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Does direction of wheel rotation matter?

Mayhemm

Model S P85+ "Lola"
Nov 9, 2012
1,966
32
Saskatchewan, Canada
I was watching a car show recently where they discussed all the design changes made to vehicles in the last few years in an effort to increase aerodynamics and they talked about how the spokes on a rim are designed to direct air past the car while spinning. This got me thinking about the wheels of my own car and what would happen if they were mounted such that they spin the wrong way, creating an anti-aerodynamic effect.

There has always been a significant reduction in range on my car when running my 21" summer wheels as compared to the 19" T-Sportlines I use in winter. I'd always assumed it was due to the increased rolling resistance of the sticky summer rubber, but what if I put the turbines on the wrong way and air isn't flowing past them properly?

To my knowledge, I don't remember anyone talking about the Tesla turbines (or cyclones) having an intended direction of rotation independent of the tires mounted on them. Can anyone speak to whether this matters or not? Are the Tesla wheels intended to spin in either direction? What about common turbine alternatives like Rial Luganos or T-Sportline rims?

Please keep in mind that I'm concerned with the wheels themselves, irrespective of the rubber mounted to them.
 

WarpedOne

Supreme Premier
Aug 17, 2006
4,364
6,567
Slovenia, Europe
If rims were directional they would come in pairs - two left and two right.
If all 4 are the same than 2 on the left them will always spin "in reverse" to the two on the right.

So, the answer is: current turbine rims are not rotationally optimized. But future rims might be.
 

Mayhemm

Model S P85+ "Lola"
Nov 9, 2012
1,966
32
Saskatchewan, Canada
This was discussed on another thread since someone noticed in a website photo the turbine is shown to have a different direction of rotation depending on which side was shown unlike the reality where all turbines are oriented the same way.

21 Wheel Rotational Direction

Dammit! I searched for a thread on this topic before posting (figured SOMEBODY had asked the same question) but didn't find anything. Could be because the thread is ancient (2012).
 

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