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21" Tires

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Todd Burch, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    OK guys, help me out. I'm thinking 21" wheels, but I know nothing about how they'd compare to 19". Can you share your thoughts/experience on the expected difference between the 19" standard and 21" sport tires?

    Things like:

    Purchase Cost/Replacement cost
    Ride/Handling
    Durability (miles before replacement?)

    I don't really need sport tires, but prefer the looks of the 21" wheels.
     
  2. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I better make friends with the 19" ones. The 21ers come with the signature edition so they will call for extra money. Since Tesla website now definitely mentions air suspension option, I wonder if I use any extra cash on that (besides the largest battery I can afford, that is).
    From the design studio pictures, I get the impression that tires compensate for wheel size, resulting in the same total diameter. Large tire+small wheel should be cheaper than vice versa and, since they hold more air, should provide a softer ride. Well in my amateurish mind they do.
     
  3. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Yes, the larger the wheel, the more aggressive the visual stance. Grrrr! 21" OEM is larger than Audi A7, Porsche Panamera and Chrysler 300!!!

    Also, the larger the wheel, the narrower the sidewall, the stiffer the ride, and the better the response in turns (not as squishy). So yes, for non-performance driving, you do give up some ride comfort for looks.

    We'll need to know the recommended size of the tires to answer your other questions. It would be nice, but I highly doubt that anyone at the test rides will have time to write down the tire size from the 19" and 20" wheels. :(

    For myself, I'm probably going for the 21" wheels for the looks. I love the large wheels on cars like the Chrysler 300 and I think they add to the attractiveness of the Model S.
     
  4. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Another possible advantage to 21" tires is that they are firmer and thus could, along with the aerodynamic wheels, provide a longer range. I wonder if these 21" wheels are the aerodynamic wheels that Elon was talking about in the Green Car Reports interview?
     
  5. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Yup, the turbine wheels from the prototype. Looks like Tesla's testing with them - at 21" - has yielded a 320 mile range - probably a pleasant and welcome surprise to everyone.
     
  7. JimmWilks

    JimmWilks Member

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    Is there confirmation of that then? If so, why would you get the 19-inchers? Turbines look better with 7% or so more range!
     
  8. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    Price would be one reason. The other might be that if they are low-resistance tires they might not handle as well in rain/snow/ice.
     
  9. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    I agree, price to a lesser extent, but mostly folks want the softer ride that 19" wheels would give. Most areas that need snow tires usually rotate them out, so they could have the smaller wheels for winter.
     
  10. JimmWilks

    JimmWilks Member

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    I suppose it all depends on what you care most about. If I were in the market for a Model S I would have to shell out for those lovely turbines, even if they didn't improve range.Here in the UK if it snows just a tiny bit nobody goes anywhere so it's easy to forget the snow/ice issue sometimes.
     
  11. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Per Tesla's website, the 21's will have "sport" tires while the 19's will wear "all season" rubber.
     
  12. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Yes, I read "sport" to mean more expensive and replace sooner
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Is that true, or is the "320 mile option" using some even "more aerodynamic" but as yet, unseen, wheel?
    Some other posts I read suggested it might be a different option from the standard "appearance optimized" options.
     
  14. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    I was speculating :| We could try asking someone today...
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The wheel engineer we talked to said the current 21 inch wheels do not cool the brakes. Seems like he would have mentioned the "increased miles" thing.
     
  16. William13

    William13 Member

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    The tires were either 235 or 245 I can't remember for sure. The 21 inch wheels will cost extra and use rubber that wears off faster and the tires will cost more to replace. The 21 inch wheels are very beautiful but won't work in snow. I will only get the 19 inch unfortunately. BY the way there is absolutely no extra room for larger tires.
     
  17. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Another option is to rotate out to 19" wheels and snow tires in the Winter and then back to the 21" performance wheels for the Summer. A big advantage of doing it this way is that you can use studded tires for your Winter driving and have better traction on ice.
     
  18. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    21" is an odd tire/wheel size and the tires are expensive. There also is a pretty slim selection of tires to choose from. The 19" tires are cheap not to mention a ton of selection, but Tesla's wheels look horrible...
     
  19. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    You can probably blame it on Elon. Nothing but the most unique for him. :smile:
     
  20. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight _____ P85 #549 _____ Sig Red / Sig White

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    I could swear I heard Elon say that to get to 320 miles you would have to have wheel COVERS and he said "they won't look bad, they'll look nice" which leads me to believe he's not talking about the 21" wheels which everyone can see right now but in fact something they have not shown the public yet.
     

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