Aftermarket Profiles: Sport Edition

Sport Edition SE-16
Sport Edition SE-16. The Tire Rack, Inc.


Sport Edition is a Tire Rack house brand, with the wheels actually being made in Japan by Kosei. Sport Edition has for many years offered some very nice-looking wheels at extremely good prices, but – buyer beware! - since the demise of Mille Miglia, Sport Edition has taken up the banner of making some of the softest and most easily bendable rims in the industry.

It would be too harsh to say that the Sport Edition philosophy boils down to “Sell Wheels.” After all, Kosei is a wheel business, and behind the flowery marketing-speak, that is what the philosophy of any wheel maker boils down to in reality.

One distinct and valuable part of Sport Edition's philosophy is that they make quite good-looking near-replicas of some rare and desirable rims, such as the ST3 wheels, which are near-copies of Mercedes wheels made by AMG of which the original OEM versions might as well be made of unobtanium. They also, I will freely admit, always produce wheels that Look Really Good.

Kosei uses “advanced low-pressure casting methods” almost exclusively for Sport Edition wheels. Low-pressure casting produces a thick, dense, pliable and rather heavy wheel, generally made of a low-nickel alloy that makes the metal even softer.

Sport Edition wheels come in an extremely wide variety of finishes, from painted to machined... and back to painted. One or two are in chrome, but why would you want to do that to yourself?

Kosei says that Sport Edition wheels are tested exhaustively both as components and when assembled, and that they test to meet strict German TUV standards.

This may be true, but the Germans are known to like them some rather soft wheels on their pristine autobahns, so that doesn't make Sport Editions any better at standing up to American potholes.

The ST3, in Silver, is a near-replica of a famous and very rare AMG wheel made for Mercedes. The real ones are essentially impossible to find.

The SM3 is a wild throwback to the glory days of Antera and three-spoke rims. They look awesome, but I shudder to even think of what an impact would do in that wide expanse of unprotected rim between the spokes. The spoke inserts come in Blue, Red or Gold.

The Daisy is for all those VW Bug owners who want the non-ironic hipster look.

The SE-16, in Silver, is a near-replica of a much more expensive OEM BMW wheel that happens to be one of my favorite looks.

Sport Edition has also begun to produce some highly original new work, as with the wildly twisted spokes of the F8 and F9, both in Bright Silver.