In 2019, Ronal will be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary by releasing the R50 Aero wheel design. (above) Back in 1969, Karl Wirth founded the company with motorsport in mind. He was a Formula Vee racer who saw a competitive advantage in, and thus a market desire for, aluminum wheels. The company opened its own factory in 1978, and has been on the cutting edge of lightweight and stylish wheel design ever since.
Ronal Group purchased Speedline in 2007, which included massive expansion of the company’s scope. 2012 saw further expansion with the purchase of Fullchamp wheels in Taiwan. The group then grew into full carbon wheel manufacturing with the purchase of Australia’s Carbon Revolution in 2013. It’s fair to say that Wirth’s initial idea has grown into a massive multinational corporation, especially considering that the group now employs over 8000 people. It’s an anniversary, then, worth celebrating.
Being the Golden Anniversary of the company, it makes sense that the R50 Aero is primarily available in gold, but will also be offered in black and silver designs. While many enthusiasts will know Ronal for the iconic 1980s “Turbo” wheel (officially known as the R10), the R50 is an updated version of that cult classic.
Ronal says the turbine-like spokes will help extract air to cool the car’s brakes, and the flat dish center section of the wheel reduces aerodynamic drag. I’m not sure a wheel can do both things at the same time, but I suppose efficiencies can be optimized on both accounts. The new R50 wheel will be available in a wide variety of wheel bolt patterns, and 16x7.5 size for vintage cars, as well as 18x8 size for more modern cars.
All I know is that I really want a set, but I don’t currently have anything to put them on. I guess it’s time to buy another car. What would you fit these wheels to? I’m thinking Lotus Esprit.