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18" vs 20" wheels 0-60 times

kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,916
2,279
SoCal
Incorrect. There was a video just posted on YouTube. With identical tires the 18 is a tenth of a second faster 0 to 60

Sure, but to be clear the difference is not really because of 18" vs 20" - it's because of weight and inertia. If you had a forged 20" vs the 18" in his video, the results would be very different.
 

hocr

Member
Aug 12, 2019
282
109
California
Sure, but to be clear the difference is not really because of 18" vs 20" - it's because of weight and inertia. If you had a forged 20" vs the 18" in his video, the results would be very different.
Agree with you there. Generally 18s will be lighter than 20s and if they are the same weight I would say due to better inertia the 18s should be slightly favorable.
 

PhantmMenace

Member
Mar 16, 2019
85
68
Vancouver
Check out Engineering Explained video called How to prevent expensive wheel damage. He basically compared the 18" vs 20" and also compared 0-60 times. Interesting results.
 
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kailm

Member
Jul 23, 2019
95
41
San Jose
Concenus is 18s are about 0.1s faster at 0-60. The 20s are only installed because of bigger brake requirement.
The diameter of the 18s/20s are the same hence same distance will be travelled. Since there is less sidewall on the 20s, turns will be way better as there not much wall that will flex as mass is moving sideways.

There is a thread around with someone with 17lb 18s and his car feels even light/faster and has performance brakes on it.
P3D+ Acceleration
 
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diver110

Member
Aug 4, 2019
122
28
Baltimore
Smaller lighter wheels mean less rotational inertia and shorter gearing, those two things always mean faster acceleration. I've done testing on my current car, a tuned Golf R. With the 19" factory wheels at 26lbs vs. the 18" Titan 7's at 17lbs and found similar results as the guy in the video. .02-.03 seconds faster with the 18", you certainly can't feel the difference in acceleration, but I can feel the difference in steering response, with the 19" my car feels more responsive in the twisties. On the flip side, the 18" give a much-improved ride.

Great video, except he did not discuss the issue you raise directly. The bigger the sidewall, the more the likely the tire is to "roll" in a turn. So everything else being equal, the bigger wheel and smaller sidewall should improve handling. The video reported a tiny .02 seconds advantage in acceleration from 0-60 for the 18s, which I defy anyone to notice in real life. The 20s stopped 2 feet sooner, which is significant and could mean the difference between having an accident and not. But the cost of replacing the tire and wheel for the 20s is egregious. I have 20s on my Porsche Cayenne. Knock on wood, no problems so far. I wonder if the Porsche has a sturdier wheel.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
12,292
17,302
NC
The video reported a tiny .02 seconds advantage in acceleration from 0-60 for the 18s, which I defy anyone to notice in real life. The 20s stopped 2 feet sooner, which is significant and could mean the difference between having an accident and not.


So first, the 0-60 was 3.42 vs 3.34 average... a 0.08 difference not 0.02. About a 2.4% improvement on the 18s

Braking distance was 105 vs 107 average- indeed 2 feet difference. Which is just under a 2% improvement on the 20s.

Not sure how you can say 2.4% better is insignificant, but 2% is super important.
 

kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,916
2,279
SoCal
Concenus is 18s are about 0.1s faster at 0-60.

Consensus is flow formed 18s are about 0.1s faster than crappy cast OEM 20s for 0-60**

Fixed that for you :D

Don't forget that he made two changes at the same time, so this isn't exactly the most scientific of experiments ;) A lightweight 20" wheel will close the time delta between the two wheels AND look better while doing so. For street driving, i think 19 or 20 is a no-brainer. On track, 18s kinda make sense since slicks are generally more available at that size.
 
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bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,880
4,344
Bay Area
...everything else being equal, the bigger wheel and smaller sidewall should improve handling.

Admittedly pedantic, allow me to point out that, while below the limit handling characteristics such as 'feel', 'responsiveness' or 'turn in' are typically increased with a shorter sidewall (and quantified subjectively as 'improved handling'), at and over the limit grip is often better with the taller sidewall. Of course that's a magically all else equal where its the same tire compound and construction, same external diameter, same wheel assembly mass and inertia, same brakes, properly tune tire pressures, properly tuned alignment, properly tuned suspension rates, same impact on vehicle aerodynamics, and same thermal performance (conductive dissipation, airflow through the wheel), etc. Oh, and of course we're talking about something like an 18-19 vs a 20, not a 14-15 vs a 20.

