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Standard Wheel/Tire Size for Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Zoomit, May 7, 2016.

  1. Zoomit

    Zoomit Part 3 Awaiter

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    A few sources have shown that the cars at the Model 3 unveil had 20" wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports in the following staggered sizes:

    Front: 235/35-20
    Rear: 275/30-20

    The wheels are probably:

    Front: 20" x 8.0"
    Rear: 20" x 9.5"

    These wheels/tires are undoubtedly an upgrade option. But based on the outer diameter of these tires, it's pretty straightforward to speculate about the standard wheel and tire size. For both the S and X, the front tire width in the large wheel option is the same as the standard tire width; 245 and 265 mm respectively. I think the same will hold for Model 3 and the tires will be:

    235/45-18

    The wheels will probably be:

    18" x 8.0"

    There's a good chance the tire will be the Michelin Primacy MXM4, the same as the standard Model S tire. These go for $255 from Tire Rack.

    Here are a couple of other options with a similar diameter, but they don't make as much sense:

    245/45-18 --This is possible, but they wouldn't have a wider standard tire than the optional large tire option.

    220/50-18 --This is pretty narrow for a sport sedan that has the power to do 0-60 in <6 seconds

    215/50-18 --This is too narrow for a sport sedan that has the power to do 0-60 in <6 seconds

    235/50-17 --This works if the wheels are 17", but I think they'll do 18" for the standard wheel. This is more sidewall than is desirable or typical (4.6" vs 4.2" for the 235/45-18).

    What does all this mean? Not much unless this speculation is confirmed by Tesla. But it might help if you're looking for summer performance tires to replace the 18" OE tires. Also, it might help if you want to price out winter wheel/tire packages.
     
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  2. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Michelin Pilot Super Sports (4 tires) come up to $1,182.10 a bit more than I expected but not by much. Oh yeah, I forgot the governor's cut. That's another 9%.
     
  3. roguenode

    roguenode Member

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    As long as I can get Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2's for winter, I'll be happy. The do come in 235/45/18 for about a grand.

    I really like the 20" rims that are on the silver model 3 that's been seen around recently. I would love it if that design were offered in a non-staggered 18" or 19" set I could use with winter tires.
     
  4. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    Great analysis Zoomit. I will be going for the smallest wheel size allowed i.e. more rubber and less rim.
     
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  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    I'd suggest 17x8". Lighter, cheaper, better fuel economy, and more choices in tires.

    Fk fashion. Gimme range, performance, handling, and lots of tire choices.
     
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  6. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    17s or 18s (preferred) please. Want some sidewall for a daily driver, and especially for the misses when she drives. I don't mind low profiles on a weekend car (I have 19s on the S5), but not every day.

    Good analysis, and I think you are spot on.
     
  7. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    I think 17's are more likely for the base model since they will give better efficiency and are good enough at handling the vehicle weight and acceleration.
     
  8. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #8 McRat, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
    One of the cars in my stable came shod with 17/18's:

    2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - First Test - Motor Trend

    I refuse to sell the "Blue Meanie" because it's such a damn good car. It's not fast, but it's more fun than a car has any right to be.

    The crowning feature of the 17/18's is the very low weight of the car and razor sharp handling.

    PS - after a little tweaking, it ran 11.26 @ 124 mph. This is right up there with Ludicrous P90D's, except the Z will sustain speeds over 150mph until the tank is dry.

    mcrat.jpg
     
  9. ZAKEEUS

    ZAKEEUS Member

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    I can't do more than 18s the roads here are awful. A pretty 20" rim doesn't do me any good cracked.
     
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  10. Tes LA

    Tes LA

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    I honestly don't want any bigger than 18's on my très. I had those big rims and low profile tires in college and I was lucky I didn't die the day I had a really bad blowout on the highway. Never again.
     
  11. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    The Model 3 is very much about economy so both with regard to:
    - cost of wheels and tires
    - achieving rated range with a given battery pack size, I.e. efficiency. Why? So you can pick a slightly smaller battery which saves Tesla a lot on cost.
    They'll be using smaller and narrower wheels than some think.
     
