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Ludicrous with 19s: dumb? or negligible difference?

So I pulled the trigger on a lease, basically loaded, but with 19" cyclones instead of 21s. Is this completely stupid? Does performance off the line take enough of a hit to negate the benefits of ludicrous? I've heard mixed things. I'm mostly interested in 19 because of ride comfort and sound and tire longevity and rim damage... But I don't want to stupidly shoot myself in the foot here.

Design locks tomorrow, anyone on 19s with ludicrous who can tell me not to worry? Or on 21s who can tell me they're not bad?
A nice set of Max Performance or Ultra-High Performance Summer 19" Tires rated tops in DRY TRACTION will allow your S to get and maintain grip on the road surface. Since you are rather vague with your location, such tires are NOT suitable for cold weather, snow or ice at all.

I live in New England and have had a few cars with D+2 wheel fitments (OEM Diameter + 2" such as the 21" wheels from Tesla). Dare I say I am on a first name basis with the local rim repair shop mechanic. We have potholes here... which raise havoc with rims and tires and suspension parts if you are unlucky. I found night time driving to be the most dangerous - as you cannot see the potholes until it is too late to do much of anything.

On another subject... "What Is UP" with your userid?
21" wheels and tires will handle better. But it is true they will be louder, not last as long and will transmit more road feel into the car.

If you've never owned a high performance car with summer tires, stick to all seasons on the 19" wheels. You won't know what you're missing. If you're coming from other high performance cars, go with the 21" and summer tires. I live in Virginia. We are quite used to potholes and cracks in roads that come in winter. Of course, I also switch out to winter tires in the winter and put the summers back on around Easter. Drive carefully, and I've never had any damaged rims or even curb rash on any of my cars.

The 19" tires make the car feel very cushy -- not in a good way. The 21" convey much more road feel. Plan on replacing them every 10k miles or fewer.


19s are superior in all respects. Search the forum.
No question. The 19's ride better, are quieter, last longer, have vastly less road hazard exposure and are more stable.

I have driven my own P85D with 19's and another almost the same age with 21's, comparing the two back to back. Despite the alleged "better handling" from 21's the 21's feel quite skittish on normal roads if there is any unevenness or imperfection in the road surface. The 21's are noisy too.

IMHO the only logic for 21's is looks, assuming one prefers those looks. The price of looks is much higher tire wear, much higher replacement cost, more exposure to road hazards, noise, poorer ride and lower efficiency.

Why would anybody really want 21's? Frankly I do not know.
The 21" Cyclones look WAY WAY better, the stock 19" wheels look cheap IMHO and don't do the Tesla any justice.

That being said 19's will last longer and have all of the positives mentioned above. However they still don't look great or corner and stick like the 21's will.

I run Staggered 21 gray cyclones for 8 months of the year and 19" Cyclone 'look alikes' with winter tires for 4 months of the year (from TireRack).

your mileage and preference will vary as always :biggrin: good look as either way you'll love the S.


No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
The 21" Cyclones look WAY WAY better...
I run Staggered 21 gray cyclones for 8 months of the year and 19" Cyclone 'look alikes' with winter tires for 4 months of the year (from TireRack).

21" wheels are Turbines.
19" wheels are Cyclones.

The 19" look pretty small on such a large car. And no matter what anyone says, the lower profile 21" wheels/tires WILL handle better. There is a reason all high performance cars run low aspect ratio tires.

Agreed. I run the 19" TSTs with high-performance all season tires in the winter and 21" rims with ultra-high perf tires in the summer. The difference is palatable. Even with high-perf summer tires on 19" wheels, the handling will be significantly affected (IMO). My car feels like I'm piloting a boat in the winter with the large sidewalls providing quite a bit of give in cornering that just doesn't exist on the 21" rims/tires.

Side note: I live in the greater NYC area -- yes, there are potholes, and I've even hit a few big ones with the 21" rims without any damage. Yes, they are more susceptible to potholes and damage, but it's not as bad as some people make it sound. You just have to drive a tad more carefully to avoid such hazards.

Also, tires are cheap and life is too short to worry about tread life on a high-performance sports sedan (Model S or any other).
Wow, thanks for all the feedback, everyone. Helping assuage my concerns with staying with the 19s. Am I to understand that it won't really affect line performance then, even in Luda mode? It seems like it's more about cornering performance/handling/road feel.

I'm in Arizona, coming from a 07 BMW 335i with 18" wheels, so I'm used to some road feel already. Winter tires aren't a thing for us.


2013 P85+
Aug 31, 2013
I have been running 19s on my P85+ for several months. Waaay easier to live with. Unless you are drive like you are tracking your car, you will never notice the difference imo.

Tesla should have offered 20s possibly, and if possible picked a width that would have minimized rashing, and called it a day.

The staggered 21" w/PS2s are currently stacked neatly in my garage.
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I personally think the 21's look awful... they look way too big for the car. Also their patterns are weird... The 19 looks like a BMW or Porsche wheel and is just better all around. I wish they would offer 20' wheels like on Porsches instead of going from 19 to 21... I mean the talks of handling... like you probably can't tell the diff unless you push the car to its limits... However diff in comfort, likelihood of damage, etc, are very noticeable.

I am definitely in the 19's camp.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
I had 21's on my P85+ until I had to replace 3 tires in under a year. I went with aftermarket TST 19's with summer performance tires and was very happy, and have done the same with my P85D. I currently have 3 sets; summer perf, winter, and all-seasons LRR. I'm keeping the all-seasons on for the winter this year to see how they do. The difference in handling between 21's and 19's with the same rubber is negligible. The cost and efficiency of the 19's is much better than the 21's. I'm very happy I switched.

I'm ordering an X with 20's rather than 22's too.


(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
The 21" give you a crisper cornering feel and makes the car look as if it's owned by a teenager (yuck). The 19" will handle just fine, will cost half as much, last far longer, protect the wheels from potholes much better, and will likely have more traction off the line, always assuming proper performance tires are installed (not the OE tires).

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