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smaller rims?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by KBF, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. KBF

    KBF Model X owner (formerly Cdn Signature Model S)

    Jun 26, 2009
    Steinbach, MB, Canada
    I'm not a car expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I'll ask those of you who are. Do you think it would be possible to mount even smaller rims on the Model S, like 18 or even 17"? I'm in a rural area that receives a lot of snow in winter, and lots of bumpy roads. I've heard the pro's and con's about 19" vs 21" - would the differences be even more pronounced with smaller rims? Would there be major negatives, or is it more a personal preference in terms of looks? Please enlighten me.
  2. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

    Jun 20, 2011
    Los Gatos, CA
    It has been more that 15 years since I lived anyplace snowy - but from what I remember the more pertinent question should be can you mount thinner tires. Thinner tires are what get you more bite through the snow. Real snow tires (not just all-weather or M&S) help a lot too.

    The stock 19" have a tread width of 8.5" and a diameter of 27.7". There are Bridgestone Blizzaks at 225/45-19 that have a tread width of 7.2" and a diameter of 27" They might be a real good choice.

    There are more choices at 17" or 18" - but we would need to make sue that the brakes clear (and that the bolt pattern and offset can be met with an available wheel)
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    I recommend calling Tire Rack and talk to their experts. They routinely sell winter tires mounted to smaller diameter wheels and ship them to your home, or to a recommended installer nearby. They are good about knowing what fits, but the Model S may need to be released in the wild first.

    Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels

  4. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    South Florida
    Probably not because the front brake calipers would not accommodate a wheel smaller than a 19 inches.
  5. EV_QC

    EV_QC Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    I live in Quebec and our roads aren't very nice...If a had a Model S reserved, I would have ordered the 19" for sure. The 21" have a 35mm profil witch is way to low. The 19" got 45mm profil witch is fine. I'm pretty sure you can change for 235/55R18 in winter. Maybe 17", but depend on the size of the caliper size, but 235/55R18 should be perfect! The rear brake are the largest at 14,37"... Add +- 2" for caliper... 18" wheels fit for sure.
  6. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

    Jul 6, 2011
    Thanks for that. Winter tires for 235/55R18 are available below half cost of 245/45R19! Now I must find an affordable 235/18" steel rim with the appropriate bolt pattern. Lorinser rims are all about light weight alloy. I am not sure I want to expose these to the salt and grime on our south Germany winter roads.
  7. jerry33

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

    Mar 8, 2012
    It's all about whether they would clear the brakes or not. If they will, then 18" or 17" is a much happier choice. 16" would be even better because you could get some really LRR tires and extend the range by maybe as much as 25% depending upon speed.

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