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Staggered Tires for Non-Performance?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by okcorral, Apr 9, 2017.

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  1. okcorral

    okcorral Member

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    I have a 70D with 21" gray rims (non-staggered). I'm coming up on 26k miles and I'll need new tires in the next six months. Probably around 30k miles.

    Based on some reviews and Elon himself the staggered tires provide a bit of performance and handling advantage. Any reason I wouldn't be able to put the 265 tires on the back. I know factory staggered rims have 8.5" up front and 9" in the rear. I'm assuming the larger 265 tire will fit just fine on the 8.5 rim in the rear for me.

    Thoughts? Other than imparting your own judgement. "I.e. the 19s are so more plush, blah, blah." I'm looking for the best handling and most fun possible.
     
  2. okcorral

    okcorral Member

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    Looking at tirerack.com the 265 sized tires require a rim width of 9"-10.5". And the stock 21" rims are 8.5". Is the half inch a big deal or thoughts on buying two new rims for the rear for the "P" edition that are 9" wide. And then sell the two 8.5" I have.
     
  3. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    When I de-staggered my P85+ to 8.5"/245s in the rear, I found no detectable differences in performance. The difference in width is about the width of your thumb.

    Sure, at the extremes, there might be a very slight difference, but to me, it wasn't worth the trade-off of not being able to rotate tires front-to-back. I'm very happy with my non-staggered setup.

    YMMV.
     
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  4. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    I should also add, except for a few unicorn P85Ds in 2015, all the cars sold with the staggered setup (P85+, early P85D) had the Performance Plus suspension. I'm no expert, but it's quite possible that a staggered setup on a non performance car (70D) with the standard suspension won't be able to really take advantage of a staggered setup. If you do it, it's really not going to make a night/day difference in handling or performance... i.e. "fun".
     
  5. animorph

    animorph Member

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    If you have a complaint about the handling of your car, wider rear tires might help. Or it might make it worse. If you're not sure, I wouldn't change and certainly wouldn't spend money on it.

    Wider rear tires might possibly help if the rear of your car is breaking loose before the front, an oversteer (or loose) condition. However, if your current car breaks loose at the front first (understeer or tight), and this is usually the case for most cars, wider rear tires should just give you more of the same. And if you're not cornering hard and have no idea which end starts sliding first then save your money.
     
  6. Hammer@OR.US

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    I don't think you will gain any performance advantage with a 70D. I can't break the rear end loose on my 85D with square 19's and 70's have less torque than 85's. I do run staggered on my P85+ and it takes everything to keep the rears on the ground with that car and I run 275's. Much different beast.
     
  7. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

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    I have a non-P, 21" staggered set up, drive like a bat outta hell in/out of the turns, freeway interchange ramps, rotaries and any place else I can lean into while accelerating. I have a blast with my plain S.

    Obviously very subjective; maybe test drive a few different set ups at your nearby SvC. And ask one of the service techs about the set up you'd like to use while your at it.

    OEM tire/wheel specs:
    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_s_owners_manual_north_america_en_us.pdf#page167
     
  8. okcorral

    okcorral Member

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    What size rear wheels are you running? Stock 8.5" or sis you upgrade separately and get 9"?

    For the others posters: thanks for the replies. While my 70D won't break the tires loose on a straight. I can push them to the edge when cornering; especially if accelerating or breaking.
     
  9. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

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  10. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Just my opinion, really.
     
  11. Beretta911

    Beretta911 Member

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    Just replaced my stock 19" tires and rims for a staggered 21" setup on my dec 2016 60d. Significant improvement in handling. Feels more stable and grounded. Not a huge loss in comfort and I can't detect a difference in noise.

    And it looks like a different car. More aggressive. I love it.
     
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  12. buddyott

    buddyott Member

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    You'd be better off upgrading the suspension then switching to a staggered setup. A staggered setup on an AWD car is wasteful and borders on being silly.
     
  13. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Cool. The handling improvements IMHO come from going from 19" rims to 21" rims. The fact that they are staggered probably doesn't contribute all that much to the performance increase unless you're on a track or really pushing the car to the extremes of cornering.
     