  12. 2early4flapjacks

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    I 'm fairly certain it will be 19's for the base, 20's for upgrade. Unless 20's are standard and you can upgrade to 21's. I'm extremely doubtful on 18's, no way 17's.
     
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  13. ZAKEEUS

    ZAKEEUS Member

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    The standard on the S is 19"s so it won't be 20"s on the 3.
     
  14. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    19's work great for supercars that go 200mph.
     
  15. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    Fairy certain the demo cars had 20's in which case standard will be 18' not 19.
     
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  16. Zoomit

    Zoomit Part 3 Awaiter

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    Something I didn't realize until doing this is that the Model 3 tire diameter is larger than other cars "in its class". The diameter, at 26.6", is 0.5-1.5" larger than competitive cars. That means it needs larger wheels to have similar sidewall height. Just over 4.0" appears to be the typical sidewall height for entry-luxury cars and the non-performance oriented EVs I considered. Performance versions of the entry-luxury cars have sidewalls around 3.5".

    The 20" Model 3 sidewall is 3.2", which on the short side.
    The 18" Model 3 sidewall is 4.2", about average in this list.
    The 17" Model 3 sidewall is 4.6", which is definitely tall compared to the other cars in this list. Hence, I doubt this will be the standard size, and likely not an option.

    Here's a table sorted two ways:
     
  17. Zoomit

    Zoomit Part 3 Awaiter

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    One finer point about the 18" tire size is that the Model 3 4.2" sidewall is right in the middle of the A4, 3-series, and C Class. Each of those cars offer both 17" and 18" tires in their non-performance versions. The corresponding sidewall heights are 4.3, 4.4 and 4.4" for the 17" and 3.9, 4.0 and 4.0" for the 18".

    So again, it seems pretty clear that there will be a standard 18" wheel/tire and a 20" wheel/tire as an option.

    I doubt there will be a 17" tire option, but it may be possible to fit aftermarket wheels for those inclined. The constraint will be the front brake disk diameter which will set the clearance to the caliper.
     
  18. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    So from what I have read so far, there is a good chance M3 will come with either 18' or 20' wheels.

    What are the chances of getting the smaller rim in dark grey rather than standard silver? I've just been to our local Tesla store over the weekend and it seems for the Model S, there are 5 color/styles to pick from with the larger wheel size but just one standard color and style for the smaller wheel. I just cannot understand why there is such a push for larger wheels. Yes it looks better but surely the smaller wheel has other advantages. It is the same across the board BMW, Audi and even Toyota - smaller wheel comes with no choice.

    BTW The Model S with the smaller 19' wheels looks absolutely stunning. But why do people go for the 20' wheel with a thinner rubber with its reduced range, increased road noise, reduced comfort, more expensive tire, more chance of curb damage all for a slight improvement in handling, grip and looks - I just cannot understand.
     
  19. 22522

    22522 Member

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    Thanks for the details. I think the 235 might be wide enough for the front, but the car will be safer with 245s all around.

    If you put a Holden Pontiac G8 on the list, it wears these shoes:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/SelectTireSize.jsp?autoMake=Pontiac&autoModel=G8&autoYear=2008&autoModClar=

    245/45 18

    I think the Holden is a better standard bearer than any of the cars mentioned.
    Four wheel drive with 245/45 18 all around will give the car the best safety profile.

    It is always better when process capability exceeds expectations. That is true with tires, too.
     
  20. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    IIRC, the original {1964} GTO came with E78-14 Redline Uniroyal Tiger Paws. They sucked at traction and wear resistance, but would allow the greatest burnout from a standing start you could imagine. I'm really hoping for less rim, more rubber so 17's or 18's would be okay with me as standard equipment. I'm also ok if you want to upgrade to the biggest wheels offered. To each their own.

    So, I guess it depends on the priorities set when choosing the tires. The only thing I am reasonably certain of though, I don't think the 3's coming on tires made for a wicked burnout and poor everything else. :p
     

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