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18 vs 19 inch wheels? Help please

I placed my order on Thursday night for a silver car with base tires.. (hopefully I can still change that)

My reasoning for regular tires is the following:
- 10 percent better range
- I don't want summer tires because they are more fragile, more expensive to replace and need to be replaced at a far more frequency

Now I did a bit more research and here's what I came across:
- 19 inch wheels come with all season tires as well. Mileage rating is around the same as base Michelin tires.
- cost of tires is about $50 more per tires. So I am looking at a $200 price premium after 50k miles which seems negligible on a $55k car
- testing so far indicates a 4 percent range loss by switching from the 18 inch wheels with ugly aero covers (which I wasn't planning to use) to 19 inch wheels.
- braking distance from 60 to stop seems to go from 133 feet (which seems high) with 18 inch wheels to 119 feet with 19 inch wheels

Is the above correct? What are your thoughts on this? Note that I live in socal... I don't want two set of tires. Also third party options (like tsportline) are more expensive than $1,500 usually...

Thoughts?
Thanks all
 

Snow Drift

[Off-Road Assist] Activated
Feb 10, 2016
2,036
1,627
Long Island
Outside of visual, there’s nothing better about the 19s. They won’t even fit wider tires as the width is the same. 18x8.5 and 19x8.5

The 18s with stock tires will ride better (thicker sidewall absorbes bumps), are lighter (car is faster than with 19’s), included in price and more efficient.

If you want stickey summer tires for performance, 18s are still better.

For $1500 (cost of 19” Sport) you can get aftermarket 18’s and reuse your tires. Check out tirerack.com for Enkei or aftermarket sites besides TS and UP.

If you do get new rims, you can put snow tires on the stock wheels and use them when going to the mountains in winter. Smaller diameter rims are better in snow. 18>19’s
 
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Snow Drift

[Off-Road Assist] Activated
Feb 10, 2016
2,036
1,627
Long Island
Braking distance seems to go from 133 feet to 119 feet though (60 to 0)

As a side note... we don't even have room to store winter tires. We are fine with all season tires.

Thanks for the feedback though
Where is your 133 distance from? I see MT rated 119 for the 19s.

18s should stop quicker as they are lighter and the contact patch is similar vs stock 19s.
 

Troy

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
1,993
6,999
- testing so far indicates a 4 percent range loss by switching from the 18 inch wheels with ugly aero covers (which I wasn't planning to use) to 19 inch wheels.

That's not exactly correct. The difference is 4.4% between 18" wheels with aero covers and 18" wheels without aero covers. See the video here. The difference between 18" with aero covers and 19" is more than 10%. This is perfectly normal. Check out this screenshot that shows information Tesla used to display in the Model X design studio.
 

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
I ordered silver with the 19". No regrets. If you don't like the aero covers, the difference between 18 and 19 is not that dramatic. And the 19s look awesome on silver :).

I have not found yet the 18 vs 19 real-world range loss at highway use. In my experience, that is the only relevant loss, and only if you plan a long trip. For daily use, the loss incurred by starting with a cold battery in the evening (assuming you cannot precondition at work) dwarfs any wheel gain. On my morning drive, I use ~300-350 Wh/mi (still relatively cold here, but OK with preconditioning). On the way back 400-500 Wh/mi. You do the math.

The other universally accepted fact is that the 18" have a smoother ride than the 19". I would very much like to have a seat-of-the-pants comparison, but I don't know anyone with an M3 with 18". This is probably true, but exactly how much better?
 
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Just to confirm regarding braking distance.. the 133 feet number is from Edmunds:

So 60 to 0:
- 18 inch aero wheels: 133 feet (edmunds)
- 19 inch wheels: 119 feet (motortrend)

That's kind of a noticeable difference to me

As a comparison, a 2012 BMW 328i will brake from 60 to 0 in 115 feet
 
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Just to confirm regarding braking distance.. the 133 feet number is from Edmunds:

So 60 to 0:
- 18 inch aero wheels: 133 feet (edmunds)
- 19 inch wheels: 119 feet (motortrend)

That's kind of a noticeable difference to me

As a comparison, a 2012 BMW 328i will brake from 60 to 0 in 115 feet
This should probably be done using same equipment/surface/temperature to get a true comparison. Not sure anybody has done this yet.
 

Snerruc

Unqualified Doofus
Apr 16, 2016
1,170
2,527
Palm Bay
Just to confirm regarding braking distance.. the 133 feet number is from Edmunds:

So 60 to 0:
- 18 inch aero wheels: 133 feet (edmunds)
- 19 inch wheels: 119 feet (motortrend)

That's kind of a noticeable difference to me

As a comparison, a 2012 BMW 328i will brake from 60 to 0 in 115 feet
Braking distance is as much about tires as anything else. It’s probably the tires.
 
2A19566D-9979-4496-B229-D409321999D8.jpeg
Here’s a shot of my silver with 19’s next to a silver with the Aeros.
Performance stats as discussed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 
Braking distance is as much about tires as anything else. It’s probably the tires.
Agree, the Conti's vs Michelins make some difference, but the surface and temperature must also be consistent to get a valid comparison. With the same tire model on the same surface I would expect the 18" wheels to be slightly better at stopping.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,389
10,303
SF Bay Area
They must be updating the webpage. I cannot see anything under Wheels and Tires section :(.

I saw them yesterday too when someone linked to them. The page is up now and they are Sold Out, not surprised. I imagine these will go in and out of stock frequently. Page has a few photo angles and I too like the look. Not particularly a fan of the aeros and still undecided on which wheels I'll order when the AWD version become available.

Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit
 
Comparing stopping distances of two cars where the testing was done by different people, on different roads, different dates, temperatures, conditions, etc. is kind of meaningless.

The only way to do this scientifically is to have two cars with same tires (just diff rim sizes) and at almost the same time in equal conditions, by the same driver, and averaged over numerous stops.
 
I saw them yesterday too when someone linked to them. The page is up now and they are Sold Out, not surprised. I imagine these will go in and out of stock frequently. Page has a few photo angles and I too like the look. Not particularly a fan of the aeros and still undecided on which wheels I'll order when the AWD version become available.

Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit

I wish someone had the 3dprint files I would just make them. Wonder if anyone has the time to give the dimensions
 
View attachment 284415 Here’s a shot of my silver with 19’s next to a silver with the Aeros.
Performance stats as discussed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I'm going to have to get an after-market color for the Tesla logo on the hood of my silver Model 3...it's all but lost in this picture you posted on a cloudy day. Can't have that. Red or black, that will be the question. Maybe red, at the same time I change the brake calipers to red.
 

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