News Car Tech

This Steelie Lookalike Is Actually a $300 Lightweight Enkei Wheel

If you want the look of steel wheels without the sacrifice, Enkei has got what you need.

Steelies are a special kind of wheel precisely because they aren’t. Generally, they’re the cheapest wheel option, but give a vehicle a certain basic dignity and purpose which ends up looking cool. Enkei’s latest wheel design harkens back to those classic stamped designs without the usual weight penalty.

As covered by CarScoops, the wheels in question are the new Enkei Al’Vita wheels. They’re a part of the company’s Neo Classic series, which aims to recreate a variety of designs from Enkei’s past. In this case, the Al’Vita is a reimagining of the former Al’Life design, with holes around the outside and a cross-stamping in the middle. This gives the wheels the look characteristic of cheap stamped steel wheels.

Enkei

The wheels are available in Sparkle Silver and Hyper Silver, a light and dark shade respectively. Enkei will also supply center caps bearing its logo if so desired. If you do purchase those, please don’t lose them. That would be incredibly frustrating for whoever you sell the wheels to in three years’ time.

Steelies can be a cheap choice for a build, but they come with a serious tradeoff—weight. The heft can compromise handling, and this tends to make them an unattractive choice for most enthusiasts. Thankfully, the Al’Vita wheels don’t suffer that drawback, by virtue of their cast aluminium alloy construction. Enkei claims the wheels, manufactured with its “Most Advanced Technology” casting process, have strength and lightness compared to a forged wheel. Engineers may argue the point in the comments.

The wheels are shown off on a current-generation Mazda MX-5. It’s an apt choice, as the four-lug wheels are only available in the 16-inch size. This makes them unsuitable for a lot of modern cars, particularly those with larger brakes. It’s strangely fitting, though, given many older Miatas end up running around on rusty steelies at some point in their lifetime.

The wheels go on sale in Japan in October this year for the price of ¥44,550 in either shade or roughly $300 a wheel. Getting a set shipped Stateside shouldn’t be too much trouble if you desperately need the nostalgia hit for your own sweet ride. Most of the modern vehicles Enkei lists as compatible are Japan-only, but these could look great on a pre-2000 Honda or older Miata, too.

Enkei Al’Vita wheel specs (only one 16″ size as of this writing):

Width7J
Inset38
P.C.D.100
Holes4
Boreφ75
Design Protrusion0.6 mm
Weight per wheel~7.1 kg / ~15.7 lbs

Got a tip? Let the author know: lewin@thedrive.com