Wheel manufacturer Alcoa has developed an alloy wheel which it claims requires minimal cleaning using only water.
The company believes that it is easy to remove dirt and brake dust from the wheels and achieve a polished finish that will neither chip, fade or yellow – unlike traditional alloy wheel finishes.
The first European application will be available in winter 2008 on the new Audi A6.
Mike Parnell, vice president and general manager of Alcoa Auto Wheels, believes that black specks and yellowing can spoil the appearance of a car, making it harder to get the best price when selling.
He said: "Research tells us that wheel condition is a major consumer concern in customer satisfaction surveys.
"Corrosion or peeling lacquer is costly and inconvenient, with consumers paying around £200 for their car to be taken off the road for its wheels to be refinished. Our technology gives the added benefit that during ownership it is simple to keep the wheels clean."
Written by Bobby Minter