more
Anliker Designs SLR “Red Gold Dream”
This car shouldn’t be a surprise, since every blogger treated it like a punching bag when it debuted last year. It is the McLaren SLR Red Gold Dream from Swiss tuner Ueli Anliker Design. It may seem too simple for worst wheels, but we have to ease into things, like a fireworks show. Also, this is an example of how easy it is to ruin perfectly good wheels. You can buy a great set of rims, but if you paint them the wrong color, you still get blacklisted. The SLR rims in stock form aren’t all that bad. But painted a gaudy gold, they look cheap. Really cheap. Like made by Mattel out of Chinese plastic with lead paint cheap. And yes, the car is ugly as hell.
Schmidt Revolution Wheels’ Mini Clubman “Streetworker”
Well, at least it’s named appropriately, because this car has the same bright, ugly heels as those ladies walking up and down sunset strip. I guess if you want to grab attention from desperate fat guys with wrinkled, sweaty $20 bills in the glove box of their 2002 Cadillac Escalade, this is the car for you. What sucks is this car would probably look pretty good with different wheels. I dig the blue wrap and the black contrasts, and I usually hate Clubmans. But those wheels… I’m sorry, but making wheels look like ninja stars, blender blades, or a late-night advertised salsa maker is a no-no. These wheels would suck in any color, but the blue makes it poassible to see every milimeter of tastelessness. The fact that it only has 200hp further insults all of us. 1000hp doesn’t justify these wheels. Ironic since this is the first complete build from Schmidt Revolution Wheels. Normally all they make is…wheels.
Xenatec Maybach 57S Coupe
Yes, a Maybach Coupe. It’s not built that way, but for $900,000 Xenatec will convert a Maybach Limo into a coupe for you. It was designed by Fredrik Burchhardt, the same man that designed the Xelero concept. That means this is coach-building at its highest level. To build the car, Xenatec got a $93M investment from (1 guess) a Saudi Arabian company called AutoKingdom. Yeah, because driving a 4-door Maybach is for losers and paupers. The homeless are too good for a regular 57S.
The problem is the chromed out bling at all four corners. Chrome wheels are gone, dead, dinosaurs. There are a million better colors, mattes and anodized finishes available, and chrome doesn’t look good anyway. The big issue is that it’s flashy, but not flashy enough. What I mean is, chrome is flashy in a bad way. And, this is a $900,000 coupe. That sentence has more flash than two stars colliding. Nothing, I mean nothing, can out-flash this car. Baby seal eyeballs embedded in diamond spokes would be up-staged by this car, so why put those wheels on it. I would love to cruise in this 600hp personal limosine, but stepping out each time I would look at those wheels and somehow feel cheap. No small feat for this car, but unfortunately, possible.
My boss likes to say, “KISS; Keep It Simple Stupid.” Usually that’s a very good idea, but in this case it still went awry. This is the new Boxster program from one of our favorite tuners of all time, Techart. We love Techart. Their 911 Turbo programs look as good as they are fast, and with 700+hp, they are fast as ****. They also handle really well. The Boxster is one of the best-handling cars on the street, and with Techart’s help I can’t imagine how much fun this would be on a track or a back road. Top down in Malibu Canyon? Yes please.
So why on God’s ever-growing field of tarmac did they put white wheels on their white show car? I know they’re not electric blue like the Mansory, but this is as exciting as looking out a snow-covered window. It all melts together. Look at other cars, even by Techart themselves, and you will see a lot of one thing: contrast. White car, black wheels or black car, silver wheels, etc. Contrast draws people in, and makes the colors pop. The only time you see matching wheels is on a black car for that “I’ll be murdering you and then the track” look. With a white car, it’s boring, feminine and would attract dirt faster than TMZ.
This is the 2011 Honda CR-Z, by legendary Honda tuner Spoon and I bet it’s just awesome. The CR-Z is a fun little corner-carver in stock form, and Spoon has added bigger brakes, better suspension and even tweaked the hybrid ECU for more power. How much fun is that? Light hatch, great handling, good gas mileage. 3 for 3 Mr. Spoon. But they should have cleaned off the Smurf blood from that last canyon run. There’s blue, and then there’s too blue. Rally-inspired wheels are awesome, but on a hybrid hatchback they’re just too much. Perhaps the company rep from their lift (in the background) was in the shop and they asked for his input on wheel color. Props to him for the subliminal advertising.
Senner Tuning 370Z – Guilty on Two Counts
A few months ago we brought you the scoop on Senner Tuning and their new 370Z. With a new Invidia exhaust howlng out the back, better suspension, wider tires, and a 21 horsepower bump, this car is just plain fun. The 370Z has great lines, a smart interior and is a drift machine. More power and noise will only improve it, like putting ice cream on top of a great chocolate chip cookie. That is, until you drop said cookie on the sandy beach that are these wheels. How many spokes do you count? 40? I can’t tell if they’re white, brushed, or polished, but the design looks like they have those plastic press-on rim accents made famous by Unique Autosport.
As if that wasn’t enough, they show the same car wth a different set of rims on the other side, a 5-spoke design with polished strips that run from the spokes out to the edge of the lip. They’re only 20″, but with the extended polish they look like 26s. For some reason the passe trend of “bigger is better” lives on, even if the rim isn’t actually bigger than those that come stock. They just look gigantic, and make the car look smaller. Look at the best of the best; Ferrari, Lamborghini, Zonda… they fit rims that perform the best, while looking good. They aren’t the size of a Ferris wheel and they don’t have 3 feet of wheel gap. They’re wheels. Subtlety and class need to come back to aftermarket rim selection in a big way. And I don’t know if making your rims look gigantic is worse than having them be gigantic. This is the opposite of a fat person wearing vertical stripes. It’s like being a normal, functioning, job-holding adult but wearing a helmet at the grocery store.
