Fuel Wheels are some of the best aftermarket rims money can buy. And if you are an off-roading enthusiast, surely you must have used at least one model by now.
It’s a brand that has become almost synonymous when it comes to high-end and heavy-duty off-road wheels. Their sales figures are extraordinary and keep breaking their own records with every passing year.
But did you know that Fuel manufactures high-quality tires as well?
You might just be surprised to hear that the company indeed has a collection of very capable tires, which is certainly part of Fuel’s efforts aimed at transforming itself into a world-class producer of cutting-edge off-road wheels and tires.
The reason why Fuel tires are comparatively lesser-known is probably because of the company’s reputation as an aftermarket custom wheels giant. For most casual observers of the industry, this is their only identity.
Indeed, Fuel Wheels was established as a separate entity in 2008 when its parent company, MHT Luxury Alloys, decided to enter the rapidly growing and super-competitive off-road rims market. MHT catered only to high-end passenger vehicles; Fuel was designated to serve the swelling ranks of fans who wanted to go off-roading.
Let’s have a look at the tires the company manufactures.
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Fuel tires: an overview
Our research suggests that the company has been retailing heavy-duty tires ideal for light trucks and pick-up vehicles since at least 2019.
Currently, the only range of off-road wheels and tires Fuel manufactures is called ‘Gripper.’ These are immensely capable off-road models which can conquer almost any terrain you wish to tread.
The Gripper family is a relatively small one and only has 3 members.
During our research, we got in touch with one of California’s oldest operating retail outlets – AudioCity USA. They have recently moved their showroom-cum-office-cum-inventory to Santa Fe Springs after 3 decades. There, we got a first-hand look at the latest iterations of these tires.
Here are 3 things we learnt:
- Fuel Wheelshas apparently tied up with a manufacturer in Taiwan since all the Fuel tires we saw had the ‘Made in Taiwan’ sign emblazoned prominently on the outside. This is hardly surprising given that many bigger stalwarts of the global tire business also have bases in Taiwan. One such example is Maxxis.
While Fuel tires are not made in the United States, they are certainly superbly crafted and technologically advanced.
- At the moment, Fuel is content with sticking exclusively to off-road tubes. All the 3 Gripper models we saw are best-suited for extreme surfaces where rocky chunks, loose dirt, and miscellaneous debris are the norms and not exceptions.
- Finally, Fuel is clearly aiming at heavier and taller vehicles right now. That’s obvious because the units start off at 17-inches and go all the way up to 30-inches in diameter.
There is no way of knowing if and when the company will roll out more tire models. But the experts we spoke with believed that there are more variants in the pipeline!
According to them, Fuel is already a leading name in the off-road wheels ecosystem. If they simultaneously roll out matching tires, they could offer heightened value proposition to existing and potential customers.
A quick glance at existing Fuel tire models
As we mentioned earlier, the Gripper range only has 3 models ideal for off-roading, although one variant is meant for highway and city driving.
If you are considering buying these tires, here is some elementary information that’ll help you make up your mind.
- Gripper X/T: This is the flagship model of the company and is ideal for extreme off-roading. It has a very aggressive lug design and the sidewall seems to have been hitting the gym for many months now. X/T tires are available in sizes of 20, 22, 28 and 30 inches and are perfect for taking your heavily loaded off-road truck for a spin over some of the worst terrains you can possibly think of.
Like the off-road wheels the company manufactures, these tires too have a lot of R&D going into them. The X/T (and the other 2 models) are designed to dissipate heat quickly and preserve the longevity of the rubber carcass.
There is also a proprietary ‘Rim Protection’ element in their design that does exactly what they say!
- Gripper M/T: This model is perfect for smaller vehicles and comes in many diameters too. It has all the advantages of an off-road tire and the aesthetic that fits Fuel Wheels perfectly. These are slightly lighter than the X/T but heavier than the A/T model. If you have wish to add that extra dash of panache to your city vehicle, this is the one for you!
- Gripper A/T: This is an excellent model for highways, besides cities and suburban areas. It has a bold outlook but lacks that extra-aggressive posture that is the hallmark of heavy-duty off-road models. This is the closest that Fuel Wheels has come to making tires for ordinary passenger vehicles.
Available in diameters of 17, 18, 20, 22, and 28-inches, the A/T has been designed keeping good roads in mind.
You can purchase these Fuel tires from the official site of the company or from outlets across the country. While they are a bit expensive, they certainly are very high-quality tires!