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Are the OEM Michelin tires that much better than the OEM Continental?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by nico1199, May 13, 2015.

  1. nico1199

    nico1199 Member

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    #1 nico1199, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    I have been driving a P85+ loaner all day today and was boggled at how much better the ride felt compared to our P85D. Both cars have 21" wheels and air suspension. I was trying to figure out how the car felt and drove noticeably better than our car -- until it hit me that the newer cars (ours included) are equipped with the "skinny" 245 tires on all four. I am convinced that the tires make that much of a difference and am even considering switching to the Michelin set-up (265 rear). Anyone else have similar experience or input? Did not think that the tire sizes/brands would make that much of a difference.

    Or is it more than just the tires that makes up for a better ride in the P85+ than the P85D?
     
  2. AndY1

    AndY1 Member

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    235/35 R19 tire tests:

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  3. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    @nico
    I have a P85+ delivered 9/30/14. 21s with Pilot Sport Michelins. I love the set up with the 265s rear and 245s front. The + suspension is also incredible. Also, the ride is not harsh. I have the air suspension. So all factors that should contribute to a lousy ride, 21s and air. But no issue. It handles great, the ride is comfortable and the suspension/staggered tires keeps the rear end in control when I punch it through a corner. Since the D has the more powerful motor in the back, it makes sense to have the original + staggered wheel set-up. The original P85Ds did have that staggered set up and supposedly the + suspension. I would suspect that is the optimal configuration. Not sure why they changed to 245s all the way around. Only to allow tire rotation perhaps? AWD in this kind of vehicle does not need same size tired on either end. (i.e. Porsche Carrera 4S) Also Michelins are far superior to Contis. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Did you ask the service center if they would put the loaner's tires on your car for a few minutes to compare the difference in feel on your car? Would they even do that?
     
  5. nico1199

    nico1199 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback so far. Is the + suspension different than the D? That may also explain the difference in overall feel. Regardless, I do prefer the Michelin PSS tires over the Continental and will be making the change soon. It's a shame that they made a change in tire selection for the 21 inch wheels.

    Cyclone, I suppose that would be too much of a hassle and would be hesitant to do that just out of courtesy for the dealer. I think I will just go ahead and make the switch anyhow!
     
  6. Firewired

    Firewired Member

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    Nico1199, that's weird. I had to re-read what you had written to make sure I hadn't misread it. I took delivery of my P85D in the first batch in December and it has the PS2s with the staggered 245, 265 setup. That is really weird that yours would be non-staggered. I likewise really like the PSS more than the PS2s. I was considering changing to 245 all around just to be able to put the PSS on. I really wish the made the PSS in the 265 size. Does the staggered setup really improve handling, and if so how?
     
  7. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    There are two other factors in favor of the PS2's over the Continentals that don't have anything to do with the staggered setup:

    1) The PS2's have a stickier tire compound that aids in the handling. It also results in a worse wear rating.
    2) According to the specs on Tire Rack, the PS2 in the 245 size has almost 1" of additional tread width over the Continentals.

    A less expensive alternative would be to move to 245 PS2's all the way around, That way you won't have to buy new rear wheels. The 265's were put on the rear in the + setup to provide additional oversteer protection. This is not required in the P85D because of the AWD, so Tesla can deliver the D in a square tire configuration.

    And yes, Tesla has stated previously that the P85D incorporates the suspension improvements from the +.
     
  8. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    I do not have a + or a D but my Conti's with 8000 are noisey. I drove a P85+ loaner with 11000 miles on Michelin pilots and could not believe how quiet it was. Not sure if it is improved sound deadening over my car but thought I had 19's it was so quiet. I wonder if when I need new tires I should try the Michelins.
     
  9. Firewired

    Firewired Member

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    Dennis, forgive the ignorant question. Would you need different rear rims to put 245s all around?
     
  10. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    @Fire
    The 265s in the rear are mounted on a wider rim vs. the 245s in the front. They did that to keep the sidewall tire profile the same on both width tires. Can't just switch out the rear 265s to 245s.
     
  11. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    #11 dennis, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    According to the PS2 specs the 245 can be mounted on rim widths of 8.0-9.5". Not sure how having a different sidewall profile front to rear as Blu Zap indicated would affect the handling.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The OP's P85D was delivered with a square 245/8.5" rim setup which is why I suggested swapping the 4 Contis for 245 PS2s
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    Although tires have a range of rim widths where they will not be harmed, for best handing and ride the rim width should be the same as the tread width.
     
  13. AndY1

    AndY1 Member

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    3chars
     
  14. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    I am also driving a P85+ loaner on 21" wheels while my P85D on 19" is getting new seats. I was actually thinking the opposite - my P85 feels slightly better, absorbing road bumps well without feeling floaty. On top of that, the p85+ wiggled its tail whenever I did some lauches, despite having only 1800 miles on. Road holding on curvy roads seems also better in p85D.
     

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