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Smaller and Lighter wheels make you faster, more efficient, and offer better road hazard protection.

I remember when 16 or 17 inch rims were the Performance option and normal cars ran around on 14 or 15 inch rims but back then, tires were $50/each or less so could afford to burn through a set, not like now.
How about when 13" wheels were the normal ones, and 14" wheels were the sportier option? (VW Golf / Rabbit 1st generation versus GTI version)

Or when tires with an aspect ratio of 80 or 70 were normal, while an aspect ratio of 60 was sporty?

Go even further back, wheels may have had larger diameter, but narrow width and high aspect ratio tires. Air cooled VW Beetle tires were probably the equivalent of 145/90/15 in today's tire size nomenclature.
 
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Laymen here, thinking out loud... if the spin rate of the motor goes unchanged, shouldn't larger tires go *further* (and thus, faster) for each axle revolution?

My brain doesn't grok why smaller tires would be faster... seems counterintuitive.
Horsepower is unaffected by gear ratio. Changing the tire diameter is just simply changing the gear ratio. Horsepower throughout the rev range is what matters and that stays pretty much constant with the small diameter changes we typically use.
 
How about when 13" wheels were the normal ones, and 14" wheels were the sportier option? (VW Golf / Rabbit 1st generation versus GTI version)

Or when tires with an aspect ratio of 80 or 70 were normal, while an aspect ratio of 60 was sporty?

Go even further back, wheels may have had larger diameter, but narrow width and high aspect ratio tires. Air cooled VW Beetle tires were probably the equivalent of 145/90/15 in today's tire size nomenclature.
I remember looking at a 90’s Mitsubishi 3000GT that had 18” wheels on it. However, it had 25 series sidewall ratios. It looked similar to today’s 20” 35 series sidewalls back then.
 
@Sam1

There are a plethora of factors at play which determine how fast your car will run the quarter mile or 0-60, and it is impossible to replicate them all more than once. However, we have several members on here who have tested these things for the last four years time and time again. As far as anyone else has concluded, the car is computer limited to not accelerate over a certain amount of force (I think it's .9g, but I could be wrong, this isn't my area of expertise). So, while lighter wheels and tires may allow you to more consistently, or over a longer period of time, hit that marker, they aren't exactly "unlocking" any additional acceleration.

As far as efficiency goes, physics states that you will not gain measurable (more than a mile or two) driving range by simply moving to a lighter wheel (all else being equal). The rolling resistance of the tire is by far the largest contributing factor, and the aerodynamics of the wheel are second.

For the above reasons, I am extremely skeptical that you will ever see 11.1X seconds with the current hardware/software in the cars.

The fact that your new tires are .3" narrower and .2" shorter probably had more of an effect than anything else. I guess my point is, you are not the first person to do this, and there are several people who took it much further with regards to removing weight from the car (be it sprung or un-sprung).
 

tm1v2

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Oct 18, 2021
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I'll note that if sharp steering response is a priority, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport is probably a better option for 18" than the Michelin PS4S or PS4. On the flip side the softer Michelin sidewalls should provide a minor benefit in ride smoothness. I've seen at least two reports now of losing some steering response with 18" PS4S, and that fits with my past experience on older Michelin summer tires, whereas my 18" Potenza Sport felt just as responsive as the stock 20" setup. (When compared using squishy soft stock suspension...so yes any difference might be more noticeable if you have an upgraded suspension.)
 

Big Dog

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Mar 7, 2016
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It is just stupid that people think bigger rims looks better. There are so many down sides like lower efficiency, rougher ride on crappy Wis roads, more cost to replace tires when needed, bigger chance of curb or pot hole damage and did I say they suck more energy so slow you down and eat range and speed like this thread talks about. All for Looks which are in the eye of the beholder.

I remember when 16 or 17 inch rims were the Performance option and normal cars ran around on 14 or 15 inch rims but back then, tires were $50/each or less so could afford to burn through a set, not like now.
I have no issue with people liking what they like. But I am disappointed that Elon, the Engineer, does not offer wheel combos as options. I would have readily paid more for 18" lighter sport wheels. Or allow those purchasing teh Performance model to get smaller wheels as an option.
 
Great info. I've had my T-sportline TSS 18 inch wheels for about 7 months now. With my 20 inch Performance wheels, I was averaging about 330-340 wh/mi with PS4S. Now, I'm getting about ~300 wh/mi and laughing at pot-holes that I no longer fear. You also get a much better ride quality...for me, that was the biggest change in feeling between the two sizes. It still crashes a bit over large pot-holes but you don't feel like its ever rim on ground feeling like you did with the 20s.

