Three years ago, people would have thought we were crazy if we said a no-name company called Rotiform was going to be hot shit. But look at them now… We’re seeing their wheels on some of the dopest cars across North America. Their wheel designs are sexy, race-inspired and have even been called ‘timeless’ by some. Rotiform is doing big things and we’ve got to give credit where it’s due.
The story of how Rotiform started isn’t hard to believe, in fact, it’s damn near inspiring. The owners Jason Whipple and Brian Henderson were your typical hardcore car enthusiasts who worked normal corporate jobs. Bored and unfulfilled, they wanted to escape their careers to do something they loved while still making a decent living. Pulling together all the cash they had, the two sacrificed their comfortable lifestyles to develop Rotiform into the celebrity it is today.
Although they started out big in the Euro scene, Rotiform services all enthusiasts from domestic to Japanese, retro to race. Each of their multi-piece forged wheels is custom-built per each customer to ensure perfect quality and a first class fitment. Their affordable cast stuff is also top notch and has been rocked on everything from a ballin’ Audi sedan to a budget-built Scion.
But what’s great about Jason and Brian is that they are still grassroots car guys like us. They like to mess around with their own projects, post on Facebook all day, drink beers with their fellow enthusiasts and dream about builds they can’t afford. But instead of fantasizing about it, they’re fulfilling their dream by supplying their wheels to hardcore customers around the world. Last year, they were also given the opportunity by Mitsubishi North America to build this eye-catching ’11 Lancer Ralliart.
Many of you might agree, the Ralliart isn’t the most attractive car out of the box but it serves a purpose and can look pretty badass with only a few upgrades—just take a look at our old Super Street Sportback in the 8/11 issue. The plan for this Ralliart was a similar route we took—to keep it a lean and mean street machine. It didn’t need any fancy bodywork, big-turbo upgrades or lush interiors. It just had to be practical but still fun at the same time.
The Ralliart already comes with a peppy two-liter turbo but to liven the motor up, Injen fitted its intercooler piping, intake and exhaust. For stance, while air-ride would have been sweet for shows, this car wasn’t meant to be a hard parker. It’s driven everyday so Rotiform opted with BC Racing coilovers and plenty of bracing and stiffening from GTSPEC and Whiteline. To get the rear flush, it needed more negative camber so a section of the upper control arms were rewelded for the perfect angle.
The exterior didn’t have a whole lot of parts available but a simple carbon front lip made enough difference. The color was what really makes you stop and look at this wagon though. You’re looking at the only teal Ralliart in existence. It’s a standout color and looks like a smurf to some people, but for us it wasn’t hard on the eyes.
The matte wrap by Infinit Auto Designs flows with the choice in wheels, as you would suspect. Equipped with one of the newer Rotiform designs called the DUS, the multi-spoke and step lips has an almost retro look.
It’s not the sickest show car or fastest track wagon but Rotiform has come a long way from being two guys sitting behind their desks dreaming about what ‘could have’ happened. In only three years, they’ve developed a good reputation offering killer wheels and we can promise you this won’t be the last you’ll hear about them.
If you’re still wondering what this little green turd is, it’s a Fiat 500. It’s the new clown car designed and engineered by Italian automaker Fiat and they’ve been sold through Chrysler dealerships since the end of ’10. As you can imagine, the 500 is economical, affordable, easy to drive and sort of cute. We normally don’t pay attention to girly shit like this but at last year’s SEMA show, the Fiat was awarded ‘Hottest Sport Compact Car of the Year’. Was SEMA smoking something? Maybe… But examples like this green Fiat supported by Rotiform gave the Italian bugger some hope.
Owned and built by Tribe Agency, this 500 has an interesting action-sports theme with a trunk prepped for a skater. There’s also an onboard Mac computer, plenty of GoPro cameras and an optional roof rack to carry snow- and surfboards.
The toy car is lowered via KW coils and the wheels are a custom-built set of 17x7.5" Rotiform SJCs mounted to Nitto tires. There’s a front lip from Competizione Sport Tuning to give it a little extra edge and the two-tone army green and black matte finish comes from the Meguiar’s Wraptivo program.
Although we’re hesitant to agree with SEMA that it’s the hottest car of the year, it has some potential as shown by Tribe Agency. Maybe when the more powerful Abarth turbo model comes out later this year, we’ll like it more. But for now, at least we can agree this 500 has some nice wheels.
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback
Location Westminster, CA
Occupation Wheel Manufacturer
Engine 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo with Injen intake, intercooler piping and cat-back exhaust
Drivetrain six-speed automatic; all-wheel drive
Footwork & Chassis BC Racing coilovers; GTSPEC under braces; Whiteline strut brace and sway bars
Wheels & Tires 19x9.5" Rotiform DUS wheels; 225/35R19 Nitto NT555 tires
Exterior JDP carbon front splitter; matte teal wrap; satin black trim; all-red taillights
Interior Tillett carbon seats; PODI boost gauge
Thanks You Tribe Media, Mitsubishi Motors USA, BC Suspensions, Nitto Tires, Infinit Auto Designs, Injen