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21" vs 19" Wheels on P85D?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Paulvaults, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Paulvaults

    Paulvaults New Member

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    I'm considering the P85D. Tesla recommends the 21 inch wheels, but I've heard of a few nightmare stories with them. Does anyone have any experience with a the 19 inch wheels on the P85D? Does it make sense to buy it with the 19 or should I just bite the bullet and get the 21's? I'm concerned about how long they last and damage to the rims. Or, should I just get the 85 and give up on the high performance? Thanks.
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The main performance criteria between 19" and 21" is the tires. Put on a set of high performance 19" tires and you'll be pleasantly surprised--of course they won't last any longer than the 21" high performance tires, but there will be a lot more pothole resistance--provided you keep the air pressure up.

    21" wheels are 99% about style and profits, and 1% about performance.
     
  3. yak-55

    yak-55 Member

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    My experience is limited (8 weeks driving a P85D) but I have the 19" with Primacy tires and am quite happy with them. Performance is (to me) more than acceptable. Key factors to consider based on my research:
    1). Aesthetics (more than anything) and cost
    2). Rim damage. Lots of reports of damaged 21" rims (the tires are lower profile, so provide less impact protection from potholes)
    3). Tire wear (higher on 21"s, especially if you have Air Suspension and drive on low settings which exaggerates the camber setting at the rear). I have the impression this is somewhat better as Tesla
    has improved their alignment practices. There are also aftermarket solutions to the rear geometry issues.
    4). Not much documented on the forums about handling *performance* differences, but I suggest if that is your highest priority you will want aftermarket tires (PS2 for example) and rims (Tesla rims are heavy in both diameters).
    5). I was an early PD delivery and was "strongly encouraged" by Tesla to get the 21" rim package. Not sorry I did not follow their advice. The money I saved will go to even better rims/tires when these are worn.

    Scan/search the forums ... there is lots to read on this topic.

    yak-55


     
  4. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    On 19" winter tires for 2000 miles now. I did 0-60 in ~3.4 seconds with 2 passengers in the car. Road-holding is on par with my previous BMW 650. I suspect 21" will give you an edge over 19" (at the price of range loss and cost of replacement / risk of damage); they also look much better than 19". However, for me the additional $4500 was not justified. I am still out-accelerating pretty much everything if I need to.
     
  5. redox

    redox Member

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    Got the 21". I'm one of the early deliveries (mid dec 14). No issues so far (neither rims or wear).
    Like anything, accidents can happen (curb rash, pothole, etc) and I suspect 21" will be less forgiving than 19" when that happens - but I like the looks better and I'm happy about the performance.

    -- Greg
     
  6. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Get the 21s for aesthetics, the 19s for any other reason.

    A set of 19s outfitted with a set of summer performance tires, like the Michelin Pilot Super Sports, will handle just as well as the 21s with the same tire.

    Don't expect the 19s with the stock all-seasons to handle as well though.
     
  7. Taipan

    Taipan Member

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    If you are driving on open road and are able to detect a difference of performance between 19s vs 21s rims, you are WAY past the line of safe driving imho.
    This is more of a track day topic, like ceramic brakes, slicks & co.

    So as stated above, it's basically about cosmetics & money for us mortals :cool:

    E.
     
  8. Kofi

    Kofi Member

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    I think a lightweight 20" option is the balance you're going for. The 20" gives the proper balance of form and function on the Model S. You can run 245s or 255s in the front which both have substantial sidewall to protect the wheels. A stronger flowform or forged option will help mitigate wheel damage which seems is an issue with OEM 21"s. I've yet to see a forged 19" setup, which is definitely the safest (and stylish) bet.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Even on track day, you are going to be better off with 19" and some R compound tires.
     
  10. NSX1992

    NSX1992 Member

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    I have the P85D with 19" as I could not justify the extra $4,500. I chrome plated the stock wheels and now they look great. Also the open look of the 19"s show off the red calipers better. Since there is zero tire slip with full acceleration I don't see how better rubber would help (unless the traction control reduces the power available).
     
