19" Turbine Style Wheels With All-Weather Tires

19" Turbine Style Wheels With All-Weather Tires

To me the Model S exterior styling is stunning, but I'm a little "meh" on the stock 19" wheels. I'd like to collect some data in hopes that TM would eventually offer the turbine style wheels as an upgrade. I'll post the final survey tally after a few weeks. Please only respond if you're currently planning on getting the 19" wheels.

1) I like the current 19" wheel style.
2) I like the turbine style, but wouldn't pay any more for them.
3) I'd pay up to $500 extra for the turbine style.
4) I'd pay up to $1000 extra for the turbine style.
5) I'd pay up to $1500 extra for the turbine style.
6) I'd pay up to $2000 extra for the turbine style.
7) I'd pay up to $2500 extra for the turbine style.

I'm a 5. Thanks in advance for your reply.

stephen.kamichik | 20. September 2012

I'm a 1 or 2.

ReeceWeb | 20. September 2012

I'm a #1.

I don't dislike the 21" turbine style, but the 19" wheels just seem more practical for year-round commuting.

For my (non-performance) Signature S, I ate the $3500 to get the 19" wheels. I would love to have been able to trade them for something useful to me like a HPWC or an extra mobile charging adapter set...

Ohms.Law | 20. September 2012

I'm a 3.

dborn | 20. September 2012

I am a 2 - 19 in turbine style are available and should be offered in place of the 21 - so much cheaper and practical at tire replacement time.

Volker.Berlin | 20. September 2012

1) and 2)

stephen.pace | 20. September 2012

In my current situation, (2). Like ReeceWeb, I ate the $3500 for a 19" wheel downgrade, and would have loved a turbine style 19" instead of the current default.

If I was ordering a Production, I probably would have said (4).

lajollan | 20. September 2012

I like 'em as is, but since Tesla dropped the disc wheels, they should offer the turbine ones. I think no more than $1,000 but how about the grey performance version? I'd probably go $1,500 for those!

georgevet | 20. September 2012

2 for the 19in turbine style
3 for the grey turbine style

kevjo | 20. September 2012

Of course the $3500 for the 21" wheels is ridiculously high but that wasn't the deal breaker for me. The reason I decided to go with the 19s is that they (tires) will last longer than the 21s and are less expensive to replace.

Having said that, I'm not wild about the design of the 19" wheels.

Getting Amped Again | 20. September 2012

Sorry Guys/Gals but I meant to limit this survey to buyers of a base Model S. I think many Sig and Perf buyers will say that they would have liked the option of a turbine style 19" wheel with all-season tires, and it should be a free option. That's another reason this wheel/tire combination should be offered for sure.

What I'm really after is what the base purchasers would pay to upgrade. I wasn't clear, my bad!

Stgwbrown | 20. September 2012

I would be a 1 or 2

h8young | 20. September 2012

2) for me.

dbullard | 20. September 2012


iholtzman | 20. September 2012

I ordered the stock model S. I got the 19" wheels because I wanted all season tires. While I like the turbine style better I do not want them even at the same price as they only offer summer tires and I do not want two sets of wheels. That is not one of your options.

Getting Amped Again | 20. September 2012 - Yeah I'm trying to build a case for TM to offer the turbine style in a 19" size, paired with all-season tires. I was hoping lots of people would be willing to pay extra for that option but it's not looking like they are.

Xav1976 | 21. September 2012

3 for the 19in turbine style
4 for the grey turbine style

jat | 21. September 2012

@iholtzman - the restriction on tires is because you can't get all-season tires in 21" low-profile. The look of the 19" rim won't change the options of what tire you can mount to it.

I'm 2/3 -- I prefer the turbine look, but I like the 19" rims just fine so I wouldn't pay much to upgrade them.

Note that for anyone in the 6/7 category, you can probably find 3rd-party rims that give you the look you want for the same overall cost.

toto_48313 | 21. September 2012

I'm 3

DennisM | 21. September 2012

I suppose I'd be a 2 or a 3. I chose not to upgrade to the 21" wheels even though I do like them better than the 19s. But it's because of the harsher ride and shorter life of low-profile tires. Cool to look at - but less practical. And I do think the 19s look good - just similar to other manufacturers' wheels.

olanmills | 21. September 2012

I'm a 5, but obviously, I would like to pay much less.

I don't think the normal 19" rims look bad; it's just that the turbine style is like the signature look of the car.

The fact that upgrading to them costs $3500 (I'm not getting Performance) made the decision to skip them easy, since it would not only be expensive, but also a hastle (faster wear, bad winter performance or wheel change required, more costly maintenence).

