Life of a Wheel – Khalil Kassem’s E36 Gets a Fresh Set of Motegi Racing MR408s


If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a few million, easy. At least, that’s the current exchange rate. Our friends at Driving Line and Motegi Racing recently partnered up with our friends at R Compound USA, and our very own Khalil Kassem to produce “The Life of a Wheel.” From beginning to end, we’re shown the engineering, manufacturing, and design-oriented steps that go into producing a wheel, and in particular, Motegi Racing’s new forged MR408. Ultimately destined for Khalil’s widebody E36 track car, the end result is perfect, and well-paired with a fat set of Nitto NT01s. It’s hard to beat everything this short film has to offer, but luckily for us, the Driving Line team took some photos along the way.

The MR408, of course, begins with the design process. As with any wheel, aesthetics and function must come to a balance, and the straight-spoke simple nature of the MR408 is well-suited to the E36 chassis. It wasn’t but a few months ago that the Driving Line and Motegi Racing teams reached out to StanceWorks, asking if we had any cars in mind that might be a good match for the all-new wheel. Landing upon Khalil’s E36 was an easy decision, and no time was wasted before production began.


The wheel centers follow the standard order of operations for forged wheel manufacturing. Much like any 3-piece wheel, the center is machined from a solid center forging and prepped for mating with its halves. For this Motegi wheel, however, it’s built as a welded two-piece construction, meaning a one-piece barrel is used, and the center is welded into place, resulting in what is ultimately a one-piece wheel.

For the finish, low-key was the goal. Flat black centers paired with a shadowed brassy lip are perfect for an all-black car. Small details like the BMW-Motorsport striping within the center caps add a splash of color to the nearly blacked-out aesthetic. Once cured, the wheels were taken over to R Compound USA, where the team fitted them with a set of massive, sticky 285/35R18 Nitto NT01 DOT R-comps.


The only remaining steps are installation and celebration. Khalil took to the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway. Shooting video and photos is plenty of fun, but so are flying laps around the fastest track in the west. Kudos to everyone who brought all the pieces of the puzzle together, and once again, be sure to check out the video for the full effect.



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