Buyer's Guide: Best Budget Wheels Under $2000 for Track-Inspired Cars
Speed is part of any REAL car enthusiast's life. Many of us aspire to be just like our motorsports icons. In this article, we discuss the essentials of choosing budget wheels for track-inspired cars.
For us car guys, nothing beats the rush you get from speed and pushing your car to its limits. It is the ultimate test between man and machine. And it's hard to resist.
Most of us envy the life of racing legends. We look up to our favorite drivers and take inspiration from the cars, the builds, the team, the lines they take on and off the track.
Forget about the famed cars from Hollywood. We think it's infinitely more exciting to pattern your build from the iconic racecars.
Wheels for Your Track-Inspired Car
Track-inspired cars are driven on the road for the most part, but made to look like they are racecars.
They are usually packed with performance upgrades like air intakes, headers, exhaust systems, beefed up suspension, and aftermarket wheels.
Despite not being driven like all-out racecars, they can pack a lot of punch to get your adrenaline going for the occasional canyon runs and back roads.
What Can You Expect from Changing the Wheels?
Getting some aftermarket wheels for your track-inspired car has its benefits. While this may not get you the full capabilities of a real track car, it adds some character to your ride.
Aftermarket wheels can improve the stock stance of your car. It gets into a wide aggressive form just like the track built counterparts that inspired the build.
Likewise, wider wheels can increase the tire surface that comes in contact with the road. With proper tuning and alignment, it can help improve your car's traction and handling.
Who wouldn't want a car that's nice to look at? By putting on wheels that complement your ride's lines, you make it stand out a little bit more on the streets. The sporty look brings your track-inspired build up another notch.
Let's be honest here, the majority of people who will be attempting builds like this will spend more time at meets, than going all out at global time attacks. It's perfectly respectable to want to have something that looks the part. And the aggressive look is one of the top reasons why this track inspired look is so popular.
What's On The Market?
Now, we know how aftermarket wheels can improve your track-inspired car. It's time for you to have a look at what you can buy out there.
There are a lot of brands in the market that are inspired by actual track wheels. Let's have a look at some of the brands and their wheel models.
AodHan Wheels came into the aftermarket scene in the late 2000s. This brand brings modern and refreshing wheel designs at affordable price points.
The nice thing about its design selection is that the wheels can match models across different car segments like street, luxury, and even economy.
The company keeps up with the evolving market through innovation – both with design and manufacturing processes. Among these are AodHan’s low-pressure casting and forging used on its monoblock wheels.
Set of 4 starts at $800
The AodHan DS02 is a sporty design that resonates everything good about racing. Its multi-spoke design with a slight concavity and deep-dish lip forms a nice stance fit for your weekend warrior. While it easily complements tuner cars, it also looks good on domestic and European cars.
The one-piece alloy wheel suits a modern track-inspired build. It also has ample room to accommodate performance brake upgrades.
The DS02 comes in 18- and 19-inch sizes that match most five-lug bolt patterns. You can also mix and match offsets and lip sizes to your preference. This wheel comes in the following finishes: bronze with machined lip, hyper black, silver with machined lip, gold, and chrome.
Set of 4 starts at $848
The AodHan AH08 bears a clean and simple look favored by no-frills car guys. The design is very straightforward that you do not really have to worry about whether or not it looks good on the car. It has six spokes with a little bit of concavity placed and a slightly pronounced lip.
It is constructed from a single piece of alloy. This makes the wheel fairly rigid and give off the vibe that it's ready for some racing. Its dimensions should accommodate bigger brakes for better stopping power.
The AH08 is available as 18-inch models that fit five-lug bolt patterns. You can have it in bronze, black, white, and hyper black.
Set of 4 starts at $848
The AodHan DS01 looks like a trendy wheel fit for car shows instead of track days. Its attractive design uses seven twisted split spokes that resemble the sun as seen in ancient tribal murals. Small studs adorn the circumference as if they were gravitating stars. The deep-dish lip further adds depth and character to the wheel making it even more wonderful.
Its intricate details make the DS01 an attractive option for a track-inspired car. This wheel actually made appearances in the drifting circuit and might be seen on other track cars as well.
It is available in most 18- and 19-inch configurations for five-lug cars. Choose from its range of offsets and lip sizes that best suit your motorsports applications. You can have it in silver with machined lip, bronze with machined lip, gloss black, black chrome, gold, and chrome.
Avid1 Wheels belong to the young guns of the aftermarket wheels segment. This company has just offered its fresh wheel designs post-2000. It offers these products at affordable prices so that enthusiasts and their budding track cars have easy access to them. The Avid1 selection is filled with designs that come in aggressive dimensions to suit the modern demands in the car scene.
Set of 4 starts at $704
The Avid1 AV06 has so much JDM influence that it makes a fitting wheel for track-inspired cars. This wheel takes a lot of inspiration from full-blooded Japanese racing wheels. Its six spokes form an even clean streak from the hub while the slight concavity and deep wheel add depth to the piece.
