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P85+ with 19" wheels

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Reed, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Reed

    Reed Member

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    I finally had a chance to test drive the P85+. What an amazing car!!! Just like everyone says, you need to drive it to fully appreciate this car. I found the handling and suspension to be great and even my wife thought that it had a smooth ride. Before I place my order, I started to do some more digging (researching) on-line. The quick wear and limited selection of tires has me second guessing the 21" wheels on the P85+. I have always loved how the wheels look and from my test drive, the handling was superb. However, I am not looking forward to replacing tires every 6-9 months.

    I have read through the 19" vs 21" threads and searched through the forums but have not seen this definitively answered. Can I order a P85+ and then put 19" wheels on after the fact? Is there any reason this could not be done (safety, etc)? I understand that I would be negating the performance aspect of the car but if I find that I am burning through tires to quickly it would be nice to have the option to switch to the 19" wheels. My thinking is it would be easier to switch to 19" wheels but impossible to upgrade to the "+" handling improvements if I go with a P85.

    I am excited to finally put in my order for this amazing car. I am sure I will have a ton of other questions in the near future. Thanks for the insight!
     
  2. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    I don't have the answer, but I have the same concerns. I only have ~3500 mi on my P85+; so, I don't know what the ultimate tire life will be. I didn't like the handling with the P85 with 19 in tires that I drove. If I went with 19 in wheels I would not use the same tires that were on the P85 that I drove.
     
  3. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    I can't imagine a P85+ with 19's. Why not just see if you can change to P85 with 19's? That way you get the speed (not suspension, but might be worth it).

    Congrats either way!
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Tires that will last a long time on a performance car will be all season tires but they won't have nearly the grip you'd likely want especially on a P85+. The P85 will at least allow you to rotate the tires and get a few thousand miles more out of a set but that's one of the big downsides to getting performance cars I've found out. Very expensive tires that you change at least once a year.
    You should be able to put 19" rims on the P85+ but believe they only sell it with the 21" staggered rims. Don't think there is any safety issue but maybe someone knows for sure. You'd have to take it easier around corners of course on all season tires compared to the summer tires.
     
  5. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    I am thinking downsizing to 20" and running michelin pilot supersports which handles and wears better than the PS2 I have currently. Cheaper tires $3-400 each vs $500-600 on the 21" and better grip. I drive 3,000 miles a month and can't afford to burn through 21" tires every other month.
     
  6. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    I had my Corvette 10 years and bought tires 3 times. It was a daily driver and not a garage queen. No tire rotations! No all-season tires!
     
  7. Zextraterrestrial

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    I think the p+ with staggered 19" wheels would be the best setup. But symmetric tires that could be remounted from side to side would last longest then. My staggered 19s are wearing pretty good but I run lower psi and race them. I wasn't a second pair for daily because it I so much nicer than 21" handling.
     
  8. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    WRT why there are staggered tires on the + package, Tesla stiffened the rear of the car by removing bushing compliance. This reduction in compliance was offset by slightly wider rims/tires on the rear to maintain over steer margin (stiffer back reduced margin and the wider tires gave it back). Soooooo, Tesla says you MUST buy the 21s when ordering the + package. Of course, they turn back around and sell you winter tires on 19s which you are free to mount on your car. Go figure.

    Practically speaking, you will not notice a tremendous amount of improvement going from the standard 21s in the rear and the wider tires. Sure there will be a small difference but probably not of any importance on a day to day basis.

    Now, you will notice a significant difference between any of Tesla's 21" offerings (on Mich's) and the 19" package. The 19s have much larger side walls and thus are significantly more compliant. You will feel that as a reduction of the + handling package and you will get a smoother quieter ride. The softer side walls on the 19s will also help spread the load across the tire contact patch and reduce inside shoulder wear associated with high negative camber.
     
  9. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    I just returned from Tesla Service, who had my car for 3 days. We were doing sunroof stuff and a few campaigns. I was given a brand new (250 m) P85 with 21" and Continentals to use in the interim. I just changed the wheels and tires on my standard 85 to these:

    IMG_1113.JPG

    The rims are TSW 19" x 8", essentially stock size and the tires are 245x45-19 Michelin Pilot A/S 3. I now have about 700 miles on the set and I had 5300 miles on my Goodyears. The wear on the stock tires was perfectly even (i did rotate quite often at first) and assuming 3/32" tread left, my project mileage would have been 25,000 miles. BTW, I am planning to sell the stock rims and tires if I can find a buyer.

    The timing of all of this worked out so that I have been able to compare 3 different tire/wheel combinations in a relatively short time frame. I found my stock 19" to be loose and twitchy at speed. The car wiggled all over the place on a grooved road. The ride is nice and the noise level on the Goodyears, once rotated a few times, is admirably low. Driving the new P85 with standard suspension (air like mine) I found the 21" Continentals to ride softer! I was really surprised by this. They are similarly quiet. The Goodyears and Continentals make different kinds of tread noise, but nothing very loud or noticeable. The highway stability of the Conti's is much improved over the Goodyears and the steering response is incrementally faster. The 21's seem to use a bit more energy around town but drop down to the same or even better at highway speeds. I can only guess this due to the added rotational energy required to spin the 21's which becomes less of a deal at constant high speed. Based on this, if I had it to do again, I would probably get the 21's with the Continentals if you want to stay stock and have the smoothest and softest ride along with better handling. Basically the Goodyears aren't very good.

