Boutique Supercars, Concept Cars and Pike’s Peak Racers equipped with HREs
1. Vector Supercar M12 – The name Vector is one that, in automotive circles, will bring on fits of fanboy-ish supplication or cries of derisive laughter. The company went through a number of ups and downs before being bought by an Indonesian company called Megatech in the early 1990s. Megatech also happened to own Lamborghini at this time, and as such they decided to build the ultimate Vector supercar, the M12. Megatech managed to build 14 W12s before the company imploded and was bought by Gerald Weigert, the Vector’s original founder. HRE was contracted to make the unique 3-piece, 3-spoke wheels for all 14 cars.
2. Monster Tajima’s Pikes Peak EV – When it comes to Pikes Peak, few names conjure up as much adoration and awe as Monster Tajima. The man is a legend and for good reason. He set numerous records throughout the 90s in various twin-engined terrors and continues to set records as recently as 2014. His most recent ride is the Monster EV, a stunning prototype that looks like it would be more at home at Le Mans than rocketing up a mountain. With its electric motors providing a full 1.1 megawatts of power (equivalent to 1475hp), this thing is probably a real handful to drive. HRE got involved with the project when Monster needed special lightweight and super strong wheels, designing and custom machining them in their factory in California.
3. Saleen S7 – When the Saleen S7 debuted in August of 2000, it took the world by storm. This was the first time that America had produced a true supercar (the Vector doesn’t count, key word being produced) and the results were stunning. In addition to being beautiful and aggressive, the S7 packed a mean punch with a big American V8 displacing 427 cubic inches and producing 500 relatively unstressed horsepower. Later in the car’s production run the S7 got two big turbos that boosted output to over 750hp. Because Saleen was based in Irvine, Steve Saleen reached out to HRE to design and manufacture the S7’s distinctive chrome finish wheels. HRE produced all of the wheels for the entire production run of the S7.
4. Gas Monkey F40 – There is almost no car on Earth that is as universally loved as the Ferrari F40. With its combination of staggering performance (this remains true almost 30 years after it debuted), light weight, gorgeous looks, exclusivity, and near terrifying build quality; it has entered the pantheon of world’s greatest automobiles. Because of this, people tend to react poorly to anyone trying to improve upon Enzo’s finest. The crew at Gas Monkey Garage didn’t seem to give that much thought when they bought a near-totaled F40 and set about building their idea of the perfect F40. Notably, they changed the car’s iconic Rosso Corsa color to black, added a Tubi exhaust system and upgraded the turbochargers. They also fitted a one-off set of HRE 5-spoke wheels in matte black. The wheels truly made the car in this case and took it from heresy to something that pretty much everyone can agree is awesome.
5. LS-Powered Aston Martin Vantage Convertible – Aston Martin are known for creating some of the world’s most beautiful cars and many of their newer cars are thought of as being relatively reliable when compared to other exotics. However, this hasn’t always been the case. In the late 70s, Aston Martin was struggling somewhat as a company but their production V8-powered convertible, the V8 Vantage Volante, was a potent performer and a good looking car but like almost all British cars from that era it suffered from rust and unreliable powertrains. Fast forward to the present day and the V8 Vantage convertible represents a pretty stunning bargain for the brave of heart. One such courageous owner decided to dump the finicky Tadek Marek V8 for one of GM’s powerful, reliable, and lightweight LS engines. To finish off his awesome classic he contacted HRE and had them design some perfectly fitting multi-spoke wheels that absolutely make the car.
6. KIA Trackster – HRE does a lot of work for various OEMs and one of the things they specialize in is doing custom one-off wheels for concept cars. One example of this is Kia’s awesome 250hp AWD Trackster concept from 2012. Based on the Kia Soul crossover, the Trackster features two fewer doors, a lower and more purposeful stance, and a killer set of wheels that look like they might have influenced the design of Porsche’s current GT3 wheels! It’s a shame the Trackster never went into production, it looks like it would have been a blast to drive.
7. Gumpert Apollo – One day you were sitting on your couch, watching pirated episodes of Top Gear UK, and eating Cheetos while trying not to get the cheese dust on your shirt and all of a sudden this crazy German car you had never heard of absolutely destroyed the lap record around the Top Gear test track. That car was the Gumpert Apollo, a somewhat clumsily named, Audi-powered, boutique supercar. The Apollo featured some pretty aggressive styling that many people found divisive, but it rode on some spectacularly gorgeous multi-spoke wheels. These wheels came, of course, from HRE. The crew at HRE specifically designed the wheels to be incredibly strong and as light as possible to withstand the extreme forces that a car as powerful as the Apollo would throw at them.
8. Rimac Concept One – The world of electric supercars is pretty much dominated by one company now, Tesla. But there was a time, back in 2013, when there were still companies interested in stepping up to the plate to change people’s minds about electric performance. One of these companies was Rimac Automobili from Croatia. Their Concept One was an incredibly pretty electric car with a 91 kWh battery and electric motors producing 1,088hp. Despite the valiant effort and tie-ins with the then nascent Formula-E, as of 2014 they have only managed to sell and produce eight vehicles. Rimac commissioned the large, distinctive wheels of the Concept One from HRE.
9. Lovefab Enviate – The Lovefab Enviate represents an aesthetic throwback to the great twin-engined Suzukis that Monster Tajima piloted up Pikes Peak in the 1990s. Originally based on a 1991 NSX, the car is now a full tube frame chassis in order to allow it to get closer to the 2000lb weight of the rest of the cars in the unlimited class. The car picked up its unique name when Turbo by Garrett stepped up to sponsor the build, thereby allowing Lovefab to ditch the V6 and step up to an LS motor and massive, massive turbo. The Enviate rides on huge custom HRE wheels that are strong enough to withstand massive power and vicious direction changes while being shod in ultra sticky full-racing slick tires.
10. Zenvo ST1 Five Spoke Wheel – Danish supercar company Zenvo is maybe best known for being the car that caught on fire a bunch of times on Top Gear, but to those with an eye for design, it is an incredible exercise in what can be done with a mid-engined hypercar. The ST1 is powered by a twin-charged V8 producing 1100hp. The car is almost entirely hand-built by Zenvo in a small shop on the island of Zealand in Denmark. The distinctive 5-spoke HRE wheels were commissioned by Zenvo and look like no other wheels we’ve seen.
Photos courtesy of HRE Performance Wheels.