I feel you lose a tiny tiny amount of precision on the handling vs the 20s, but its barely perceptible (may be in my head). Its the single best thing i've done to my M3P.
 
Just a thought here, if I was going to make an attempt to go faster, I would see if any of the ultra low rolling resistance tires come in the right size at 225 (or smaller!) in 18" diameters. It looks like the MXM4 doesn't, it is too tall. I think even a garbage LRR tire should hook up fine at a drag strip, so you just end up with less drag and less rolling resistance..(AND less weight probably!)

If you wanted to get real crazy you could put LR brakes on it and downsize to 17"s maybe? narrow 17s with 205 mxm4s!
I have a LR and would be willing to try 17s - are there any that fit? Are there 17s that allow for m3 weight? Also tire? I'd prefer a summer grand touring that was quiet...
 
Laymen here, thinking out loud... if the spin rate of the motor goes unchanged, shouldn't larger tires go *further* (and thus, faster) for each axle revolution?

My brain doesn't grok why smaller tires would be faster... seems counterintuitive.
A smaller (diameter) tire isn't faster. It can provide slightly better acceleration as a smaller tire lowers the effective gear ratio allowing a bit more torque to the ground. With ICE vehicles it generally helps a bit of the line, but the effects on overall acceleration disappear. With an EV with a fixed gear ratio, it will shift the torque curve measured at the wheels up and condense the vehicle speed axis, both by the change in overall ratio.
 
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unlock

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@Sam1

There are a plethora of factors at play which determine how fast your car will run the quarter mile or 0-60, and it is impossible to replicate them all more than once. However, we have several members on here who have tested these things for the last four years time and time again. As far as anyone else has concluded, the car is computer limited to not accelerate over a certain amount of force (I think it's .9g, but I could be wrong, this isn't my area of expertise). So, while lighter wheels and tires may allow you to more consistently, or over a longer period of time, hit that marker, they aren't exactly "unlocking" any additional acceleration.

As far as efficiency goes, physics states that you will not gain measurable (more than a mile or two) driving range by simply moving to a lighter wheel (all else being equal). The rolling resistance of the tire is by far the largest contributing factor, and the aerodynamics of the wheel are second.

For the above reasons, I am extremely skeptical that you will ever see 11.1X seconds with the current hardware/software in the cars.

The fact that your new tires are .3" narrower and .2" shorter probably had more of an effect than anything else. I guess my point is, you are not the first person to do this, and there are several people who took it much further with regards to removing weight from the car (be it sprung or un-sprung).
Ah yes, software limitations. True. No matter how fast a car is if it's limited then .... 🔒" - Like that 216 MPH Plaid that was unlocked.. there's more in these cars, but we're capped.

However, I'm still optimistic that the M3P can hit 11.1x's... never say never. That'd be a huge accomplishment to see when the time comes.

As for the tires, I've always been curious how much the small difference of 0.x" of extra tire (Ex. 8.5" to 9") affects the efficiency.

This is a chart comparing overall wheel sizes. 19s seem to be a good compromise, but for those that need every inch of range, it's really not a big deal.

Wheel Size Data 2.PNG


I usually just cruise at 70 MPH. Between the 19" (309 miles) and 20" (285 miles), there are more than enough chargers around for that to not be an issue for me on road trips. In reality, most people traveling long distances don't typically do 100%-0% then charge as they make rest stops way before running it down to 0%. I'm not saying that super bladders don't exist, but most humanoids take breaks.
 
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@Sam1

There are a plethora of factors at play which determine how fast your car will run the quarter mile or 0-60, and it is impossible to replicate them all more than once. However, we have several members on here who have tested these things for the last four years time and time again. As far as anyone else has concluded, the car is computer limited to not accelerate over a certain amount of force (I think it's .9g, but I could be wrong, this isn't my area of expertise). So, while lighter wheels and tires may allow you to more consistently, or over a longer period of time, hit that marker, they aren't exactly "unlocking" any additional acceleration.

As far as efficiency goes, physics states that you will not gain measurable (more than a mile or two) driving range by simply moving to a lighter wheel (all else being equal). The rolling resistance of the tire is by far the largest contributing factor, and the aerodynamics of the wheel are second.

For the above reasons, I am extremely skeptical that you will ever see 11.1X seconds with the current hardware/software in the cars.