The reason is that the taller sidewall has more compliance and more 'air' volume, both of which will better damp variations in tire load, not just from external inputs like surface imperfections but also just over normal tire dynamics, like temperature variations across the tire carcass/tread over a turn/lap/session. That additional smoothing of load variation from the taller sidewall basically slow down the rate at which the tire load changes. When the tire is at/over the limit of maximum grip that slightly slower rate will allow a driver to better that maintain the knife edge of maximum grip instead of falling off the edge by a few percent and having to climb back on.

So while on a street car the smaller sidewall will typically result in a more enjoyable experience, on a race car the slightly taller sidewall will typically result in lower lap times.


Obviously there are other factors in play that inform tire size...minimum wheel diameter for proper brakes, maximum tire size that fits on the vehicle, gearing impact from smaller vs larger diameter tire, and most importantly...small sidewalls look cooler. The last one is not off the cuff either: One reason touring cars (for instance) are so popular is because the promoting bodies are tuned into what people want to see. One reason F1 is steering to larger wheels and smaller tires is to better align with passenger car visual trends (F1 cars don't need bigger brakes, for instance).
 
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233.3

Member
May 15, 2019
65
82
SoCal
Would the car with 18" wheels be faster to 60 because of the less unsprung weight compared to 20" wheels? If that's the case why is Tesla selling larger wheels on their Performance?

Just a little technical nit picking: The fact that the wheel weight is un-sprung does not effect 0-60. The issue is that it is rotating mass. The force that thrusts the car forward must accelerate the entire car down the road (this is linear acceleration). The more massive the car is the slower the acceleration will be. Rotating mass must not only be accelerated down the road it must also be made to spin faster (this is angular acceleration). So, rotating mass counts against you twice (slows both linear and angular acceleration). When a car accelerates the available power is split between linear and angular acceleration. The more power needed for angular acceleration the less is available for liner acceleration (that is the one that wins drag races).

Another attribute that gives the 18's an acceleration advantage is that they are not as tall which gives the car a lower effective gear ratio and therefore more forward thrust (force) for the same torque applied to the axles by the motor(s). More force means faster acceleration.

With a higher force applied to less mass to move forward and less mas to get spinning, the 18's have a triple advantage.
 

Toysla

Member
Sep 19, 2018
98
49
East Bay, CA
Can anyone (verifiable) tell me the latest 0-60MPH elapsed trap time for the Model 3 DM non-performance Model 3? I see many "current" postings, Tesla.com included, that state 4.5 sec. Then I read Motor Trend's evaluation of this same vehicle with a 4.0 sec reading. 0.5 seconds faster is a huge difference, especially considering I haven't modified this car (except for the OTA updates). I also realize results depend on battery charge, tires, ambient temperature, blah blah blah. Please advise if there are any other legit links that evaluated and can verify what the true times are. Thank you!!
 

diver110

Member
Aug 4, 2019
122
28
Baltimore
Admittedly pedantic, allow me to point out that, while below the limit handling characteristics such as 'feel', 'responsiveness' or 'turn in' are typically increased with a shorter sidewall (and quantified subjectively as 'improved handling'), at and over the limit grip is often better with the taller sidewall. Of course that's a magically all else equal where its the same tire compound and construction, same external diameter, same wheel assembly mass and inertia, same brakes, properly tune tire pressures, properly tuned alignment, properly tuned suspension rates, same impact on vehicle aerodynamics, and same thermal performance (conductive dissipation, airflow through the wheel), etc. Oh, and of course we're talking about something like an 18-19 vs a 20, not a 14-15 vs a 20.

The reason is that the taller sidewall has more compliance and more 'air' volume, both of which will better damp variations in tire load, not just from external inputs like surface imperfections but also just over normal tire dynamics, like temperature variations across the tire carcass/tread over a turn/lap/session. That additional smoothing of load variation from the taller sidewall basically slow down the rate at which the tire load changes. When the tire is at/over the limit of maximum grip that slightly slower rate will allow a driver to better that maintain the knife edge of maximum grip instead of falling off the edge by a few percent and having to climb back on.

