They are automotive diamonds. We are talking about rims that have never been seen before and give the Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer – DLS Turbo the final touch of unique aesthetics. Created in the Californian think tank Singer Vehicle Design together with its trusted partner BBS and brought to life in Weinstadt, Baden-Württemberg, by the hands of Bernd Kussmaul’s team. The Singer philosophy is lived, so the two rim sets “Mesh Multi-Piece” and “BBS CH” made of forged magnesium or aluminium are a homage to the legendary Fuchs wheel – reimagined by Singer. Those who wondered who was behind the “Diamonds of Goodwood” at the European premiere at the Festival of Speed and then at Monterey Car Week will find out the answer here.
They shine in the light and yet somehow they don’t. The eye is challenged when it wants to capture this so-called “Milky Effect” of the rims, and is rewarded for the sight at the same time. The elegant 7-spoke design of the “BBS CH” is a tribute to the decades-long and continuing importance of these rims in racing and an idea of the mastermind and CEO of Singer Vehicle Design, Rob Dickinson, who in his very own and admired way knows how to rethink Porsche 911 from the late 1970s. Bernd Kussmaul from the manufacturer of the same name is also an innovator. That is why the Californian Singer Vehicle Design, BBS and the entrepreneur from Weinstadt have harmonised for years, because owner and managing director Bernd Kussmaul is known for his own passion for detail and love of the task.
Handcrafted made in Weinstadt
The BBS CH were milled from a 260-kilo aluminium block by a network partner of Bernd Kussmaul GmbH, compressed by shot blasting and delivered to Weinstadt weighing 20 kilos. Now the hands and heads of Bernd Kussmaul’s team took over. The aim was to have optically separated spokes in the middle, one part highly polished, one part shot-blasted, so that it looks like matt grey. By masking and polishing the shiny areas several times, a very special look was achieved, which brings the so-called Milky Effect to light, a shine that becomes visible as if through a glass with milk. “We developed various approaches, discarded our own ideas again and completely rethought at very short notice, so that we could realise the design wish true to detail,” reflects Bernd Kussmaul, CEO of the hidden champion. “The way to the result was top performance under time pressure. But we knew Rob trusted us completely.”
A work of art made of technology, expertise and design
The second set of rims, the multi-piece “Mesh Multi-Piece” also dedicates itself entirely to Porsche history. This one, for example, pays homage to the golden mesh rims of the Porsche 934. Its “Turbofan” variants on the 934.5 and 935 have become icons and have stood for precision, strength and beauty ever since. Rims that were realised with exactly the same effort as the BBS CH serve as the carrier. The eye is once again delighted by the Milky Effect. The highlight was screwed into it, the disc, which creates multipartness. This basic idea by Rob Dickinson was then taken to excellence by Bernd Kussmaul. Parts of the disc were polished to a high gloss, then anodised in the desired gold tone, some parts were masked again, the entire disc was given another piano black gloss finish and finally the gold areas were exposed again by hand with polishing woods.
Photocredit: Steffen Jahn
It all sounds very clear, quick and simple, but for both sets of rims together it took 740 hours of filigree manual work by an expert team of around ten employees at the Weinstadt site. “I have always said that the rims have to look like diamonds at Goodwood and Monterey. That’s why I’m glad and grateful that I was able to give Bernd overall responsibility for the project at very short notice. If anyone can do it reliably and with high quality down to the last detail, it’s him. We share the same emotions, the same love of detail. He implemented the rendering 1:1,” says Rob Dickinson, CEO of Singer Vehicle Design. “These rims are diamonds.” And they can even be driven without a disc, a feat of engineering.
Photocredit: Bernd Kussmaul
Trust at eye level
The process was preceded by extensive analyses by BBS on the subject of roadworthiness, among other things, as the prototype was to compete for the first time at Goodwood in the Hillclimb. With 19 inches at the front and 20 at the rear, the DLS-T successfully passed its premiere run. The analyses continue, for example the weight will be reduced even further, before it then goes into future series development for Singer Vehicle Design together with BBS from 2024. Incidentally, Bernd Kussmaul has supplied further trim parts for this Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer – DLS Turbo Study: including the steering wheel, gear lever and circular instruments, precisely what was also contributed to the previous model, the Dynamics & Lightweighting Study. Singer Vehicle Design and Bernd Kussmaul have been working closely together since 2017. “A very personal relationship with great trust developed within a very short time. This has been demonstrated and proven again here,” Bernd Kussmaul looks back. The topics for the next cooperation are already being discussed.