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Aero wheels on P3D+

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,652
15,149
San Diego
I have installed my CrossClimate+ tires for the brutal California climate. (I'll take them off in a couple weeks.)

Konig Dekagram 18x8.5" ET35 wheels with 235/45R18 CrossClimate+ tires. Stud centric mounting; no spacers, no hub-centric ring. Forgot to weigh the new wheel/tire combo but I think it's about 7 pounds savings per wheel (45 pounds vs. 52 pounds). Managed to use the stock lug nuts, but it's not recommended as it is easy to scratch the wheels. Replacing the stock 20" PS4S.

Efficiency:
I have benchmark routes to and from work that I take without AC on and try to control as much as possible.

On these routes, the tires appear to have improved efficiency by about 20-30Wh/mi - looks closer to 30Wh/mi, which is exactly what I expected. I will re-benchmark with the PS4S when I put them back on just to make sure it isn't related to software updates or anything else.

I've reset my recent trip meter (I was at 263Wh/mi over the last 1600 miles on the PS4S). We'll see how that does the next couple weeks then I'll put the PS4S back on.

Ride Quality:
Quite a noticeable harshness (high frequency jitteriness) improvement over the PS4S. This is not a surprise.
Overall the interior seems slightly more quiet and smooth. It's quite pillowy.

Handling:
Pretty squirmy and squishy compared to the PS4S. It's like driving on pillows. No surprises.
Didn't see to have any problem accelerating fast, but I haven't done a timed 0-60 run. I would expect no traction loss for acceleration though obviously braking will be compromised.

Noise:
I did just a brief freeway run. There was no noticeable humming at 70-80mph. I did go over a grooved surface on an interchange, and there was a brief resonance that may have been better damped by the PS4S. But on standard concrete and asphalt surfaces, they are really quite quiet. I would say probably quieter than the PS4S.

General impressions:
Compared to the MXM4's appearance, the sidewalls on these tires are a bit more bulbous. So I would imagine that could make aero slightly worse. Tread pattern looks pretty unique. Nice to see that mountain snowflake. Wonder if these tires will ever see snow? Looked like 9/32" tread depth to start with.

I'll do some more driving and report back my average efficiency over the next couple weeks.

Just wanted to follow up and modify this review quickly, since I have driven on these a bit more, and winter is coming.

On a 1200-mile road trip (round trip) with the CrossClimate+ plus Dekagrams, I got 290Wh/mi average, driving at 80mph most of the time.

I think they are very slightly more efficient than the PS4S, but unlike I said above, I think it is a very small difference at freeway speeds. However, it is hard to separate the aero differences between the Dekagrams and the 20" wheels - it is quite possible that the inferior aero of the Dekagrams (compared to 20" wheels) is hurting the overall performance. The reason I think this is because in my commute at lower speeds, I do seem to get about 20Wh/mi better than the PS4S. HOWEVER, at freeway speeds, the difference disappears, and in order for the Tesla range estimator to work correctly, I have to select the 20" wheel option. If I use the 19" or 18" options, the range predictor is excessively optimistic. So that suggests to me this wheel & tire combo is basically equivalent to the Tesla 20" wheels on the freeway, at least when traveling around 80mph.

Overall the noise is ok, but they are somewhat louder than the PS4S. It does not bother me.

Overall they seem like fine tires and I really have no complaints, but I just want to point out that unlike I said earlier the efficiency improvements (for this combination at least) are basically not there - if there is any improvement it is small. It's quite possible that if I were able to use aero wheels I'd see much better results on the freeway (with relatively little change to the slightly improved in-city efficiency).

Regarding ride and noise, I do feel like they probably are slightly less harsh, but there is a bit more noise from them overall. And as mentioned above, of course the grip is not as good.
 
Just wanted to follow up and modify this review quickly, since I have driven on these a bit more, and winter is coming.

On a 1200-mile road trip (round trip) with the CrossClimate+ plus Dekagrams, I got 290Wh/mi average, driving at 80mph most of the time.

