The Japanese company, Enkei, has been stealing hearts since 1967, ever since they started manufacturing wheels. Since then, they have created models for several cars, becoming a common sight on roads. Enkei is undoubtedly hype, and is it well-deserved? Totally.
Within a few years, they became one of the top OEM wheel manufacturers for all of Japan’s largest automakers. Slowly, the reign extended from Japan to all over the globe. Owing to their popularity, 25 million wheels are produced annually.
Aesthetics and Looks
ENKEI wheels are often incredibly unique, decent looking, are not flashy, and give the vehicle just the look. However, it is important to recognize that their designs are driven by function.
For instance, consider this; the spokes are usually almost square against the wheel face, which protects the rim against solid impacts. Similarly, you’ll see wheels for trucks and SUVs have tougher spokes and particularly suited bolt patterns.
Additionally, ENKEI is highly desirable among consumers for the variety of available finishes. From silver to gunmetal, there’s plenty to choose from. The designs vary widely too. Wheels from their classic series tend to have deeper lips with aggressive offsets. And can we ever forget the iconic bold design of the Vortex-5?
Performance and Handling
Enkei wheels are steered by performance, and their capability is, by design, above all. Even the looks are dictated by purpose! Enkei wheels tend to be lighter, perform better and have greater durability than most competitors.
The engineering is appreciable. Strength, stiffness and lightness are considered the most important factors with ENKEI in improving performance. The processing techniques add to the strength, and the design is altered to improve the stiffness and lightness.
ENKEI produces a superior number and quantity of racing wheels involved in several motorsports, including officially supplying wheels to the McLaren Honda team since 1995. ENKEI wheels can be categorized under four product lines; the racing series, the Truck and SUV series, and the performance and tuning series.
1. The Racing Series:
Made through a technique called the MAT, these are ENKEI’s most advanced wheels, which were designed for motorsports, but also some for street cars.
2. The Performance Series:
The performance series covers some of the best alloy-casting strategies to produce good, although most not exactly brilliant, wheels for high-performance street cars.
3. Trucks and SUV Series:
As the name suggests, these are designed to fit under massive trucks and SUVs with greater weight-bearing and balancing ability.
4. The Tuning Series:
Thriving among the drifting community and hot-hatch owners, the tuning series delivers quality, although the design was made on the ideology of street cars.
Durability and Maintenance
ENKEI’s performance and usage throughout the years stand as testimony to the durability of its wheels. They are lightweight, durable and easy to keep spotless with a bit of regular maintenance.
Since the 1980s, they’ve been used by the world’s top racing teams, which is a feat in itself. Furthermore, they are 15-20% lighter and more durable than similar wheels. And considering durability, they are 10-15% lighter than other wheels with the same durability character.
ENKEI wheels remain synonymous with durability, even when subjected to intense cornering, speeds etc, specifically for enthusiastic drivers. We highly recommend opting for these if you want sturdy companions for your car that last long too.
Although I do not give much weightage to standardized testing, Enkei does meet the majority of testing standards (including fatigue tests and heavy high-impact tests) such as those of ISO, JWL, VIA, JWTC etc. and is also approved by TUV.
Cost and Value for Money
Every ENKEI wheel varies in cost, depending upon the wheel size, model, specifications, and other characteristics. However, ENKEI produces a large number of wheels every year, as stated above. With such a huge volume of production, it has been able to lower the cost significantly.
The reduction in cost makes ENKEI one of the more reasonably priced companies where you can get several gems out for a few digits. The constantly improving manufacturing processes and techniques enable ENKEI to bring products for a lower cost and greater value for money.
Best Enkei Wheel Models
Here are some of the best wheel models created by ENKEI, which are especially cheered for by the crowds:
- ENKEI RPF1
There can not be anyone possibly surprised by the presence of this wheel on this list. After all, the RPF1 is the most iconic production of ENKEI.
The six-spoked wheel is the definition of high functional integrity under a reasonable tag for a track wheel. This wheel is one of the strongest yet lightest wheels on the market.
- ENKEI Raijin
One of the best wheels you can put under a street car, Raijin is available in multiple finishes. It is included in the tuning series of ENKEI, and the split-spoke design not only looks great but also helps with brake cooling and reduction of rotational mass. It is lightweight and is priced decently.
- ENKEI EV5
With a deep lip, 5-spoke patterns and classy look, Enkei EV5 will add a hot, aggressive edge to your vehicle. These can easily make a vehicle stand out in a crowd, are affordable, lightweight and available in premium finishes. Moreover, the design adds grip and balance to the ride.
ENKEI has been a renowned part of the automotive industry for decades, and for good reason. Most wheels are affordable, strong and durable, therefore, they have become a popular choice among the masses. Moreover, the functional designs add to the appearance of the car, while improving performance.
Even if you have a particular taste, we’re still sure that you’d be able to find the one among the large variety of designs available at ENKEI. Looks, durability, and strength, they have them all. Thus, I can safely say that ENKEI wheels will prove a worthy investment for anyone.
Although the brand isn’t devoid of competitors, the uncompromised quality and relatively low pricing of the wheels keep ENKEI on top of the majority of the competition.
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