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Model X Winter Tires

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by jsfmd, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. jsfmd

    jsfmd New Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Scranton, PA
    As we just had our first dusting of snow in Northeast Pennsylvania, I am now considering the purchase of snow tires for my X. I was less than impressed with the couple months of winter driving I had with the car when I got it in early 2017 with the Michelin Latitude Sport all seasons. My experience on the slick, snow covered roads last night was similar--namely lots of sliding and around. I have the 20" helix wheels and am considering The Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires (255/45R20 and 275/45R20). Anyone have experience with these on an X? My wife has them on a Volvo XC90 and they are pretty much shot after 1 season of winter driving. I would rather not downsize to a smaller winter tire/wheel package as the car is leased and I would be stuck with the wheels after my lease is over.

    Thanks very much!
  2. nime01

    nime01 Member

    Apr 5, 2016
    I have the Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires (255/45R20 and 275/45R20), they seem quite good so far. More snow due this evening, so will be out testing them. I have plenty of experience with Nokian R2, and also with Pirelli Ice Zero FR, so it will be interesting to see how these Scorpions work.
  3. Sound

    Sound Member

    Feb 18, 2017
    Coincidentally, I've been running the Tesla 19" wheels with Pirelli Scorpion tyres package for over 1000 miles. I've posted the following summary recently on Speak EV so re-posting here is probably breaking rules - but here goes anyway! I am UK based so this may of limited relevance here.

    At £2800 this is an expensive option but considering the bare wheels are priced at over £620 each, the whole package is very good value IMO. I remind myself that winter tyres are essentially 'free' anyway as they just extend the life of the summer tyres. This was also an opportunity to leave two of my existing wheels with the Service Centre to have them refurbished to get rid of some rim scuffs.

    The first impression when driving at motorway speeds (and it's an immediate "wow") is that the road noise is much reduced compared to the Michelin Sport 3 on standard 20" wheels. I will do some accurate noise measurements at different speeds which I'll compare with the Michelins when they go back on next Spring. Second impression is that the ride is slightly softer but that is to be expected as the tyres 'balloon' out from the rims more than with the 20" standard tyres, a side benefit of which is that 'kerb rash' is much less likely. Under hard acceleration from standing, there is a bit more squirm but perfectly controllable and acceptable. At risk of sounding boring I actually prefer the slightly softer ride as I think it suits the car well. With the summer tyres, my preference was to have the steering response set to 'sport' but with the softer tyres I think 'standard' better suits the 'new' handling characteristics.

    Handling and grip at speed, on wet roads, seems comparable to the Michelins and I've put this to the test on a few twisty routes into North Wales over the last few weeks during cold, wet conditions, though so far no snow or ice! If anything, I would say that there is slightly more oversteer with the winter tyres, presumably due to the squishier profile and softer compound responding to a rearward weight bias, but the handling remains superb and inspires confidence. A few weeks ago I was on the A494 and caught up with a Lotus Exige. Once the driver saw me he took off but I kept up easily even though he was trying hard. We both pulled into the car park at Bala Lake and he came over to ask "what the **** is that?". He hadn't seen a Tesla in the flesh before.

    Off-road grip seems better with less slipping and sliding on soft ground, wet grass and deep mud.

    Only downside as far as I can tell so far (besides having to find space to store the summer wheels/tyres) appears to be reduced range compared to the summer tyres. Energy consumption is now around 500 Wh/mile compared to 420 or so over the same journeys, so about 20% increase, which I'll need to factor in. This was in cold weather, however, between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius, so the increased consumption could be due to other cold-weather factors. I'll look at this in more detail when I've had time to do a more like-for-like comparison.

    In summary, I can recommend the Tesla winter package albeit based on moderately good road conditions so far. I have a few work-related trips into Scotland and a few more to Snowdonia coming up this winter so hoping for a more 'realistic' test soon.
    • Informative x 2
  4. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

    Oct 13, 2014
    @Sound, I'd wager that the reduced range is primarily due to cold weather since heating (both battery and cabin) causes a significant load on the battery. Rain, snow and cold dense air will also further impact range.

    There is a range gain going from 22" to 20", so extrapolating I would thing there may be a slight gain (assuming same temperature/weather) when going to 19" rims.

    And I wish I could see the look on that Lotus owner's face!!

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