I think they are very slightly more efficient than the PS4S, but unlike I said above, I think it is a very small difference at freeway speeds. However, it is hard to separate the aero differences between the Dekagrams and the 20" wheels - it is quite possible that the inferior aero of the Dekagrams (compared to 20" wheels) is hurting the overall performance. The reason I think this is because in my commute at lower speeds, I do seem to get about 20Wh/mi better than the PS4S. HOWEVER, at freeway speeds, the difference disappears, and in order for the Tesla range estimator to work correctly, I have to select the 20" wheel option. If I use the 19" or 18" options, the range predictor is excessively optimistic. So that suggests to me this wheel & tire combo is basically equivalent to the Tesla 20" wheels on the freeway, at least when traveling around 80mph.

Overall the noise is ok, but they are somewhat louder than the PS4S. It does not bother me.

Overall they seem like fine tires and I really have no complaints, but I just want to point out that unlike I said earlier the efficiency improvements (for this combination at least) are basically not there - if there is any improvement it is small. It's quite possible that if I were able to use aero wheels I'd see much better results on the freeway (with relatively little change to the slightly improved in-city efficiency).

Regarding ride and noise, I do feel like they probably are slightly less harsh, but there is a bit more noise from them overall. And as mentioned above, of course the grip is not as good.

You should really try the aero wheels at the front. It not only gives you better efficiency, it lowers wind noise by quite a bit as well.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: AlanSubie4Life

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,652
15,149
San Diego
You should really try the aero wheels at the front. It not only gives you better efficiency, it lowers wind noise by quite a bit as well.

I am sure it does, but the 18" wheels don't really fit (too tight for my liking in the front with about 1mm of clearance). One of these days I'll try to hack up some aero covers or make my own aero covers. Though the necessity really is not there, as I was pleased with the overall Supercharging experience. On the 600-mile return I drove for 9 hours and charged for 1 hour. And I could have made that charging time closer to 50 minutes, since I arrived with 76 miles left.

(Added 427 total rated miles in the one hour of charging time on the return. Averaged 251Wh/mi over 593.2 miles, started trip with 299 rated miles, ended with 76 rated miles; it was 8000 feet downhill.). Consumed 650 rated miles.

On the way out I averaged 332Wh/mi (8000 feet uphill), traveled 583 miles, started the trip with 306 rated miles, ended the trip with 77 rated miles, and added 614 rated miles in 1 hour 39 minutes (wanted to charge to 90% in St. George). Consumed about 843 rated miles.

The numbers for potential energy don't work out, so clearly I had a bit of a headwind on the way up and a bit of a tailwind on the way back.
 
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I am sure it does, but the 18" wheels don't really fit (too tight for my liking in the front with about 1mm of clearance). One of these days I'll try to hack up some aero covers or make my own aero covers. Though the necessity really is not there, as I was pleased with the overall Supercharging experience. On the 600-mile return I drove for 9 hours and charged for 1 hour. And I could have made that charging time closer to 50 minutes, since I arrived with 76 miles left.

I've been driving with them for the last 6000 miles with a 5mm spacer. With the aero cap on, no rock is going to get in. Just don't take them rally crossing and you'll be fine. You can also push the caliper in by 0.5mm to 1mm if you really want.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: AlanSubie4Life
I've been driving with them for the last 6000 miles with a 5mm spacer. With the aero cap on, no rock is going to get in. Just don't take them rally crossing and you'll be fine. You can also push the caliper in by 0.5mm to 1mm if you really want.

I've been looking into getting the CrossClimates for my soon to be delivered Model 3 AWD with 18" aeros. I'm new to this discussion and not mechanically savvy in the least (I would bring my car to the shop for a simple tire or wheel change)... why wouldn't the aero cap fit, and what's the rationale for anyone removing it, is it purely for aesthetics?
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,652
15,149
San Diego
I've been looking into getting the CrossClimates for my soon to be delivered Model 3 AWD with 18" aeros. I'm new to this discussion and not mechanically savvy in the least (I would bring my car to the shop for a simple tire or wheel change)... why wouldn't the aero cap fit, and what's the rationale for anyone removing it, is it purely for aesthetics?

We both have the Performance red brake calipers. The Tesla 18” wheels don’t clear them in the rear, and it is really tight in the front.

People remove the aero covers for aesthetic reasons.
 
Thanks for the CrossClimate+ reviews. I bought them here in Boston and intend to use as year-round, as snow isn't too horrible here generally and I'm lazy with no room to keep a spare set. Plan to install in the next week or 2. Hopefully the noise isn't too bad compared to my stock 18" (which I was surprised at 10.5k miles already in the "warning" tread zone of 4-5mm even though I'm not a super aggressive driver).

