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Handling 21" v 19"

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by diver110, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. diver110

    diver110 Member

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    I have to believe this was discussed at some point, but I could not find a thread directly on point (though I have yet to visit a forum, this or anyone else's, with a decent search engine). At first I had my sights set on a 3, but I found the seats too uncomfortable. So then I checked out the S some more. Amazing acceleration, but (for someone spoiled by a Porsche Cayenne Turbo) not quite the handling I would prefer. However, I have only driven S's with 19" tires. Has anyone compared the handling of 19" versus 21"?
     
  2. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    #2 Xenoilphobe, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    Get a used P85+ if you want great handling or wait and get the Model S “Nürburgring” edition in late 2020. Tesla Model S spied closing in on Porsche's Nurburgring record

    Also make sure the car is in Sport Mode for steering... The Cayenne is a tank but can pull a .91 skip pad. The stock P85 does .86 in the skip pad, so the P85+ should be almost in line with the Cayenne and actually they weigh about the same too.. ~6600 lbs for the Cayenne and ~6000 lbs for the Model S. Also the Cayenne comes with 19 inch wheels as well.

    19" v 21" is not a huge difference. I have had both and ended up selling the 21s after numerous damaged wheels and the ridiculous cost of tires and limited selection or rubber.

    Handling is more about the skill of the driver and the type of rubber and less on the size of the wheel (wow that sounds weird)... in fact most track cars and high performance cars don't offer an option above 19 due to the diminishing returns on handling, due to the added weight.

    Also, every one of my Model S's (2 P's and 1 90D) all came with 21's and I ended up dumping them for 19", due to the hassle factor: road noise, costs of tires, cost of wheel repairs, lack of available tire options, range loss, more unstrung weight, waiting for the Tesla ranger to show up, etc. etc.. Downgrading to 19″ Wheels

    If you are going to spend money on nice wheels get the strongest mono-block A6061 wheels you can find in 21's if you must have them... like the Tesla Arachnids, which are stronger than the stockers that come on the car and can be found on eBay with Michelin Pilot Super Sports for ~$3K for a set.
    21" Tesla Arachnid Model S OEM Factory Wheels, Tires, TPMS Combo | eBay

    Several vendors on this forum sell mono-block, if you must get 21's get mono-block forged for the additional strength the Model S has a ~6000 GVWR and 35 and 40 aspect ratio tires get mauled by potholes.

    Vendor - Affordable Monoblock Forged! VS Forged Wheels
    Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 7.53.05 PM.png
     
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  3. diver110

    diver110 Member

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    Wow, very comprehensive answer Xeno, many thanks!
     
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  4. diver110

    diver110 Member

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    PS Where does one look up Tesla skip pad tests? I googled it, but could not find anything. Is that advantage in this regard for the 85 is the smaller battery when compared to the 90's? BTW, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS has a skip pad rating of 1.24!
     
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  5. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    #5 Xenoilphobe, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    I've stopped trusting German automotive industry specs after Dieselgate. 911's are nice cars, but I find the Model S far more useful in urban traffic, especially when most drivers can't drive at the level the car can perform at on public streets. The Tesla can be pushed to the threshold and it will stop you from stupid stuff like the link below.

    Example: Control
    https://www.autoevolution.com/news/porsche-cayman-spins-out-of-control-as-it-tries-to-convince-a-model-s-to-race-118938.html

    Update - Looks like the 911 is the Grip King!!! The top four all use special run-flat tires that will beat the crap out of you on regular roads and are unsafe on wet roads or near freezing temps. Looks like Tesla is going to use similar tires on the "Nurburgring" or Plaid model, but they are using a similar product, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport RS, which is the same product that the 911GT3 RS uses, if I were to guess, the Tesla is using the same setup on the Plaid that the 911 uses: 265/35 ZR 20 (99Y) XL at the front and 325/30 ZR 21 (108Y) XL at the rear.