So while on a street car the smaller sidewall will typically result in a more enjoyable experience, on a race car the slightly taller sidewall will typically result in lower lap times.


Obviously there are other factors in play that inform tire size...minimum wheel diameter for proper brakes, maximum tire size that fits on the vehicle, gearing impact from smaller vs larger diameter tire, and most importantly...small sidewalls look cooler. The last one is not off the cuff either: One reason touring cars (for instance) are so popular is because the promoting bodies are tuned into what people want to see. One reason F1 is steering to larger wheels and smaller tires is to better align with passenger car visual trends (F1 cars don't need bigger brakes, for instance).

Thanks, bxr. Interesting post. Admittedly, my "everything else being equal" covers a lot of sins. I did not know about the over limited grip, bigger sidewalls are better. Does seem like more of an issue for those who like to spend time on the track.
 

Glamisduner

Active Member
Aug 2, 2017
3,582
2,122
Escondido, CA
We're talking about rims, not tires. You can install the same tire on your 18" as on 20".
I got forged 19" wheels that are lighter than the 18's but the tires on them weigh more, so I end up the exact same weight as the 18's but I have 19's and PS4S Tires. I guess PS4S tires are just heavier than MXM4s.

No Idea if I am faster, but I would think so. The brake rotors on the P3D- are also lighter.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
12,292
17,302
NC
Can anyone (verifiable) tell me the latest 0-60MPH elapsed trap time for the Model 3 DM non-performance Model 3? I see many "current" postings, Tesla.com included, that state 4.5 sec. Then I read Motor Trend's evaluation of this same vehicle with a 4.0 sec reading. 0.5 seconds faster is a huge difference, especially considering I haven't modified this car (except for the OTA updates). I also realize results depend on battery charge, tires, ambient temperature, blah blah blah. Please advise if there are any other legit links that evaluated and can verify what the true times are. Thank you!!


It's 4.0

Confirmed not just by Motor Trend but numerous owners here using draggy/vbox.

Tesla measures the non-P cars differently from how everyone else measures their published numbers to make the P look "more faster" than it really is compared to the non-P teslas. It's pretty dishonest but they've been doing it for years on the S and X.
 
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phantasms

Supporting Member
Jan 30, 2019
1,541
9,053
Westchester, NY
Yep... What he said. I've gotten 3.9X and 4.0X all day on Vbox and Draggy.

Related question. I'm going drag racing and will be putting my 18" Aeros with winter tires on because they're shorter and lighter.
Should I use the aero caps or not? I realize the difference will be marginal but I want to fully optimize. So do I take them off for lightness or keep them on for aero benefit on the second half of the track?

Thanks!

Best,
Gene
 

St Charles

Tesla, not TSLA!
Jun 21, 2016
813
924
Virginia
Yep... What he said. I've gotten 3.9X and 4.0X all day on Vbox and Draggy.

Related question. I'm going drag racing and will be putting my 18" Aeros with winter tires on because they're shorter and lighter.
Should I use the aero caps or not? I realize the difference will be marginal but I want to fully optimize. So do I take them off for lightness or keep them on for aero benefit on the second half of the track?

Thanks!

Best,
Gene

I doubt you'll notice. Any measurable difference would be lost in the variables outside of your control at the track. your times will likely vary by around 0.1 seconds regardless of what you do.

Props for going to the track! Many people like to talk but not many actually go.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,125
5,131
FL
Yep... What he said. I've gotten 3.9X and 4.0X all day on Vbox and Draggy.

Related question. I'm going drag racing and will be putting my 18" Aeros with winter tires on because they're shorter and lighter.
Should I use the aero caps or not? I realize the difference will be marginal but I want to fully optimize. So do I take them off for lightness or keep them on for aero benefit on the second half of the track?

Thanks!

Best,
Gene

I would say inertial mass is minimal, but definitely significant reduction of drag as your speed gets up so you might pick up something like 0.3-0.5 miles per hour trap speed? I'm guessing here obviously, but it's about a 10 to 12% reduction in drag compared to the OEM 20s.
 

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