The deal at Costco was tough to beat ($208/tire + $23/tire install/tmps - $150 off).
 
Fascinating thread and findings, couple requests...

1. I'd like to see pictures with the deka grams beyond the single picture you posted of the wheel close up.
2. No feedback on the reduction of unsprung mass. The dialogue of wh/mi is very interesting, particularly the city vs highway driving, and evidence that wh/mi is heavily attributed to wheel design potentially. I would've expected better efficiency from the dekagram setup because of the weight reduction. That said, I'm surprised you've said nothing to the positive attributes of reducing unsprung mass. I went from aero wheels and stock mxm4's to a 52lb 19" set up on my dual motor car and am a bit dissapointed how the car feels sluggish from stop and go. My offset increased which can also be contributing to the less nimble feel...but yeah...

Separating the tire compound feel, are you not feeling the benefit of lighter wheel/tire? Any other car, this has been huge, and so far from my own experience, I don't like the heavier wheels.

Really want to hear more on that, thank you!
 
Just wanted to follow up and modify this review quickly, since I have driven on these a bit more, and winter is coming.

On a 1200-mile road trip (round trip) with the CrossClimate+ plus Dekagrams, I got 290Wh/mi average, driving at 80mph most of the time.

I think they are very slightly more efficient than the PS4S, but unlike I said above, I think it is a very small difference at freeway speeds. However, it is hard to separate the aero differences between the Dekagrams and the 20" wheels - it is quite possible that the inferior aero of the Dekagrams (compared to 20" wheels) is hurting the overall performance. The reason I think this is because in my commute at lower speeds, I do seem to get about 20Wh/mi better than the PS4S. HOWEVER, at freeway speeds, the difference disappears, and in order for the Tesla range estimator to work correctly, I have to select the 20" wheel option. If I use the 19" or 18" options, the range predictor is excessively optimistic. So that suggests to me this wheel & tire combo is basically equivalent to the Tesla 20" wheels on the freeway, at least when traveling around 80mph.

Overall the noise is ok, but they are somewhat louder than the PS4S. It does not bother me.

Overall they seem like fine tires and I really have no complaints, but I just want to point out that unlike I said earlier the efficiency improvements (for this combination at least) are basically not there - if there is any improvement it is small. It's quite possible that if I were able to use aero wheels I'd see much better results on the freeway (with relatively little change to the slightly improved in-city efficiency).

Regarding ride and noise, I do feel like they probably are slightly less harsh, but there is a bit more noise from them overall. And as mentioned above, of course the grip is not as good.

the conversation gets complicated when you talk about highway. The same thing happens when people discuss the aero hubcaps.... they don’t see any gain around town.

According to what I have been reading about for hours on end, there isn’t any much of a change when going up (or down) in size or changing mass by a few pounds. Now, how did those members come to that conclusion? City or highway driving... I have no idea. I think you have a point with the aerodynamics though. I’m sure the model 3 wheels have been at least slightly optimized for wind resistance.
I’ll have to side with your observation... the tires show some benefit on your commute, but the fact they aren’t mxm4’s and the wheel you chose show some wind resistance that the benefits get negated at high speeds. I read somewhere that to determine wheel wind resistance you can look at the design. The more solid the face the better the efficiency. The more you have open space between spokes the less efficiency. This probably makes the most difference at highway speeds.

We know that ps4s over mxm4’s carry about an 8-10% penalty (@SDKoala and others). We know that you *should* see about 5% savings* with the smaller lighter wheels. I’m guessing the cross climates are about 3% more efficient* and with the wheels you are seeing a total of 8% savings*... all negated by 80mph speeds (not typical).

Pondering EDIT: Do the efficiency costs of stickier tires increase at higher speeds?

*stats are for entertainment purposes only and carry no resemblance to statistics real or fictional.
 
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tinkererguy

Paul Braren TinkerTry.com/Tesla
Feb 13, 2019
329
381
Wethersfield, CT
Thanks for the CrossClimate+ reviews. I bought them here in Boston and intend to use as year-round, as snow isn't too horrible here generally and I'm lazy with no room to keep a spare set. Plan to install in the next week or 2. Hopefully the noise isn't too bad compared to my stock 18"

Greetings from nearby Connecticut. There seems to be a minimal difference in noise, at least in my initial test of m6 18" CrossClimate+ tires shown here.
 

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