The fact that your new tires are .3" narrower and .2" shorter probably had more of an effect than anything else. I guess my point is, you are not the first person to do this, and there are several people who took it much further with regards to removing weight from the car (be it sprung or un-sprung).

It isn't impossible to replicate passes. It is quite easy actually. I can monitor all of the parameters through the S3XY buttons and just simply set the car up the same. I Supercharged within 4 miles of the track and preconditioned in the exact same manner.

Honestly, it is laughable that you are going back to the old excuse that sounds like "plenty of the old timers have tested this and not presented any results and so all of the data I have presented is somehow invalid". The test I did at Gallot was controlled and conclusive. The ELEVEN 1/4 mile runs I have done since then were conclusive. The record I set for Trap Speed is conclusive. If you have any evidence to contradict it then I am all ears.

I haven't seen any evidence that the car is limited to a certain acceleration in software. I switched the wheels and optimized the temperatures and my car got consistently faster. It is pretty hard to argue with the consistency of the 11 passes below. Please note that the one exception in those passes was testing Track Mode. It absolutely KILLED the power because it cooled the battery down and sapped power during the run.

IMG_6595.jpg
IMG_6936.jpg



The efficiency gains were definitely due to multiple factors but all of those factors are inherent in the smaller and lighter wheels I switched to. Yes it has a smaller tread width and yes that was a significant factor. However, you can't switch to 18" wheels and not reduce the tread width so by design changing to the smaller wheels will help you.

As far as your last statement goes you are just simply wrong. Narrower and shorter tires had nothing to do with my acceleration gains. The difference in diameter is meaningless. It is such a tiny fraction of the overall outer tire diameter and it doesn't even affect horsepower at all. I am almost certainly the first person who has used Track mode to cool the car with 100% battery and then used Preconditioning to optimize the temperatures. I know that because no one else has gone this fast before. That is the only way to do it.

Removing static weight will help but not nearly as much as you think. Definitely removing 600 lbs like the Plaid record did will make a huge difference but removing 100 lbs in seats probably would do about the same as changing out the wheels.

Again, if you have any evidence to back up any of your claims or anyone else's please present the evidence. I have presented my case many times over and I am open to running more tests that anyone suggests. Until then your entire argument just sounds like an evidence free conspiracy theory.
 

unlock

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Jun 23, 2022
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Great info. I've had my T-sportline TSS 18 inch wheels for about 7 months now. With my 20 inch Performance wheels, I was averaging about 330-340 wh/mi with PS4S. Now, I'm getting about ~300 wh/mi and laughing at pot-holes that I no longer fear. You also get a much better ride quality...for me, that was the biggest change in feeling between the two sizes. It still crashes a bit over large pot-holes but you don't feel like its ever rim on ground feeling like you did with the 20s.

I feel you lose a tiny tiny amount of precision on the handling vs the 20s, but its barely perceptible (may be in my head). Its the single best thing i've done to my M3P.

Were those wh/mi with mostly stop and go city driving? I'd imagine the spread would be a lot narrower if you were just hwy cruising.
 
It isn't impossible to replicate passes. It is quite easy actually. I can monitor all of the parameters through the S3XY buttons and just simply set the car up the same. I Supercharged within 4 miles of the track and preconditioned in the exact same manner.

Honestly, it is laughable that you are going back to the old excuse that sounds like "plenty of the old timers have tested this and not presented any results and so all of the data I have presented is somehow invalid". The test I did at Gallot was controlled and conclusive. The ELEVEN 1/4 mile runs I have done since then were conclusive. The record I set for Trap Speed is conclusive. If you have any evidence to contradict it then I am all ears.

I haven't seen any evidence that the car is limited to a certain acceleration in software. I switched the wheels and optimized the temperatures and my car got consistently faster. It is pretty hard to argue with the consistency of the 11 passes below. Please note that the one exception in those passes was testing Track Mode. It absolutely KILLED the power because it cooled the battery down and sapped power during the run.

View attachment 827184 View attachment 827185


The efficiency gains were definitely due to multiple factors but all of those factors are inherent in the smaller and lighter wheels I switched to. Yes it has a smaller tread width and yes that was a significant factor. However, you can't switch to 18" wheels and not reduce the tread width so by design changing to the smaller wheels will help you.

As far as your last statement goes you are just simply wrong. Narrower and shorter tires had nothing to do with my acceleration gains. The difference in diameter is meaningless. It is such a tiny fraction of the overall outer tire diameter and it doesn't even affect horsepower at all. I am almost certainly the first person who has used Track mode to cool the car with 100% battery and then used Preconditioning to optimize the temperatures. I know that because no one else has gone this fast before. That is the only way to do it.

