Guide to The Best Luxury Street Wheels
Dressing up for the occasion can project status and sophistication. The same applies to cars. With the right bling, your car will feel like a million bucks. This is what inspired VIP themes and all the luxury street wheels in the market.
Anywhere you go, car enthusiasts are keen to express personality on their rides. A good chunk of them would often put on performance and aesthetic upgrades that make the cars appear fast.
But not everyone likes the idea of an adrenaline-pumped machine. There are car guys that would rather hang loose and flaunt swagger and status on the street.
It's Not Just About the Bling
In the early 2000s, "bling" became one of the most used slang thanks to the hip-hop culture. As African-American artists and athletes rose to fame, they displayed their wealth by wearing huge flashy jewelries.
This practice transcended into their cars. Soon enough, streets were seen with heavily ornamented cars and SUVs. Favorite upgrades were primarily wide-diameter chrome rims with deep offsets.
While these cars are attractive, it may come off as a little in-your-face-ish. And it attracts a lot of attention, sometimes even from the 5-0.
Over the other side of the Pacific, the Japanese also had a similar movement - the VIP style. Americans were quick to pick this up because of its resemblance with bling cars.
Rolling Like the Japanese Bippu
Just like the bling cars, Bippu or VIP style cars in Japan started with particular groups of people. Both the Japanese street racers and gangsters needed cars that were subtle to escape police surveillance.
They turned away from sport coupes in favor of full-size Japanese sedans. At first, they took on styling cues from luxury sport Euros like Mercedes Benz and BMW to project a VIP status.
Early examples often donned dark paint jobs matched to flashy deep dish wheels, extreme camber, and lowering suspension kits. But unlike show cars, these machines were built for urban use despite its distinct modifications.
Modern VIP style cars aren't limited to executive sedans anymore. This probably came to the dismay of purists who would rather stick with Toyotas and Nissans.
While American counterparts have Lexus and Infiniti sedans, car guys have also started using Hondas, Mazdas, and even non-traditional platforms.
It's great that the VIP style has evolved since its inception. It moved away from its shady past and turned into a movement that embraced change and diversity.
The Pursuit of Luxury Street Wheels
The modern car culture is both digital and global. These days, you can easily access build inspirations online. There are also a lot of wheel brands out there that whip out cool designs suited for VIP style cars.
But at the end of the day, it's all up to you. The wheel you choose can determine if your car gets tons of swagger on the street or not.
At the same time, you would want something within your price point. Let’s have a look at some affordable options:
The late 2000s saw the entry of AodHan Wheels into the automotive aftermarket scene. Its brand is all about keeping up with the modern designs that enthusiasts have come to love.
Pegged at affordable price points, AodHan offers wheels for performance, economy, and luxury.
Moreover, low-pressure casting and flow-forged process innovations in the factory helped the brand produce wheels that can withstand the demands of daily commute.
Starts at $212
The AodHan DS05 is dubbed a refreshed classic. The wheel is inspired by the traditional five-spoke design associated with European cars. There's an added personality with the deep lip and rivets that form on the wheel’s circumference.
It works best for cars that you would consider snobbishly attractive. When you see a car using DS05s, you might come to think it got the street cred.
The DS05 comes in 18-inch and 19-inch versions with varying wheel offsets to best suit your car. It is available in gloss black, bronze with machined lip, silver, gold vacuum, and black vacuum.
Starts at $200
The AodHan DS02 might come off as a wheel more suited for sporty builds. But its design can work on your bippu. Its multi-spoke design comes with a slight concavity and deep-dish lip.
This wheel comes in 18 and 19 inches suited for most five-lug bolt patterns. You can choose from a range of offsets and lip sizes to suit your build.
The DS02 is available in VIP-approved finishes like bronze with machined lip, hyper black, silver with machined lip, gold, and chrome.
Starts at $212
The AodHan DS07 is an aggressively-styled wheel with ten pointed spokes. It also has small rivets on the circumference and a deep-dish lip, making the wheel look like a crown.
