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Jay Leno Tests New Carbon Fiber Wheels: Video

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Once the preserve of race cars, you can now get carbon fiber on everything from dashboard trim to key fobs. But its light weight gives it far more potential than decorative objects, as Carbon Revolution's one-piece wheels can demonstrate. Jay Leno tests the all carbon wheels in his latest video, as he takes a Porsche 911 GT3 RS equipped with a set for a spin at Willow Springs. Both figuratively and literally.

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The idea behind the wheels is to reduce both unsprung and rotating masses. Reducing unsprung mass helps reduce the overall weight of the car, but also helps reduce inertia through the suspension system, beneficial for qualities like ride and grip. A reduction in rotating mass helps reduce gyroscopic forces that make a fast-spinning wheel harder to accelerate, brake and turn—the physics of which is demonstrated with two small gyroscopes by Brett Gass, executive director at Carbon Revolution. The lighter the spinning wheel and tire, the less resistance the car will have to turning, starting and stopping.

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On a track, that can really add up, and Leno puts it to the test along with his master mechanic Bernard. While Carbon Revolution's wheels don't help Leno's spin on cold tires, both Leno and Bernard note the advantages of the new wheels when tested back-to-back with standard aluminum rims. The steering is sharper, the car more eager to turn and cornering forces don't deflect the stiffer carbon fiber wheels as much as they do the aluminum wheels. At $15,000 for a set they ain't cheap, but for customers with high-end supercars the fully-approved carbon rims could be the ideal handling enhancement.

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