However, if the 21" rims were cheaper, it would have definitely made the decision tougher for me, as I really like the way they look.

jkirkebo | 22. September 2012

Rims are getting bigger and bigger each year. A few years ago you could only get high performance summer tires in 17". Now you can get all-seasons in 19". I do not think it will be long before someone offers 21" all-seasons.

J King | 22. September 2012

I would pay 3500 for 19 " turbine. I like the look so much that I am willing to suffer with the worse wear and ride of the 21s, and still pay the 3500, Give me the 19 inch all season in Turbine style, and TM can keep the 3500 I am set to pay for the 21s. Lucky I Live where winter weather is minimal.

KeithE | 22. September 2012

Thanks for posting this. I tried to post a response to George Bs blog a while ago re this exact topic. I live in nj and the roads suck here. I agree that the turbine wheels make the Model S look outstanding and unique. Currently I have my car configured with the 21" turbines but was told to go with he 19"s by several sales reps given wear, winter handling, price.... However I would be delighted to see TM offer 19 turbines and think it is the right move on their part. I would be willing to pay up to 2500 premium. I hope George is listening!

mw | 22. September 2012

I called Tesla many times when I found out the turbine style was 21 inch only and all weather treads stop at 20 inches. I am in love with the turbine style and feel stuck with the other ones since I am in OH and need all weather and have no patience for swapping wheels based on weather. I am a Sig S so I would be (2) since all options should be included for wheels. If I was general production I would pay $3500 to get 19 inch silver turbines.

GreenMachine13 | 07. Oktober 2012

I'm very disappointed that my only option is the 19" wheel that I find unattractive. Oh yeah, I could always purchase the 21" wheels and tires for $5,200(ridiculous). I live in Chicago. I'm hoping that Tesla will find a way to offer the turbine style wheel at 19" or 20" so I can put snow tires on it. I'd pay $3,500 for 19" or 20" grey turbine wheel.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | 07. Oktober 2012

+1 to a 19" fan wheel. I'm also in the North East, so went 19" for practical reasons, but would have preferred the fan wheel by far.

JakeP | 07. Oktober 2012

I am 1-4. Absolutely love the turbine styling, but live in the NE. Lack of a credit for 19" downgrade plus hassle of buying, storing and swapping second set of wheels kept me at standard 85kWh (loaded) instead of P85.

Robert22 | 07. Oktober 2012

Same as Mike. They need to amend their wheel options. The general public will never buy it.

Getting Amped Again | 07. Oktober 2012

Ok I think I can make a convincing argument that many base Model S buyers would pay a premium (say $500-$1500) to get 19" turbine style wheels with all-season tires, and that many Signature and Performance buyers would like that choice also (at no additional cost). Both of these scenarios result in TM making more money (after the fixed cost is amortized), so it seems to be a win-win situation.

How or to whom do I pitch this?

iholtzman | 07. Oktober 2012

I did not read your question correctly the first time. I would choose option 5.

RedShift | 07. Oktober 2012

I am a 1.

I'd love 18" or even 17", cause they are lighter. Wheels are the best to reduce weight in. They reduce rotational mass, which greatly improves handling.

I'd also love to see stainless steel or even brushed aluminium aero wheels sans any design.

Oaktowner | 07. Oktober 2012

1 or 2. I'm just not a rims guy, I guess.

jhuang | 07. Oktober 2012

I'd prefer a 20". :)

JakeP | 08. Oktober 2012

Start with a Tesla Ownership Experience representative, or perhaps send it straight to George B! It probably seems like a very minor thing to a California-based company, but it really is a big deal for the Northeast, upper Midwest and Canadian markets.

And it's not that we are criticizing the looks of the standard 19" is a *very* nice rim in its own right...but just that it seems somewhat less inspired than the incredible turbine style of the 21" wheel, which has become the signature (if you will) look of Model S. We simply all want to enjoy that look, available year-round on all-season tires!

sbern18 | 08. Oktober 2012

Having eaten the 3500 for perf w 19", would not want to spend more than 500. Hope this becomes an option soon.

Getting Amped Again | 08. Oktober 2012

Anyone know George Blankenship's email address?

stephen.kamichik | 08. Oktober 2012
Getting Amped Again | 08. Oktober 2012

Thanks stephen.kamichi.

Volker.Berlin | 08. Oktober 2012

On page 3 of this thread, Sofie posted a link to turbine style 19" rims from a third party:

dborn | 08. Oktober 2012

Interestingly, with tyres, a total of around $2000.00 for those 19inchers. I quite liked the two-tone rims- note that they are the same price as the silver ones.
So George, how about it? There are a large number of people wanting 19 inch and also turbine rims. Why not make these 19s an option for the sigs, and a nominal cost for the production group?

olanmills | 10. Oktober 2012

Thanks Volker. That actually seems like a nice option. I'm assuming that 2,111 krona price is per wheel, correct? That's not too bad. I wonder if I could find something like that in the US.