Removing static weight will help but not nearly as much as you think. Definitely removing 600 lbs like the Plaid record did will make a huge difference but removing 100 lbs in seats probably would do about the same as changing out the wheels.

Again, if you have any evidence to back up any of your claims or anyone else's please present the evidence. I have presented my case many times over and I am open to running more tests that anyone suggests. Until then your entire argument just sounds like an evidence free conspiracy theory.

You are not exactly coming across as being reasonable or open to feedback, quite the opposite in fact. Stating that those of us who have been testing these cars for the last four years are completely wrong after you've owned this car for, it appears three months, is pretty insulting to the community.

Battery temperature, motor temperature, ambient temperature, wind resistance, elevation, state of charge, internal pack resistance, adhesion of road surface; this is only a fraction of the determining factors which go into your quarter mile. You can't control those factors such that they are exactly the same every run; that's all I am saying. And if you are trying to tell me they were the same when you went to the drag strip every single time, well that's clearly not true. If, however, you get the perfect storm of ambient conditions, sure, you might set a record. It also likely helps that you have a near-new car with comparably low internal resistance. In addition, it is possible that Tesla has made some changes to the drivetrain in recent months that have improved the efficiency of the power delivery in the car, which allowed you to achieve this record. There's another 2022 Model 3 Performance with only lowering springs noted as a modification, and it was .05 seconds slower than your car.

I'm not saying that your results aren't valid, I am saying that your conclusion of why is, and doesn't line up with any other evidence the community has found to date. Do you think the T-Sportline's are the lightest wheel ever put on a Model 3 Performance? They're heavier than the stock 18" aero wheels. They are 4+ pounds away from being the lightest. The Model 3 Performance without the PUP came with the 18" aero wheels from the factory, so we tested essentially this exact same configuration from a weight and overall diameter perspective when the Model 3 Performance was released four years ago tens, if not hundreds of times. You are without a doubt jumping to conclusions based on the results of a single test on a single car, and trying to say that every other car is invalid.

I have no idea what you mean about tire diameter and tread width correlating. A smaller diameter tire does not automatically equal a narrower tread with.

A smaller overall diameter is actually the only way I've ever seen to reliably drop quarter mile times. I can virtually guarantee you that putting on smaller overall diameter tires/wheels of the same exact weight as the Uberturbines would result in virtually the same results you got in this test. A smaller diameter, even one as minimal as we are discussing here, affects the horsepower curve quite significantly.

You think you are the only one to have ever cooled the car with Track Mode and then pre-conditioned? Come on. Not to mention it would make near no difference at all, since Track Mode cools both the battery and the motors, and pre-conditioning heats both the battery and the motors. So all you did is go back and forth.

Quite frankly, drag racing doesn't interest me a whole lot. But, I do hold the "Model Y Record" on Dragy. So, I wouldn't say I have no idea what I'm talking about. I've owned six Tesla's from 2018-present and modified all of them. I removed a few hundred pounds from a Model 3. I think that my experience is relevant here.

@Sam1 can go into detail about this, if he so chooses. But essentially, the weight makes no difference.

@gearchruncher can also offer some good insight.

@Knightshade may be able to as well.

And plenty of others.

To be clear, I am not questioning your results (car is faster now than before), but you are trying to introduce your opinion (it's due to the weight) as fact, when we have no evidence to support that opinion. It's my opinion that it's due to the smaller overall diameter and less rolling resistance. Why is my opinion worth any less than yours?
 
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@Zerosport ran in the 10.7s with <3s 0-60s after removing 450lb. So, from that data, it doesn’t seem acceleration is purely g-limited.
 

@Zerosport ran in the 10.7s with <3s 0-60s after removing 450lb. So, from that data, it doesn’t seem acceleration is purely g-limited.

This is a great data point, though I am not sure it concludes anything. After removing that much weight, I would expect that the car could hit and sustain a pre-determined g-force for a longer speed range than a stock weight car could. I may be completely wrong though. It's also worth mentioning that was over two years ago, so it's possible some Firmware changes may have happened since then.

I feel like to completely clear up any confusion, what I mentioned in my first post was that it seems the car is limited to a certain g-force based on other users data, I was skeptical you could do an 11.1X (I should have specified without ripping the interior apart), and that I thought the improvements were more likely due to tire diameter and rolling resistance than they were to weight.

I guess the ultimate test would be to go back to the drag strip, run a pass, drop 100lbs in the trunk, and run another pass, and then run one more pass with the weight removed.

