Fitting a set of aftermarket rims and tires can change how your car handles, as well as dramatically improving the way it looks. Unfortunately, there is also a downside here, as getting cheap rims will hurt your car. Buying heavy wheels also affects your vehicle, as will significantly oversized alloys.
We are not going to make a guide on how to select the best aftermarket wheels for your car, but we will focus on some of the nicest rims offered by automakers from the factory.
Instead of challenging ourselves to find the coolest rims available on each car, a task that could have taken weeks or even months of our lives, we decided to try a different angle on this article.
Therefore, instead of scrolling through each manufacturer’s accessories and optional equipment offers, we decided it was a better idea to select the coolest rims featured in press images on production models launched in the past few years.
No concept cars have been chosen in this story, because we wanted to show rims that were available in showrooms. We scrolled through many cars to select the best-looking rims shown in press images published by automakers. This made the job even harder, because not all cool rim designs end up in the press shots.
However, we felt that automakers have the ability to showcase the best rims and colors on a car when it is sent to get press images. If the manufacturer did not care enough about a car when it was going through an official photo shoot that should be crucial to bringing people into showrooms, why waste time finding the best wheels available from any manufacturer?
We are sure you can show us better press shots of production OEM rims that look cool, but this list was made according to the autoevolution editors personal taste in rims. Feel free to hit the comments section to place a link or the name of a rim type that you think should have been on the list and we skipped it. We assure you that it was unintentional.
So, let’s get things going without list, which places rims in a random order, because we feel that each of them fits the car that wears it in a fabulous way.
The McLaren’s 570S was revealed with a beautiful set of rims that are shaped like a star. Each of the five arms of the star is split in two, and they are also curved in two directions. The lip of the rim gently integrates the “star,” while the hub is delicate and helps disclose as much as possible out of the enormous brake discs.
McLaren has many rim options to choose from, but we chose this one in particular because it was in the press shots for the 570S, and we had remembered them after seeing the car when it was revealed online.
Our second exhibit is a set of rims worn by the Mercedes-AMG GT-C Roadster. As you can notice, we have another type of “star-shaped” wheel here, which also features five spokes that have room in the middle of each arm. Unlike the ones on the McLaren, these rims have arms that are almost straight, but a mild curvature is visible.
Another significant difference is their finish, which mixes “diamond cut” with gloss black. The choice makes these rims stand out more than just monochrome ones, without being as flashy as fully polished wheels. Just like on the McLaren 570S, the wheels reveal as much as the brake discs as possible.
These might be the smallest rims in our list, but we do not discriminate cars on size. Mazda’s multi-spoke design for the MX-5 looks like a timeless look, which suits the Japanese roadster like a glove.
We like the fact that the automaker chose to paint these rims in a shiny shade of black, instead of the usual silver finish. Painting rims black can be a risky decision, especially for those that are smaller than the 18 or 19-inch units found on larger cars.
Black paint makes objects look smaller than they are, and doing this to a set of wheels could compromise the look of your ride. On the MX-5, they just work.
Another courageous use of black is found on the DS3 R Cabriolet, which has an intricate design of rim showcased in the press gallery. We like the center cap on these rims because it is painted in a bold shade of red, and it also adorns the DS logo. Having a brand logo on a set of rims is nothing special, but boldly showing it in red does a neat visual trick.
In the case of the DS3 R Cabriolet, the black wheels and blacked-out wheel arches go to an extreme when the look is concerned. If the rims were one inch smaller in diameter, the entire thing would have looked awful.
The level of clearance between the wheel and the wheel arches is also on a fine line between too big and just right, but the car still has to be able to have suspension travel, so it gets a green light in our book.
Maserati has gone for a seven-spoke design that looks fabulous. If you look closely at the place where each arm meets the rim of the lip, you will spot an “M,” which is the kind of touch you would expect from this Italian brand.
We also see the automotive equivalent of cleavage, in the form of big disc brakes and red calipers. That looks great on any car, and the Ghibli wears this look as well as you would expect. The two-step lip of these rims is also nice on the eyes.
