When it comes to wheel finishes, many manufacturers don’t try to reinvent the wheel – and why would they? There are a wide variety of beautiful standard finishes available from wheel manufacturers. However, to HRE wheels, this didn’t satisfy. HRE set out to make an industry-original finishing process to provide an entirely unique look to their wheels. Enter the “Stone” finish.
At first glance, these stone gold wheels appear to be a satin metallic finish of sorts. However, upon closer examination, the stone texture reveals itself.
The wheel has a uniquely textured, marbled appearance underneath its color finish. This effect is an incredibly unique wheel finish that mimics textures you might find in granite, providing inspiration behind the “stone” name. Then, a transparent finish is applied to the wheels that provides color, but allows the marbled surface underneath to stay visible and catch the light in a very distinct manner. For example, the finish on the photos above and below is “Stone Gold”.
Notice how the wheel face has a natural-looking marbled face beneath the gold coating. More than just a color option, HRE Stone-finished wheels seem to be made from a different material. But, of course, this beautiful exterior is still made up of the same high-quality aluminum that all HRE wheels are sourced from.
If you’re as curious as I am, the first thing that came to mind was probably something along the lines of: how? Well, I can’t give you all the details, as much of this process is understandably kept tightly locked behind their doors. However, I am of liberty to talk about the general process to help you better understand how exactly this finish is achieved.
After forging, the aluminum wheels or wheel components are put into vibratory tumblers that contain different sorts of rough, abrasive media. The wheels are submerged in these tumblers and put through cycles that agitate the media against the wheels.
These cycles can take hours depending on the properties of the wheel getting the stone finish. Perhaps wheels with larger faces require longer cycles due to the extra surface area that needs to be marbled.
Notice the abrasive media are a different color in this photo – do the colors mean anything? Is it just a different color? Do they signify different media materials or levels of abrasiveness? Are they for different wheels? One can only speculate on HRE’s secrets 😉
Once the tumbler cycles are finished, the wheels are thereby removed, cleaned, and prepped for powder coat. HRE opted for a wide variety of finish options for Stone wheels, to provide a premium array and appeal of finishes at a price that doesn’t leave a premium pain in your wallet.
One rather stunning and iconic example is iLectric Blue:
Taking after the BMW i-line’s signature blue trim, this finish is a vibrant example of the unique surface features that the Stone finish provides. Take a look at a few other finishes that HRE offers in Stone:
HRE also provides their Frozen finishes in tandem with Stone finishes. Frozen Stone creates very soft, almost muted finishes, giving the wheels a satin look that still shows the marbled wheel surface below it. Some examples of Frozen Stone finishes are:
Frozen Stone Bronze
Frozen iLectric Blue
HRE offers Stone finishes in both their Forged and FlowForm wheel lines, so there’s a Stone finish for you no matter which direction you choose to go. Stone finishes are a $600 add-on to FlowForm wheels, which is a very fair price to pay for a very unique wheel finish, especially considering that’s only $100 more than other custom finishes. For Forged HRE wheels, the price varies based on your wheel selection and build.
If you’re looking to outfit your build with a unique and stunning Stone finish from HRE, drop us a line! Get in touch with a Mod Expert today by calling in at (714) 582-3330 or emailing [email protected]. If you’re local, let us handle the install! Schedule an appointment at Mod Auto by calling (714) 582-3330 to get it done right the first time.