All Supercars with Big Rims
Putting rims on your supercar is not something to be taken lightly. Take Ferrari for example. They spend months making sure their cars are balanced perfectly. They brush the carpet different directions to make sure the tiny hairs are evenly distributed. They are so focused on handling and balance, I’m surprised they don’t clone you so that you have someone with your identical weight to sit in the passenger seat. So do you think, for one second, that putting on a pair of taller, wider, lippier, heavier wheels is going to improve that car in any way? Weight means the car accelerates slower, takes longer to stop, and generally drives much much worse.
You should be buying a 599 for its performance, not to parade up and down the street waving your bank account balance sheet. I would give anything to have a 599 as a daily driver. It has 612hp, more computer in the diff. than in an MIT classroom, and shifts so fast you think it’s being pulled by the moon. So why, why, why do people take off the perfectly, meticulously engineered wheels and change what the car was; perfect. The cars pictured are rare, and with a nice paint job like above, practically one-of-a-kind. Don’t mess up one of the best driving machines ever made with a set of wheels that you think is “dope” or makes you stand out. It’s a Ferrari 599. It’s an AMG SLR. You stand out enough.
I know, it’s not an aftermarket car, and for some reason that makes me even more offended. This is the Vauxhall VRX8, built on a Holden Commodore (or Pontiac G8) platform. I know it’s not techinically afermarket, but its a pumped-up family sedan, akin to an ‘RS’ badged Audi, and because we love it, we must address it. The Vauxhall VRX8 is basically a Pontiac G8 with 2 extra balls. The Stig has proven it is a drift god, it looks like it could eat your dog, and it sounds like the hurricane that will end mankind. Big manufacturers have two things going for them; experience and frugality. They like to build cars we like, but always try to icnrease their bottom line. That means saving money on things like materials, key fobs, and often, wheels. Ford might sell you a Mustang GT with a great engine, comfy seats and a SYNC system but the wheels will hardly be creative or original. So why, oh why, did they spend their $.40 on 4 radioactive sticker-shaped pieces of aluminum?
It has 425hp, hits 60mph in 4.9 seconds and is at its happiest when it’s sliding sideways yelling at your neighbors through its garbage-can sized exhaust. I would love to commute in this car. I can’t imagine the number of people who would spit their latte on their Prius’ dashboard as I peeled away from them and entered the 405 sideways. It is just an awesome car that demands you drive like an asshole while cackling like a maniac. But the wheels are awful. Think of a radioactive symbol. You’re laughing right now aren’t you? At your desk you just said, “Oh YEAH!” out loud. Three-spoke wheels have never looked good, and that’s what these look like. The steal your eye away from the countless scoops, slits and gills, no easy feat on a car with more holes than a road sign in rural Kentucky. Are they black? Are they chrome? Are they sucking in snow to be shot out the back?
Heffner Ford GT 1000
They say money can’t buy taste, and here’s more proof. This is a Ford GT 1000, built by Heffner Performance. If you couldn’t guess, the “1000” in the name indicates the horsepower. Two turbos have been fitted to the GT’s motor, and perfectly tuned by Heffner to create a car that puts you into the insane asylum. Fast doesn’t even describe this car and “OMG yes please” doesn’t do justice to how badly I want to experience the power and feeling this car elicits from the human body. Strong, loud, fast and a stunner, it blows up every sense simulataneously.
But those wheels are just wrong. I see where the owner was going; blue graphics on a white car, let’s add some blue wheels. Like the other examples above, blue is a delicate color, and if you make it a shiny blue, you’re done. This is one of the baddest cars around. It’s rare already, made even more so by the expert tuning of Heffner. The beauty of the GT is in it’s classic and timeless retro shape. And all that glory has been undone by some shiny wheels that look like they were made out of BMX cranks from the 1990’s. For shame.
Graf Weckerle Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano “Comte Noire”
This is it, the big winner (or loser) of this list of visual offenses and crimes against humanity. This is the car that spawned this list. I saw this and the concept was born. It is the German-born (I’m seeing a pattern…) Graf Weckerle Comte Noire 599 GTR Ferrari. WTF. Where to start?
Let’s start by talking about the car, because it is the most awesome machine on this page. This is no ordinary 599. Nor is it a mildly warmed-over 599, with a new exhaust or ported intake runners. No. This 599 has had more work than Heidi Montague. We don’t know if it has turbos or superchargers, but the result means it has to have one or the other: 835 horsepower. Yes, that is an “8.” This is Zonda horsepower in a GT car. This is a Koenigsegg with rear-wheel drive, a trunk, leather, and the engine in the front. You have before you one of the best-handling cars ever, with one of the smartest diffs ever, now possessing more power than Russia. In a word: staggering.
And that kind of high-powered celebrity only makes the rotating offenses at its four corners that much more offensive. Who made these? I want to know, so I can call Nancy Grace and have her yell at them. These wheels look like they were the handles for a banquet hall’s serving dish. They look like they belong at the top of a Xmas tree. They belong on the doors to King Arthur’s castle. Or maybe to be used as a shield in a joust? They can’t be aerodynamic, I wouldn’t trust them at 200mph, and I would be embarassed to drive this car. They are, without question, the ugliest ************ wheels I have ever seen. You want proof? They make me not want to drive an 835hp Ferrari. That’s like turning down a date with Angelina Jolie because she’s wearing the most heinous shoes in the world. This car would be beyond words to describe. The sound it makes could probably end the violence in Africa. The acceleration could cure Malaria and it can probably go fast enough to disperse all the world’s pollutants into space.
But I don’t care. I could write pages upon pages of insults about these wheels but I won’t. Because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.