Also, I really hope someone else has a chance to try different tires on the 21" rims. The tire size that comes with the performance rims are 245/35R21. But what happens if you use tires that are 245/45R21? I have seen all season tires this size. I think the 45 means that the ratio between the height and the withd of the tires cross-section is 45%, so I think that would mean that the edge of the tire is a bit farther away from the rim than the 35's. Maybe it would still be okay?

jkirkebo | 11. Oktober 2012

No. The tires would be a full two inches larger in diameter, and the speedo would read 7% off. At least in the EU it is illegal to deviate more than 5% from the stock size.

Timo | 11. Oktober 2012

I think Model S can recalibrate the speedometer after tire change, at least I think I read that from somewhere. I think it did it using GPS and tire rotation information. Or something.

jerry3 | 13. Oktober 2012


It's the gearing and the extra stress on the motor and inverter that would be my concern, not the speedometer reading.

Timo | 15. Oktober 2012

Stress is quite small for motor of that size. There is more than enough power-induced tolerance to handle the extra stress. I however am a bit concerned how well it will fit in the car. One inch is sometimes enough to allow tire to hit the fender if you hit a pothole. That would not be good.

jerry3 | 15. Oktober 2012


But there are also gears and driveshafts. Snapping an axle isn't anyone's idea of fun.

Getting Amped Again | 20. Oktober 2012

My email to Mr. Blankenship and his response. I did my best to present a convincing case. The fact that he responded at all speaks volumes about this company. Please don't ding me for my pseudo-scientific poll - I'm just trying to make a case for a 19" turbine-style wheel with all-season tires.

Dear Mr. Blankenship,

As a Model S reservation holder, and an ardent supporter of your company and its goals, I respectfully ask that you consider adding a 19” turbine-style wheel coupled with all-season tires as an option for Model S configurations.

My forum post on the Tesla website resulted in three major findings:

1. The turbine wheel design style is a key part of the Model S brand image.
2. Many of Signature and Performance purchasers preferred all-season tires, but they “bit the bullet” for the performance tires just because of their desire for the turbine wheel styling. They are dissatisfied having to pay extra for all-season tires/wheels and having to change them twice-yearly.
3. The majority of Base Model S purchasers would pay extra to have a 19” turbine-style wheel coupled with all-season tires. It seems that an upgrade cost of $500 - $1500 would have a high adoption rate.

This results in two scenarios that both increase your profit per vehicle: Signature and Performance purchasers that select the no-cost downgrade option and its corresponding lower component costs, and Base Model S purchasers that pay a premium for a wheel that has the same component cost as the current 19” offering.

I’m not sure what your fixed cost is for a new wheel design, but assuming it’s $100,000 and you charge a $1000 upgrade premium, it only takes 100 cars to recover it. Past that you’re making an extra $1000 per vehicle where this option is selected, and my online poll indicates that it will be selected a high percentage of the time (guessing 40 – 60%). I’m not sure any of the other Model S options have this high of profit margin and potential for revenue generation.

Finally, although it’s hard to collect meaningful data from early adopters, I think you’ll find that the adoption rate of the $3500 high performance wheel/tire option will be very low by purchasers of Base Model S’s, and long term those customers are going to be the bulk of your sales. There’s just not that many people that will spend $85K or more on an automobile. However, the adoption rate of a $1000 upgrade to the 19” turbine-style wheel/all-season tire combination will be very high.

Having a 19” turbine-style wheel will reinforce and solidify the Model S brand image, increase the per-vehicle average profit, and will enhance overall brand loyalty. I respectfully urge you to consider it.

Thank you for your time,

His reply:

Thanks for the note and the suggestion. I discussed your idea at our exec staff meeting this week. It takes time to do this, but we'll see.

Have a great weekend!


toto_48313 | 20. Oktober 2012

"Having a 19” turbine-style wheel will reinforce and solidify the Model S brand image, increase the per-vehicle average profit, and will enhance overall brand loyalty. I respectfully urge you to consider it."

+ 1

Please George, consider it.

Alex K | 20. Oktober 2012

@Getting Amped Soon | OCTOBER 20, 2012: My email to Mr. Blankenship and his response.

I think they need to actually offer 20" wheels and tires (245/40R20). The 20" tire size is available in winter/summer/all-season. This is the best compromise I think because only 1 wheel size needs to be offered with a variety of choices for the tires.

See, for example,

Brian H | 20. Oktober 2012

That's about as polite and considerate and pertinent as it gets. Nice!