Just Why are ESR Wheels so Popular?

jessica smith 0
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Well, this is one question that can now be answered with some authority!

ESR Wheels was established in 2014. That makes it a comparatively new company. It started off a rep wheels’ manufacturer. Rep wheels are replicas of the OEM rims which are standard fitments for most vehicles once they leave the factory floor. ‘Replica’ is shortened to rep.

But over the last few years, ESR has immersed itself in the manufacture of high-end off road rims.

To that end, the company has been rebranding itself with gusto. They are eager to prove that they can make a lot more than replica wheels. With better manufacturing processes, superior in-house R&D, and a large number of models, ESR is actually giving good competition to brands like Fuel Wheels.

What’s their secret?

Let’s take a look in some more detail.

The promise of ESR Wheels

What seems to have worked for ESR since its inception is its attention to quality. 

Even when they were simply known for churning out rep rims, they had maintained high standards of quality control which separated them from the hundreds of other brands vying for attention in a very competitive market.

ESR Wheels are made in the United States. Contrary to some popularly held ideas, every aspect of their operations is carried out at their immense manufacturing facility in Southern California. This also means that they hire a lot of local people, which is always a great starting point for building a brand from scratch.

At the moment, ESR is one of the leading names in the multipiece forged wheels niche. The company has some major driving forces which are propelling it to the top of the heap. A few of them are the following:

  • Superior design aesthetics: ESR rims are superbly designed. Their range of off-road rims has a few daredevils that are unmatched in their aggressive designs and flaming finishes. This is not new for ESR: they have tried to match the looks of some of the most premium rims available in the market for some years now.

But unlike some brands, ESR is not a copycat. It listens to what consumers want, follows trends and implements them in final designs. You could argue that this approach is a lot like that of Fuel Wheels, and you wouldn’t be wrong. 

Like Fuel’s products, ESR has ensured that it scores a perfect 10 in the ‘looks’ department. 

  • Fantastic engineering: One of the principal reasons why ESR has grown so fast is its dedicated R&D. It uses some of the most unique forging technologies available commercially. Manufacturing multipiece forged wheels is never easy, but ESR’s facilities have taken it to almost an art-form. Forged rims are a lot lighter than cast ones. This has a great effect on a vehicle’s fuel economy. Despite their lower weight, such rims are perfectly capable of taking on the worst trails and off-road surfaces without sustaining significant damage. 

    ESR Wheels also uses a proprietary technology called ‘ForgeTech.’ Their latest series, dubbed the ‘Apex Collection’, boasts a range of models which have this new tech embedded. 

    ESR claims these are the lightest rims they have ever launched, especially designed for off-road use. We had a look at some of the latest models at AudioCity USA, one of our favorite retail outlets in California.

    This is a 33-year-old retailer of aftermarket rims and a wide array of automotive spares including lift kits. We have often bought rims for our personal use as well.

    Anyway, the new models are extraordinarily attractive. We even saw a C8 Corvette outfitted with a set of AP-8 wheels, considered one of the flagships of the new range. The entire combination was something to behold.

    • Built for the budget-conscious: While aftermarket and custom-crafted rims can never be labeled as ‘inexpensive’, ESR has managed to maintain some balance between quality and price. Depending on the model you are purchasing, you can easily bring home high-quality off-road wheels starting off at approximately $300 per piece.

    But forged wheels are much more expensive. Expect to pay more than $1000 per wheel when you go for rotary forged rims.

    At a glance, it might seem that the difference in prices is not a lot. But when you compare them with some of the best-known brands in this niche (think Fuel Wheels, Enkei, American Racing, Lexani and more), you will certainly notice that ESR’s products are relatively inexpensive.

    One of the primary walls that stand between high-class aftermarket rims and customers is that of the significantly high initial costs. ESR has managed to break down that barrier and has been largely successful.

    These make sense. Which are their latest models?

    Like other major players in the niche, ESR regularly upgrades its collection and adds more models to ensure that their value offering stays intact.

    If you are planning to buy a set of high-tech off-road rims at relatively affordable prices, you can check these out:

    1. AP6 Matte Black: This is one of their latest models. Manufactured using A356 high-tensile aluminum, these are rotary forged rims with very high load ratings. There are 3 different finishes on offer. The larger lip options ensure that they will fit almost any tire and custom brake fitments. 

    ESR offers a lifetime structural warranty on these rims.

    1. LV5: This is ESR’s luxury model aimed at the Rolls-Royces and the Bentleys. The LV5 is a 3-piece, fully customizable model that’s perfect for the most premium vehicles. The LV5 is FEA-tested and has a very concave structure that owners of such cars look for. Needless to say, the LV5 is a head-turner!

    Please buy these wheels from recognized retailers only. There are several duplicate ESR Wheels available across the US and globally. You must be careful!