Wiggins joined Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant in claiming silver in the 4,000m discipline at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, but there was never any chance of edging out an Australia quartet who built an immediate advantage and never looked like letting it go.
Instead Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson, Glenn O'Shea and Luke Davison finished with their English team in their sights and a winning margin in excess of five seconds - a crushing victory.
For Wiggins it represents a fourth Commonwealth Games silver medal after a six-year hiatus from the track, though there were signs that there is plenty more to come from both him and his team-mates on the road to Rio 2016.
Australia had finished almost two seconds ahead of England in qualifying, though the latter assured themselves of at least second place by besting a talented New Zealand outfit, who cruised to bronze by chasing down Canada.
A packed Glasgow audience showed no nationalistic bias as they roared Wiggins, Clancy, Burke and Tennant on but it was to no avail.
They slipped a second behind almost immediately as Australia attacked hard in the first couple of laps and the advantage was touching two seconds at the 1,500m mark.
England sensed hope when Davison dropped out of the race soon after halfway, but instead Australia merely increased their stranglehold, adding to their lead at each split.
Clancy rode himself to a standstill before pulling up late on, leaving Wiggins, Burke and Tennant to complete what had become a surprisingly one-sided outing.