Like the right footwear on a red carpet, wheels can make or break the design of a car. Quite often it’s the case that they’re a defining feature, a reason on their own, or among many, that a car is memorable or has its iconic status. When we first considered doing a list on car wheels, it was going to span the history of motoring, but there are so many incredible designs throughout, we just had to split it into two. Even then, both the classic (pre-2000) and modern lists each have some 20 entries.
Why make the millennium the cutting off point? Well, it’s around then that wheels and tyres began to change, getting wider in section and thinner in profile. These proportion changes effected how designers approached the wheels themselves, exploring new aero and weight-saving concepts, as well as exploring how to reinvent some classic design tropes. So let’s go through what we think are some of the best modern alloy wheels. Might we note too, this is extensive, but by no means exhaustive. Have your say on your favourites in the comments.