Frankly, I Must Confess to Adoring the All-New Series L1 From HRE for Its OEM+ Looks

One of the most important American aftermarket wheel producers - Vista, California-based HRE Performance Wheels, has been trying to set the industry standard since 1978 for the "world's best custom forged wheels for motorsport, performance, SUV and luxury vehicles." Well, I believe they finally achieved their destiny.
HRE Wheels new Series L1 range 18 photos
Photo: hre_wheels / Instagram
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Not long ago, HRE had one of those intimate yet extrovert open-house events where a company tries to promote its latest products in a relaxed manner. For HRE, of course, that means a new wheel design or even an entirely new series, as was the case with the all-new, first-ever L1s. And don't be fooled by the simple designation because these new monoblock ideas are available for a wide range of tastes with 21- to 24-inch dimensions and also a wide variety of models in the luxury and SUV segments.

A quick look at the company's online portal and all details are easily revealed. The new Series L1 comprises four distinct models - L103M, L105M, L108M, and L109M. Don't ask us why they jumped some numerals, but we know all designs start from the same MSRP - $3,625 for each wheel, making them a tad on the expensive side. Alas, it's probably warranted, as all forged wheels are made at home in Vista, California, from aerospace-grade 6061-T6 forged aluminum, can be CNC-machined to any custom specifications, have a lifetime (limited) structural warranty, and can also be made ritzier with the all-new HRE Dynamic floating center caps.

Oh, and the color plus finish options are pretty bonkers, indeed. Additionally, any specific tone can also be achieved according to the client's desires, thanks to the availability of custom finishes. Now that we have the hard facts like wheel dimensions and pricing out of the way, it's time for the subjective impressions. Because what is a custom wheel without something to brag along with? No worries, the good folks over at HRE also took care of that, and they quickly mounted a special guest appearance for each new wheel model in the series.

HRE only chose some of the most famous heroes for customization and personalization on the West Coast of America, as any true specialist would. First, they started with the L109M, "designed specifically for a higher load rating and styling that matches the decades of refinement, engineering and heritage of your luxury vehicle." In this particular case, the popular L460 Land Rover Range Rover luxury SUV dressed in white with lots of black accents and copiously slammed on the new HRE wheels like there's no wire-wheel tomorrow. It's a classic look for a classic-looking SUV, indeed, and there's virtually nothing wrong with that.

Only that HRE was still ongoing with the presentations. Next came the absolute high-performance epitome of OEM luxury sedans – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Only that it wasn't a normal one but rather the all-new Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance plug-in hybrid monster featuring a combined force of 791 horsepower to make it the most powerful version of the S-Class ever. It's also the most stylish if one chooses the L108M aftermarket wheels in Satin Black to remain in perfect harmony with the German land yacht. Undoubtedly, the steelie-style atmosphere is one of the hardest we have ever seen, and I don't even care the S 63 E costs an arm and a leg (or two) – I just so badly want one I feel like I could cry for a couple of weeks!

Sadly, we have to move on to something a little more outrageous – a burgundy-dressed Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which probably could not care less that it's not a Black Badge and doesn't have access to the full 591-hp might of the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12. Instead, the humongous ultra-luxury super-SUV makes do with the stunning contrast between its crimson body, the abundance of OEM chrome, and the OEM+ looks enabled by the L105M model, which "brings a strong design presence to the series, with a sporty take on the elegant language of Series L1." Well, I am not seeing any additional sportiness aside from the subtly slammed looks of the behemoth British SUV. Still, I have to admit that the Frozen Polished Clear finish looks almost surreal in combination with the broad design of this five-spoke aftermarket wheel!

And finally, last – but certainly not least – comes yet another Mercedes-Benz. Sorry, a Mercedes-AMG, to be more precise. And this off-road luxury G 63 SUV looks as serene as the ocean itself when not troubled by any wind or wake – it's bluer than the sky and probably doesn't feel sad at all for its choice of wheels. Those would be the L103Ms showing why the Series L1's "refined design language belongs on every luxury sedan or SUV," including the ones capable of reaching the bleeding edge of the world. Anyway, the concave multi-spoke design bodes extremely well for this Mercedes SUV that keeps looking fresh even though it's (almost) unchanged since 1979! So, in the end, which one of the four is your personal favorite, and why?

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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