For those looking to decrease the kerb mass on their Bentley Bentayga, Mulliner has created a carbon fibre wheel that boasts considerable weight savings and enhanced dynamics. Built in conjunction with renowned specialists Bucci Composites, this is the largest carbon fibre wheel to be produced.
Measuring 22-inches in size, Mulliner claims that the carbon fibre wheel for the Bentley Bentayga is about 6 kg lighter per wheel comparted to an aluminium example. The design took five years of engineering to perfect and is the first example of its kind to pass the TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverei – Technical Inspection Association) testing standards. This includes biaxial stress, radial and lateral impact testing for simulating potholes and cobblestones, tyre overpressure and excessive torque tests exceeding the permitted limits.
The most severe test conducted by this association is the impact test in which the carbon wheel displayed impressive results. After a severe impact, which would crack or shatter an aluminium wheel and cause the tyre to collapse explosively, the carbon fibre rim translates a slow tyre deflation thanks to the intricate layering of fibre weaves. This allows the vehicle to come to a controlled and safer stop.
Beyond this, Mulliner states that the carbon fibre wheel displays a number of dynamic benefits such as increased steering agility. With the 6 kg mass saving and increased stiffness, the setup provides a more stable and consistent steering platform. In comparison, a forged aluminium wheel can lose up to a degree of camber due to wheel flex thus reducing grip and agility. With the lower mass, braking characteristics are improved on as well.
The new design is lighter on tyre wear as well, since the stiffer carbon design does not suffer from the same amount of bending. This allows for greater tyre stability and a more consistent contact patch thanks to a larger tyre support surface.
Those wanting to specify this option to their Bentley Bentayga can do so when the option is added to the catalogue later this year.