    Top 100 "Grip Kings" - fastest cars around skidpad 2019 - FastestLaps.com
     
  6. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    #6 Xenoilphobe, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  7. dk10438

    dk10438 Member

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    I just recently switched from 19 in slipstreams to 21 in Vorsteiners with 265s and 285s. The car feels slightly more planted and a smidge stiffer since there's less sidewall. However, the car wasn't designed to be a sports car and the air suspension is really mushy IMO. The car will never feel like a true sports car unless the suspension is changed. And anyone who says differently hasn't driven a sports car. I've had a Boxster S, Mini Cooper S, Lotus Elise, Carrera 4S and a GTR so I've had a little experience. There's just too much body roll here and tires/wheels won't do much to address this. The Plaid will probably be different...
     
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  8. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Agreed, I'm hoping the Plaid changes that, I still like my P85+ it's a nice compromise between real sports car and daily driver, which is why I still have it. The OP is coming from fat SUV....so he's not driving a sports car now...
     
  9. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Well here's another perspective...I have a P90DL with 21's, Continental tyres with sound deadening foam, and air suspension, and a 75D with coil springs and 19" Michelin, also with sound deadening foam. I have no issues with road noise with either car, and the P90D has a noticeably nicer / smooth ride (thanks to the air suspension). The 75D is lighter and more fun to drive fast between roundabouts, has more feedback at the steering wheel, and does not mind changing direction. It feels much more nimble. When it comes to sheer mechanical grip, you can't beat the 21's. I can corner much faster in the P90DL. This often gets me into trouble because when driving the 75D back-to-back I sometimes absentmindedly end up pushing the car beyond its limits. Thankfully the 75D is set up to understeer a little which is easily corrected by backing off the throttle...
     
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  10. colindo1990

    colindo1990 Member

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    325's in the rears without rubbing?
     
  11. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    It would rub on the current Model S, you would need fender extenders like the red car has in the picture above...
     
  12. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Active Member

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    Something must have been wrong with the Tesla, for you to be spoiled by a Cayenne Turbo. I've driving an earlier GTS Turbo Cayenne, and could not believe how heavy it was (5,500). Weight up high, etc. Going from 19 to 21 will speed up turn-in. Your tires won't have as much sidewall flex, but these are things I honestly wouldn't know how to judge for you, if you've driven a Tesla and think a Cayenne can out-handle it?

    -Many track miles in P-cars, and I'd still point to a Model S for handling. Low pressure? snows? Something had to be up.
     
  13. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Active Member

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    I totally agree... IF you have potholes and winter weather like Maryland and Virginia (OP and your awesome reply).

    In almost always sunny and warm SoCal, I run 21" Arachnids and Michelin Pilot Super Sport "summer only" tires (staggered) on my 2015 P85D+ (Ludicrous and the Plus Suspension)... and only run my 19" Cyclones with Michelin Primacy MXM "all season" tires on road trips to snow country / pothole roads.

    IMHO the 21" Arachnids and Michelin Pilot Super Sport "summer only" tires handling is noticeably crisper on our P85D+ than the 19" Cyclones... probably because it has the firmer sportier Plus Suspension, stickier tires, and lightweight Arachnid wheels which weigh about the same as our 19" tires & wheels.

    However if I lived anywhere where I'd have to drive our Tesla in snow, sub zero temperatures, or potholes, I'd run 19"... not 21" tires & wheels.

    Oh but the 21" Arachnids LOOK so much better than any 19"...

    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4728.jpg
     
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  14. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    You have a rare bird there - P85D+ with Arachnids!!!! Nice...
     
  15. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Active Member

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    Definitely a rare bird IMHO. Its a P85D+ since it has:
    • Ludicrous
    • Plus Suspension
    • rear NextGen (Recaro) seats
    • every option except 3rd row seats (which we're glad we don't have)
    • 4G LTE
    • Tesla warranty for another 4 years / 50,000 miles
    This combo has eliminated FOMO since AP 2.0 / 2.5 / 3.0 haven't advanced and matured enough to be worth the upgrade cost.

    When I an inventory Plaid MS P100D+ with FSD and 400 miles of projected range (300 actual miles) becomes available that may change...

    in the meantime loving the SMILES per kW :D
     
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