Ask almost any driving enthusiast for the best wheels at the best price, and invariably they’ll say ENKEI Wheels. Established in 1950, this aftermarket wheel manufacturer’s name is short for, ENshu KEIgokin, which translates to “light alloy of Enshu Province,” where it was founded (Enshu Province is today western Shizuoka Prefecture). In the early days of the company, ENKEI produced pretty much anything that was made of aluminum-alloy. ENKEI didn’t get into wheels until 1967, producing its first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wheels for Japanese cars.
Considering Mitsubishi holds a chunk of ENKEI, we’re thinking it was a Mitsubishi Galant that first wore ENKEI OEM wheels, ENKEI Apache, maybe? From there, ENKEI went on to produce OEM alloy wheels for several automakers and motorcycle manufacturers, and then into the much wider aftermarket world, producing wheels of all sizes for almost all vehicles. Additionally, since the mid-1980s, ENKEI has been found on top racing cars in circuits around the world, supplying the McLaren Formula 1 team with magnesium wheels since the mid-1990s. ENKEI wheels are often listed among the best wheels you can get, but what makes them so different?
Balancing Style & Construction & Cost
While style and beauty are usually “in the eye of the beholder,” most enthusiasts agree ENKEI wheels have a timeless style that can accent the look of almost any car. Between the ENKEI Classic, Performance Series, Racing Series, and Tuning Series, there are over 100 different style and color combinations, for everything from small cars and tuners to luxury cars and SUVs. In fact, other wheel manufacturers often mimic ENKEI designs, but simply can’t keep up with the largest wheel manufacturer in the world. Still, being the biggest is not a product of simple cheap mass-production, but of outstanding engineering.
Made particularly for racing and performance, ENKEI Wheels has developed high-tech manufacturing processes that are easily repeatable and highly consistent, resulting in the world’s best combination of lightweight construction and strength. ENKEI’s manufacturing process combines both cast and rotary forging, combining the best aspects of production speed and high-quality product. Almost every aspect of ENKEI wheel construction has a reason. The classic dual-spoke ENKEI RPF1, for example, was developed to reduce weight and increase heat dispersion without sacrificing strength. In comparison to similar cast wheels, ENKEI wheels are 10-15% lighter and are 15-20% stronger. These are both important considerations, not only for high-stress racing, but if you’re thinking of going up a few wheel sizes. Tested against ENKEI’s own stricter standard, many other wheels simply fail to deliver.
What’s really special about ENKEI wheels though is how much it costs to get a set of custom wheels. For what they are, lighter, stronger, more consistent, and stylish, they are priced well below comparable models from other makers. From entry-level and classic wheels to racing and drifting wheels, ENKEI wheels are the best for both your car and your wallet. If entry price wasn’t enough, most ENKEI wheels are covered by a limited lifetime warranty – basically, if you break these wheels, you’ve probably done something wrong.