Whether it's an Aston Martin or an Astro van, square wheels are the great equaliser that make everything useless.
Our favourite Dutch mechanic, Master Milo, is back at it again with another great video. This time, Milo wants to see how a small hatchback drives with square wheels.
Since the birth of the automobile in the late nineteenth century, much has changed. One of the few constants in the overall design of the automobile has been round wheels. Round wheels are great. They roll really nice. There's no reason to change them.
Milo feels differently. Ever eager for an experiment, he takes some small, four-lug steel wheels, cutting the tyres off with an angle grinder (Milo must not have a tire machine). Then, he cuts lengths of round steel tubing at 45 degree angle, and welds them in a box shape to the steel wheel. The result is a set of perfectly square wheels.
The lucky recipient of these new square wheels is an Vauxhall Corsa hatchback, currently riding on a set of nice BBS alloys, with the exhaust, muffler and all, exiting out under the front bumper, then along the bonnet and A-pillar for some reason. Those BBS wheels are ditched for the new square hotness. It's an interesting look for sure, but it's not one we expect will catch on any time soon.
With the wheels bolted up to the Corsa, Milo makes a valiant attempt to drive down a dirt road. From the look and sound of things, he really has to give the little hatchback everything it's got to get the square wheels to turn.
Sustained high-RPM running will likely result in shorter service intervals and more frequent engine rebuilds. While you think steel would last longer than rubber, the welded corners of the square wheels were getting beaten down and gradually rounded.
Given enough time, it's possible that these wheels would beat themselves round again. We're going to give the maintenance and fuel economy advantage to regular rubber tyres. That's to say nothing of the atrocious ride quality of the square wheels. In our opinion, round wheels are likely to stick around for at least another 100 years or so.