  11. PhilipC

    PhilipC New Member

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    Just ordered my P85D with all possible options except I went with 19 inch Wheels. Tesla says I'll get my car before the end of the month. That's quick! Now I am in a 2012 BMW 550i-M Sport with 19 inch staggered wheels. Before the BMW, I was in a Jaguar XF R with 20 inch staggered wheels. I live in Silicon Valley. Some highways around here has potholes, ridges, and rough un-even surfaces. Also it seems there is road construction going on all around the areas I live and work. On my Jaguar, I went through 4 set of tires, mostly NOT due to wear but due to damage. I got tired of replacing tires and getting the rims fixed. Over the 3 years I had to get my rims fixed twice due to bends. In the BMW with 19 inch wheels was a much better experience. BMW came with run flat tires, after about 10K miles, I took them off (stored them for lease return) and switched to Continental ExtremeContact DW. That was the best decision I made, this tire holds very well for my style of driving on corners and ramps, and it is very quiet.

    I did several test drives on Model S with different drive and performance combinations. Kim at Sunnyvale Tesla Store was very patient with me over the months before I made the decision to buy. I drove P85D with 19 inch and 21 inch wheels. The 21 inch Michelins have rigid side walls, so it gives you a harder ride and the tires are noisy. Also the ONLY option now for the 21 inch rear tires is the Michelin ($585 at TireRack), I could not find another manufacturer offering that tire size. The bad thing about the 19 inch rims is that it comes with all-season tires. I am thinking that I’ll drive on the all-season tires for some time, tek them off store it, and switch to Continental EC DW.

    In my research I found some lightweight aftermarket 20 inch staggered setup options out there. Something I should look into.
     
  12. Taipan

    Taipan Member

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    And better break pads and some upgraded breaking fluid too.
    :tongue:

    Now I must say I was impressed (and surprised) to see that the rear brakes have a 2-tier system, rather overkill for a car not supposed to be track-day heavy no -and regen on top) ?

    /sorry for the hijack

    E.
     
  13. simonog

    simonog Member

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    If you get 21" wheels, which do somehow complement the car aesthetically as well as delivering the last mite of performance, consider fitting (or having fitted) Alloy Gators.

    They protect the rims and are a very clever cheap design which can have minor damage smoothed out, and in the event of serious damage are far cheaper to replace than refurbishing a wheel or in extremis replacing it.
     
  14. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I have 21's on my P85+. I love them and simply could not resist. But If I had to do it over again, I would go with 19's. Unless on the track, I expect real world performance differences to be minimal. You'll have less risk of tire/wheel damage, longer tire life, less noise and a bit better ride. AND you'll save money.

    But the 21's sure do look great! Though I expect I am the only one who really notices.
     
  15. bp1000

    bp1000 Member

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    Philip please could you let me know your thoughts on the tesla vs the jaguar XFR. I'm currently driving a fully loaded xfr with a custom exhaust and I placed an order for a p85d the other week. Being in the UK means I won't see the tesla until July/August and I've never even driving one, we don't even have demos here yet!

    I did however drive the p85+. As an owner of the xfr and having driven the p85d I would be very keen to hear your thoughts

    thanks!
     
  16. Bratwurst

    Bratwurst Member

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    I very much agree. Anything over a 19 is pure aesthetics. That being said, the 21" turbine is iconic and unique to the Model S. I have searched through all the aftermarket wheels and can't find any that look as good as the OEM 21" turbine.
     
  17. reuted

    reuted Member

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    We moved from London to Chicago, new P85+ with 21' tires. Within the first 400 miles I blew two times two tires on the right side. After that the 21' were removed and replaced with 19'. No more issues. The P85D was ordered with 19'. No problem, runs on rails. Took her out after the SB game during the 5th largest blizzard in Chicago to pick up boys from party. No issue in the deep fresh snow on std 19' tires.
     
  18. Sigma4Life

    Sigma4Life Member

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    I also have 21's on my P85 and ordered 21's on the P85D replacement I have coming later this month. I personally think the 19s look really bad on the car so they are not even an option to me.
     
  19. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I had 21's on my P85+. Went through 6 tires in 18 months. Switched to 19s and was much happier. Ordered 19's on the P85D.

    If you want the turbine look, go check out the TST wheels from T-sportline.
     
  20. NorCalSJ

    NorCalSJ Member

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    I went with the 19 inch Cyclone because the 21 inch had a harder ride and the tires are noisy
     

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