This one-piece cast design comes only in 17- and 18-inch diameters. This leaves ample room to fit in performance brakes and tires with profiles suitable for your build. It is available for most cars that come with four and five lugs. You can choose from a range of subtle to flashy colors like hyper black, matte bronze, gloss black, matte blue, and white.
ESR Wheels is popular for having a huge roster of flashy wheels suited for the street and car shows. Some wheel models might even come off as too loud to purists and conservative tuners. Despite offering these designs, the brand does not shy away from being associated with track car wheels.
The brand is dedicated to aftermarket wheels that look good and can be relied upon. Its team has invested in manufacturing innovations for forging high-quality custom wheels worthy of track use. Even with easier access and affordability, ESR assures that there is no compromise to quality and performance.
Set of 4 starts at $760
The ESR SR06 is a clean five-spoke wheel design that can easily match import and European cars. From a quick glance, the stubby spokes have soft lines all around tones down the aggressiveness set by the deep-dish offset and studs forming around the circumference.
This wheel is an affordable option for track-inspired cars. You get the chance to make your car look attractive without having to sacrifice performance and reliability. Its size ranges from 17 to 19 inches and fits most five-lug bolt patterns. You can choose from hyper silver, gloss black, white, and matte bronze.
Set of 4 starts at $760
The ESR SR08 is another wheel model heavily influenced by the import tuner scene. It is formed by five spokes split into elongated Vs that stretch from the hub to the lip. Lines flow smoothly all throughout and is complemented by a modest concavity. Adding the step lips makes the wheel even more attractive.
You can easily put this on your track-inspired car and appreciate its beauty from a few feet away. The only thing better than that is seeing your car on those wheels while making a few passes.
Its sizes range from 17 to 19 inches and fit most five-lug bolt patterns. You can have it in machine face silver, matte bronze, gloss black, gloss white, and satin titanium.
While some aftermarket performance wheels rely on branding and history, Kansei Wheels would rather show off its quality by putting the products to actual use. Its selection includes a couple of designs fit for track cars and street machines alike.
These models are inspired by import scene icons whose vibe Kansei is hoping to capture. Furthermore, the company is also willing to work with the enthusiasts themselves for custom designs and applications.
Set of 4 starts at $1080
The Kansei Corsa is a multi-spoke wheel whose looks might remind you of the GT and Le Mans cars. Its 14 spokes are evenly spaced apart from each other and look symmetric to the adjacent pairs.
Kansei achieved a very clean look by leaving out details aside from the step lip and spokes. The wheel does not have an aggressive look but you will surely note that it is built for performance.
It only comes in 18 inches for the common five-lug bolt pattern. You can choose from hyper silver, gloss gunmetal, and textured bronze.
Set of 4 starts at $1200
The Kansei KNP is the wheel that propelled the brand to its current status in the aftermarket tuning scene. It takes a lot of cues from classic JDM tuner wheel designs. The wheel looks perfectly clean on its five spokes merged to a deep step lip design.
Its sturdy and lightweight construction makes it a good option for a track-inspired car that is close to the real deal. In the true spirit of modern motorsports, this wheel only comes in 17- and 18-inch variants matched to the common five-lug bolt patterns.
You can have this wheel in classic tuner finishes such as textured bronze, gloss gunmetal, and hyper silver.
Set of 4 starts at $1160
The Nissan Skyline is one of the most recognizable Japanese cars in the import tuner scene. Kansei Wheels made a fitting tribute to this icon by creating the Tandem. The six soft narrow spokes take you back to the ‘90s.
The wheel is very clean and performance-oriented. However, Kansei took the liberty to deviate from its inspiration by coming up with various concavity options as well as making it available to other five-lug bolt patterns.
The Tandem is only available in 18 inches but you can choose from three finishes: textured bronze, gloss gunmetal, and hyper silver.
Setting Up Your Track-Inspired Car
Switching to a new set of wheels might work to your disadvantage if you don't have regard for proper tuning. Here are some of the areas that you need to set up right after putting on new wheels:
Wheel alignment is the angular orientation of your car's wheels in relation to the body and each other. Adjusting the camber and toe to ideal specifications can make your track-inspired car easier to handle by optimizing the tire's contact surface to the road.
These adjustments can also prevent your tires from wearing unevenly and prematurely, and therefore less prone to accidents and inconveniences on the streets.
Wheel fitment pertains to bolt pattern, wheel and tire sizes, brakes, and fender clearances. These things are essential in keeping the all the components intact and free from any obstructions to movement.
Knowing these limits should help you pick out the suitable wheel to go with your car. It should also determine what other upgrades and modifications you might need to properly fit the wheels.
Making The Most of Your Track-Inspired Car
Function comes before form in racecars, but finding a balance between the two will make or break your build. Keeping your upgrades within budget doesn't mean compromising quality and safety. Choose the best set of wheels you like and can afford.
Once all is set, it's time to take your car for a spin. Just remember to always inspect your parts and follow public road regulations. Have fun and stay safe!