Another fantastic wheel design from Italy is on the rims of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. You surely know these rims by now, as every Giulia Quadrifolio was “wearing" them in press shots. These wheels would fit nicely on older Alfa Romeo models, but they suit the Giulia entirely.
In the case of this design, one must appreciate the way that the five “arms” get split near the lip of the rim and create small heart-like circles between them, as well as small triangles. This is probably difficult to clean, but we feel that it would be worth the effort.
We move from round to angular on this one. We liked the wheels of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport because they stray from the pack. Sure, we could have selected a classic look for the GTI Clubsport, but these rims were irresistible.
Just look at them for a few seconds. Even standing still, they give you the impression of motion. It is hard to name the geometrical shapes formed by the spokes, but we do not care, because they look great. Since they have the same lug distance as other comparable Volkswagens, these rims are an excellent option for those looking for an OEM+ look.
The F-Type SVR is a mean-looking Jaguar, and it can perform to match the look. It certainly needed a set of rims to match its character, and these certainly fit the bill. A close look at them will reveal five pairs of arms.
In the middle, they form a small black star, while their finish makes them great to watch in motion. Gloss black paint sits on the background of these rims to provide depth, while the polished finish gives these wheels a stunning look.
The Ford Mustang can be had with a few nice rim options, but those available on the Shelby GT350R stand out if you ask us. They are optionally available, but they are mass-produced carbon fiber wheels.
Even if these rims were ugly, the could have gotten on our list because of the cool factor they bring to a ride. They also reduce unsprung mass of a vehicle, so there is also a performance benefit here. Just do not scratch them – nobody will be able to fix carbon fiber rims.
A list of beautiful rims would be incomplete without something from Ferrari, right? The Italian brand knows how to design its vehicles, and the rims offered with them also have to be stunning.
In the case of the LaFerrari Aperta, you can see a set of star-shaped rims painted in silver. Nothing outstanding if it happened on other cars, but they look fantastic on this car. Bonus points go for the center lock design of these wheels.
We opened this article with a picture of an Aventador rim. It would have been unnatural to us not to show a Lamborghini here, right? While their Italian counterparts at Ferrari usually go for elegance instead of aggressivity, Lamborghini has chosen a flashy set of black rims for the Aventador.
You must note that they are not entirely blacked-out, as they still have shiny accents on the edges of the spokes that form a star. Not the way that each spoke meets the lip of the rim and forms small triangles.
The 2017 R8 is one of the coolest Audi models in the current range. Its predecessor was also one of the most attractive cars in the automaker’s portfolio. You cannot help but be drawn to this model, and it must have nice wheels on it, right?
That is what we thought, and Audi did not disappoint. Instead of a simple design, the 2017 R8 V10 comes with this “overlapped” design, which was described by us with that word because it looks like two multi-spoke rim designs were put on top of each other. The result is nice to view, and they look good from any angle.
BMW is one of the automakers that has offered an incredible range of rims over the years. You have to be extremely unfortunate to get ugly BMW rims. In the worst case scenario, if you buy OEM rims from a BMW to fit them on another model, the only thing wrong might be an unfortunate choice of pattern.
For this article we chose the BMW M4 GTS rims, which come with an orange inside that generates an amazing visual look. The multi-spoke design has created an intricate pattern, similar to an overlap, but it appears that multiple “stars” are put on top of each other.
The Civic Type R has aggressive-looking wheels, and they come with a red lip to match the car. These might look out of place on other models from the Japanese automaker, but the Civic Type R wears them like it was born for it.
The five spoke design splits each arm before meeting the rim, offering a pleasant glimpse of the brake discs and red calipers. Their gloss black finish is ideally suited here, as silver would not have made the mark. We cannot help but wonder how these would look painted white.
We have another center-lock wheel design here, but this time it is fitted to a Porsche. We are referring to the 911 GT3 RS, to be precise. While fixing a flat with a center-lock design is probably an acute pain on the side of the road, these rims have an extraordinary look.
If you observe carefully, you can see that the five-spoke design has a slight curvature, similar to the one found on the McLaren 570S. Evidently, it is not the same, but we appreciate seeing different interpretations of this concept. The dark tint of silver suits these rims perfectly.