It comes in 18- and 19-inch sizes with limited wheel offset options. You can have it in the following finishes: gloss black, silver with machined face, and bronze with machined lip.
ESR Wheels is known for wheel designs that are rather loud and attractive. This is perfect for VIP style cars that let the wheels do the talking. It is definitely not for the meek and modest.
Even with unconventional aftermarket wheel designs, ESR takes reliability and performance very seriously.
It invests a lot in innovating production and design for the demands of modern streetcars. ESR Wheels has even proven its wheels to be track-worthy.
Starts at $225
The ESR CS11 has a timeless multi-spoke design with an aggressive offset. This look was popular with European cars first but has been since adopted by domestic and import cars.
Its classic look makes it a popular luxury street wheel. It has the elegance and glamour needed to make any car look like a true work of art, and in turn elevating your car into VIP status.
You can have the CS11 in 18 and 19 inches and it fits most five-lug cars. It is available in subtle luxury street wheel colors such as gloss black, hyper silver, and graphite.
Starts at $225
The ESR CS15 is a recent addition to the brand’s wheel line-up. Its intricate five-spoke is inspired by magnificent race cars.
The studs around its circumference adds texture and detail to the rather smooth forged metal. The aggressive offset further adds depth to the wheel's character.
Despite its sporty appearance, the CS15 can pass off as a luxury street wheel.
You can have it only in 18 inches. Choose from finishes like hyper silver, matte graphite, and gloss black.
Starts at $262
The ESR RF2 was originally meant for performance, but enthusiasts saw an opportunity to use it as luxury street wheels too. It wasn’t a surprise that the wheel easily matched VIP style builds.
The five Y-spokes are spread out aggressively with slight concavity. Add that to the stepped lip and you got some killer looks.
This model is available in 18- and 19-inch variants for most five-lug bolt patterns. You can choose from matte bronze metallic, hyper silver, hyper black, and matte black.
Vordoven Wheels came into the aftermarket scene in 2014 as the demand for affordable wheels continued to increase. The brand’s entry was fueled by car enthusiasts wanting to try out refreshing concepts on their rides.
The company invests in precision equipment and follows the Japan Light Alloy Wheel Standard to ensure the integrity and safety of its affordable wheels.
Starts at $225
The Vordoven Forme 9 is more often associated with sporty tuner builds. But make no mistake that it can also work with your bippu if done right.
Its split five spokes are evenly stretched out. The soft contours give a nod to the subtle styling of the early 2000s.
The Forme 9 fits cars with five-lug bolt patterns and can take in 18- and 19-inch wheels. It is available in the following finishes: machine matte black, matte battleship gray, machine matte gunmetal, and full machine silver.
Rotiform Wheels started in California with a bunch of car enthusiasts eager to run their business. They believe in working closely with everyone from the design, manufacturing, and finishing.
The brand supports local motorsports icons like Ken Block. Despite the association, Rotiform makes wheels that look good on modern VIP style builds.
Starts at $275
The Rotiform CVT has an unconventional design for a luxury street wheel. It has a thick web grid filling in the entire stretch of the wheel.
This forged aluminum wheel is available in 19- and 20-inch sizes for most five-lug bolt patterns. You can have it in silver, black, and anthracite.
Starts at $234
The Rotiform CCV looks like an ode to the clean flat wheels from the ‘80s. It could be a modern interpretation of wheels that came along with cars like the Pontiac Firebird, Chevrolet Corvette, and Holden Commodore.
Its smooth wheel face comes with two layers of directional grids. There is also a slight concavity in the middle that pushes the rest of the wheel out.
The CCV is available in 18 and 19 inches and fits most five-lug bolt patterns. It comes in candy red, black, and silver.
Choosing the best luxury street wheels for your build should come with a lot of patience, research, and inspiration. After all, you want to make your car a superstar on the streets.
While the examples above look exceptional, you should always be mindful about your car's fitment specifications to keep it road-worthy. At the end of the day, driving like a VIP don't mean a thing if your car is a rolling road hazard.