    My new rims are 21 pounds vs 30 for the stock 19". So my new wheel/tire combo reduces the total weight per wheel by 8 pounds! The new Michelins are technically All Season tires as they are alleged to have terrific performance in wet conditions. This is of no particular importance to a Southern California boy like me. I stayed with "All Season" because I didn't want to take the energy hit of going from an A/S to a full on dry tire. There are only a few reports about this tire so far and they all claim performance tire behavior in an A/S package. Well this claim is completely true. The Michelins completely stomp the 21" Continentals in handling and most particularly in turn-in behavior. It feels like I changed the steering ratio on the car. These things are really quick and precise. All of the wander and instability at speed went away. They have a very high tread wear number of 500. I don't have enough miles on them to make a projection of wear yet. So the good news is that these things simply transform the Tesla into a cornering beast. They ride very nicely especially considering that I dropped so much weigh in the rim. They are a little sharper over tar strips, but I'll bet that on the stock rims that wouldn't be the case. Unfortunately, they are a bit noisy. They make a whirring or whining sound, primarily on concrete roads, mostly between 60 mph and about 75 mph. With the radio on, it is masked, but they are definitely noisier than either the Goodyears or Continentals. So far (about 700 miles) I have seen my average consumption go from 312 to 324, or about 3%. It has gotten much hotter here over the last month so I'm not convinced it is all due to the tire.

    I am here to tell you that the 19" rims with appropriate tires can easily equal or exceed the performance of the 21" rims with similar tires. This conclusion was also reached by one of the car magazines a number of years ago when they tested rim sizes against each other. Actually I think 15" or 16" actually won. I don't personally care for the appearance of the 21" wheels and that coupled with my fear of a 35 series wheel/tire combo breaking on pot-holes, I went with the 19's. I guess Tesla now offers the Michelin Primacy tire on the 19's. I'm sure it is better than the Goodyears. Tesla will now supply the Michelin Pilot Sport on the 21's. That tire is several levels beyond mine but it is also noisy, somewhat hard riding and really short lived.
     
  10. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    gtimbers,
    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  11. Reed

    Reed Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Would it be safe to say that a P85+ with 19" wheels will handle better than a non-plus P85 with the same 19" wheels and tires?

    Since I prefer the stiffer suspension and handling improvements of the +, my gut tells me that my safest bet is to get a P85+ with the 21" wheels. If I really can't handle the frequent tire replacements, then I would switch to the 19" wheels and hopefully have an equally performing vehicle (if not better) than a non-plus with the same wheels.

    Please let me know if this thinking is flawed.
    Next step, determine color and options. Too many great things to choose. :smile:
     
  12. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    YES! Get the + with 21" period.

    I'm laughing because you now have about 10 other "what to get's" to decide on:confused:
     
  13. jerry33

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

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    Very likely.

    I'm pretty sure you don't have an option. If you get the Plus you have to also get 21" wheels. My guess is that if you got some 10x20 aftermarket wheels and put on some 20" R compound tires (Hankook has some 20" that look as if they could work), you could get some serious cornering forces at the expense of rolling resistance and tread life. You'll probably want a backup set of 19" for normal use.

    (Assuming you don't know, R compound tires are basically DOT approved race tires. They're sold for competition classes that require DOT approved tires. Lower tread depth and sticky compounds are two common characteristics. They are also often casing directional.)
     
  14. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    This may be a bit OT for this thread, but is still tire-related:

    Many people seem to be concerned about the 21" tires being easily damaged by potholes and having low wear life.
    The OEM tires from Tesla have a 35 ratio, which is pretty low-profile.
    The tires on my current vehicle are also 35 ratio but on 19-inch rims. I'm not having any issues with damage or wear life with them.

    What I would like to know is will I see similar behavior from the OEM tires due to the common tire ratio or would the increased rim size exacerbate these issues even compared to my current tires?
     
  15. jerry33

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

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    I'd suggest your current car is much lighter, and has less unsprung weight, than the Model S. The four things that contribute the most to pothole injuries are: Low inflation pressures, low sidewall height, vehicle weight/unsprung weight, and the speed you hit the pothole at. Ideally you want the suspension loose when you hit the pothole so if you have any reaction time at all (e.g. you see the pothole) don't hit the brakes (or hit them and release them so that the suspension is loose when you hit the pothole) and hit it as squarely as possible.
     
  16. Martini

    Martini Member

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    I recall a discussion elsewhere on TMC where someone produced custom brake disks with a similar or greater weight reduction per wheel. Can someone help me understand why individuals can easily make such weight-saving choices on an otherwise highly engineered vehicle? Either there is some trade-off here that I don't understand, the benefits of weight saving are less than they seem, or Tesla is doing something wrong.
     
  17. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I asked Mat Boarman, the Tesla Service Manager in Boston, whether it would be okay to run 19" wheels on a Plus in the wintertime. He said absolutely no problem. There are many more snow tires to choose from in 19", so Tesla anticipated that owners would do this. In the summer, however, you really should run the recommended 21" wheels with the wider ones in the rear.
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    Cost, availability, and longevity. One is always easy to do. Tens of thousands are not.
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Are you referring to the "R" in the "ZR" of the entire line of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires?

    - - - Updated - - -

    My understanding is this a concern with the rims ...

    ... and that this is a concern with the tires. The wear life concern comes from (a) the available selection of 21"-compatible tires was exclusively summer tires with the stickier compound (until the recently found winter/all-season option, I forget which was found) and (b) because there's simply less thickness of tread due to the larger wheel size.
     
  20. jerry33

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

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    No. That R just refers to radial. Here's a tirerack link.
     

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