FWIW, this is a good data point. Despite being 7lbs lighter per wheel, the 18's were only .03 seconds faster in the 0-60 test compared to the 19's. Both the 18" set and the 19" set were from a Model 3, so of course the overall diameter was considerably smaller than the 21" Model Y Uberturbines. I believe the 18's overall diameter was .1" less than the 19's. Tesla Model Y wheels and its impact on 0-60 acceleration
 

Sam1

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Sep 11, 2019
1,785
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You are not exactly coming across as being reasonable or open to feedback, quite the opposite in fact. Stating that those of us who have been testing these cars for the last four years are completely wrong after you've owned this car for, it appears three months, is pretty insulting to the community.

Battery temperature, motor temperature, ambient temperature, wind resistance, elevation, state of charge, internal pack resistance, adhesion of road surface; this is only a fraction of the determining factors which go into your quarter mile. You can't control those factors such that they are exactly the same every run; that's all I am saying. And if you are trying to tell me they were the same when you went to the drag strip every single time, well that's clearly not true. If, however, you get the perfect storm of ambient conditions, sure, you might set a record. It also likely helps that you have a near-new car with comparably low internal resistance. In addition, it is possible that Tesla has made some changes to the drivetrain in recent months that have improved the efficiency of the power delivery in the car, which allowed you to achieve this record. There's another 2022 Model 3 Performance with only lowering springs noted as a modification, and it was .05 seconds slower than your car.

I'm not saying that your results aren't valid, I am saying that your conclusion of why is, and doesn't line up with any other evidence the community has found to date. Do you think the T-Sportline's are the lightest wheel ever put on a Model 3 Performance? They're heavier than the stock 18" aero wheels. They are 4+ pounds away from being the lightest. The Model 3 Performance without the PUP came with the 18" aero wheels from the factory, so we tested essentially this exact same configuration from a weight and overall diameter perspective when the Model 3 Performance was released four years ago tens, if not hundreds of times. You are without a doubt jumping to conclusions based on the results of a single test on a single car, and trying to say that every other car is invalid.

I have no idea what you mean about tire diameter and tread width correlating. A smaller diameter tire does not automatically equal a narrower tread with.

A smaller overall diameter is actually the only way I've ever seen to reliably drop quarter mile times. I can virtually guarantee you that putting on smaller overall diameter tires/wheels of the same exact weight as the Uberturbines would result in virtually the same results you got in this test. A smaller diameter, even one as minimal as we are discussing here, affects the horsepower curve quite significantly.

You think you are the only one to have ever cooled the car with Track Mode and then pre-conditioned? Come on. Not to mention it would make near no difference at all, since Track Mode cools both the battery and the motors, and pre-conditioning heats both the battery and the motors. So all you did is go back and forth.

Quite frankly, drag racing doesn't interest me a whole lot. But, I do hold the "Model Y Record" on Dragy. So, I wouldn't say I have no idea what I'm talking about. I've owned six Tesla's from 2018-present and modified all of them. I removed a few hundred pounds from a Model 3. I think that my experience is relevant here.

@Sam1 can go into detail about this, if he so chooses. But essentially, the weight makes no difference.

@gearchruncher can also offer some good insight.

@Knightshade may be able to as well.

And plenty of others.

To be clear, I am not questioning your results (car is faster now than before), but you are trying to introduce your opinion (it's due to the weight) as fact, when we have no evidence to support that opinion. It's my opinion that it's due to the smaller overall diameter and less rolling resistance. Why is my opinion worth any less than yours?

His approach was not logical, and he stated that he already knew the results of the tests before performing them aka confirmation bias. I'm not going to waste any of my time addressing anything beyond what I did in his other thread.
 
It is just stupid that people think bigger rims looks better. There are so many down sides like lower efficiency, rougher ride on crappy Wis roads, more cost to replace tires when needed, bigger chance of curb or pot hole damage and did I say they suck more energy so slow you down and eat range and speed like this thread talks about. All for Looks which are in the eye of the beholder.

I remember when 16 or 17 inch rims were the Performance option and normal cars ran around on 14 or 15 inch rims but back then, tires were $50/each or less so could afford to burn through a set, not like now.

1657542610362.jpeg


Hey it's not stupid. I think the look depends on the design a little more than size. Long spokes on a larger rim can have a more dramatic effect. At the same time, those t sportline 18s look great. Heck, I think drag radials on a small wheel are awesome. Everyone always says their roads are the worst lol.
 
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