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Any thoughts on wider 21" tires and wheels?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Rodolfo Paiz, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

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    Nov 19, 2012
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    Miami, FL
    I am willing to put forth a fair bit of effort and investment to maximize my grip, traction, and stopping power. My Performance Model S will come with gray 21" wheels and Continental Extreme Contact DW 245/35R21 tires, but I wonder if it's possible and reasonable to swap those out for a wider wheel and tire combination... and whether that change would, or would not, provide significant improvement in the car's grip overall. Overall, I like a very "stealthy" look that doesn't call attention to itself, so I certainly don't want anything that sticks out the side of the car or anything silly like that: just want even better grip. What do you think? Pros/cons, thoughts, suggestions?
     
  2. jerry33

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

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    You're probably better off looking for tires in the OE size that have higher performance than the OE tires. Yes, Elon has wider on the rear of his car but no one knows what other adjustments were needed. (suspension, shocks, programming, or?).

    There appears to be very little clearance for wider front tires, so you'll be stuck with two different sized tires. If money is no object, this is not a problem.

    Wider tires help with cornering, they don't help with straight line traction (other than that they generally have a stickier tread compound, but it's not the wideness itself that helps).

    So my recommendations are:

    1. Try driving on the OE tires and see if you really need anything more.

    2. If you find that you need more, look into stickier tires in the OE size. Ideally you want the DOT approved race tires (note that you might get 5,000 miles out of those kind of tires).

    3. If that doesn't do it, then mess with wheel and tire sizes--but not before.
     
  3. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
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    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Thanks, Jerry. Your comment about the front tire clearance is precisely the kind of thing I cannot know in advance of seeing my own car. As for the benefits of wider tires, I believe they benefit both cornering and stopping, and both are important to me... but I would prefer all four tires to be the same size on this car, so clearance is vital.
     

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