  14. d.c.palmer

    d.c.palmer Six years of EV driving

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    I've spent a lot of time comparing staggered vs non-staggered setups and, for me, the difference is noticeable. In my P90DL, having the staggered 21" tyres really improves the handling: gives the car a very-well planted BMW feel, with much more positive steering. How do I know this? My car spends 4 months of the year riding on non-staggered 21" tyres - the Pirelli Sottozero 3's, as supplied by Tesla. With these, the steering becomes slightly less precise and the car doesn't have quite same "planted" feeling. Going round corners lacks that "corners on rails" feeling I get with the staggered tyres (*).

    Oh, and before anyone mentions 19" wheels, I have those too - on my wife's P85. The 19's have a much "soggier" handling and don't do much to improve the ride comfort (the air pressure in the 19" tyres is very high, so these don't give much extra compliance).

    So, back to the original poster: yes, staggered tyres do improve the handling - but I don't think they'll improve the performance of your car. They are also very expensive, so you might want to think carefully about possibly waiting a bit longer and, if possible, upgrading to a (non-performance) 90D or 100D in due course. These cars do currently come with staggered tyres (albeit not the sublime Michelin Pilot Super Sports of the P90D or P100D) and would give you demonstrably-better performance (and range).

    (*) And I have it directly from Tesla's former Senior VP of vehicle engineering, a fellow "Brit", Chris Porritt, that it's the staggered setup that is required to improve steering feel and handling (and not - as I had thought - the overly-stiff suspension added to the P85+).
     
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  15. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Wait.. You're comparing dedicated winter snow tires to summer performance tires? There's s HUGE difference in those tires affecting your perceived handling differences.. It's not the staggered wheels.

    Staggered rims are only .75" wider in the rear.. About the width of your thumb. The fronts are the same 8.5" rims as non staggered. That additional.75" is not going to effect steering like you describe, it will only effect cornering at the extremes. You won't hit those extremes in winter snow tires.

    It's your tires that are making the difference.
     
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  16. Beretta911

    Beretta911 Member

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    I'm not sure what is wasteful or silly about it. I suspect my performance around an onramp is the same as a higher end model and there is nothing silly about the way it looks or feels on the road. Silly is spending money on suspension on a car that weighs what a S does. It's not a track car.
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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  18. d.c.palmer

    d.c.palmer Six years of EV driving

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    Well, actually, no. I've driven many, many different Model S cars - loaners - with and without staggered tyres. The rubber makes a subtle difference to grip in the corners, but it's the staggered setup that makes the biggest difference. Sorry to disappoint you, but it's real.
     
  19. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    It's not real, it's still all in your head, sorry to say. You really can't compare different cars, with different suspensions, different tires, different days (weather/temps) and conclude the differences you feel are 100% due to the staggered rear tires. The differences are not noticeable driving around well-used loaner cars around town for a day or two. Now I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise, but your methodology is dubious at best.

    On the other hand, I have driving the same car, the same tires (PS2s), the same suspension, and even the same day on both staggered and regular setups. I've driven thousands of miles on both setups with performance summer tires. The differences are not noticeable except maybe going around a track or an on/off ramp at 80mph -- you *might* detect a difference.

    Everything you mention here is a result of running extremely soft rubber winter tires with different rubber compound and tread patterns, not to mention different brands. You can't use this as a data point to compare to staggered rims with summer performance tires with significantly more grip.

    Also, you keep mentioning how the steering is better.. I'm having trouble with that because with the staggered setup, the front wheels/tires don't change and the marginally bigger rear wheels won't really affect steering like you say it does.

    All the differences you are describing are due to dozens of other factors that affect handling. The least of which is adding just 20mm of width to the rear tires.
     
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  20. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    The P85+ suspension plus staggered setup is the best handling Model S that Tesla made. Whether it's the suspension or the staggered tires, or both, the P85+ rides on rails, has extremely precise steering, and doesn't feel "floaty" like all of the Model S variations made since.
     

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