Wheel Size?

Wheel Size?

Are those 18" wheels on the new Model 3 pictures?

Ehninger1212 | 06. April 2017

That seems about right proportionally, if its roughly the same size and a BMW 3 or Audi A4.

Ehninger1212 | 06. April 2017

Im pretty sure the BMW it was seen testing with has the 18" Double Spoked397 wheels.

Red Sage ca us | 06. April 2017

Looks like 18" and 20" will be Standard and Performance wheel sizes on Model ☰, respectively.

brando | 09. April 2017

To keep costs down
16" base for best ride and lowest cost/price
18" for better cornering performance

Perhaps Red can tell us if there is a premium for 20" wheels?
20" custom for third party or later release

Red Sage ca us | 09. April 2017

Chances are there will be multiple design choices for wheels. But I suspect only two officially offered diameter sizes. Their might be an offset width version for Performance cars. Some of these are bound to command a premium. It will likely be possible to use aftermarket wheels as small as 16" or 17" with an appropriate bolt pattern for use on the base cars with smaller brake rotors.

Bighorn | 09. April 2017

I think 18/20 makes the most sense. I don't think they'll downsize rotors too much given the weight of the battery.

Civicrick | 09. April 2017

Plus the weight of the trailer when towing with RWD

JeffreyR | 09. April 2017

See Motor Trend exclusive photo shoot at GF. They read off tire/wheel specs.

Bighorn | 09. April 2017

Thanks, Jeffrey--so 20 inch on the demo.

JeffreyR | 09. April 2017

Anytime @BH

Sorry still on iPad (lazy Sunday)

carlgo2 | 09. April 2017

20s work well on the big cars and so should be great on the 3, looking really big as the car is so low. No need to pine for impractical 22s.

BTW, ultra low profile tires only outperform the standard sizes on ultra smooth race track-like surfaces. On our typical rough roads they tend to be bouncing around and not contacting the road as well as the standard sizes. Sure look good though!

Carl Thompson | 09. April 2017

I never got the whole wheel thing. Why do bigger wheels look better to people? Why pay thousands of dollars to upgrade the look of a wheel? Seems like such a minor part of the car and such a waste of money for no benefit. Bigger wheels even lower your energy efficiency.


Frank99 | 09. April 2017

To each his own - I'm not a fan of the "rubber band on a rim" look. It's a fashion fad, and will pass. Give me 17's or 18's, and enough sidewall to let the tire survive a pothole encounter, and I'm good.

Carl Thompson | 09. April 2017


Not sure it will pass... People have been going on about wheels for longer than I've been alive. Probably much longer.


Frank99 | 09. April 2017

Oh, I agree - wheels are an easy way to personalize your ride. I think the fad of oversized rims and undersized tires is what's going to go away.

Ehninger1212 | 10. April 2017

@carl and frank

I agree with both of you. I would get 18's over 20's. For multiple reason. Cheaper better on the road, and I like a little more tire profile.

KP in NPT | 10. April 2017

I get why some people go for the bigger tires but it's entirely too impractical for us - no place to keep winter tires, plus the roads on my commute are horrible, and in RI are the worst in the country. My regular drive to JFK would chew through performance tires. It would just be stupid IMO.

Sandy’s 3 | 10. April 2017

In Ontario Canada 18's for sure. Pothole hell. Less expensive replacement tires to boot.

4fishtankz | 10. April 2017

what are the benefits and drawbacks of each between the 18" and 20"? Smooth ride, performance? With all the rain our streets are pothole city, with some spots more pothole than road.

Frank99 | 10. April 2017

20" wheels with extremely low profile tires look cool to some.
18" wheels with higher profile tires are much more resilient and less likely to get damaged by road debris or potholes, and less likely to damage the rim due to road debris or potholes.

20" wheels with low profile tires are supposed to be "higher performance" - to provide more grip when going around a corner, especially on smooth surfaces. I find this unlikely - there's no race series that I know of where drivers choose a low-profile tire over a higher profile tire.

20" wheels with low profile tires tend to have a much stiffer (read: jarring) ride over bumps than an 18 with higher profile tires.

20" wheels with low profile tires tend to wear much quicker than an 18 with higher profile tires.

20" wheels with low profile tires allow for a bigger diameter brake rotor, improving braking performance on the track. Not so much on the street, unless you're driving in ways that will likely get you thrown in jail.

20" wheels with low profile tires tend to have higher rotational inertia than 18" wheels with high profile tires - that means the 20 will have slightly slower acceleration.

20" low-profile tires are much more expensive than 18" high-profile tires.

Hows that for a comparison?

Red Sage ca us | 11. April 2017

I first saw 18" wheels on Chrysler, Dodge, and EAGLE cars at a car show over 20 years ago. They looked HUGE to me then. They still look rather gigantic to me. So, 20", 22", and 24" wheels are absolute overkill to my eye. Most of the time they just look like wagon wheels.

4fishtankz | 11. April 2017

Thanks Frank99, that helps a LOT. Gotta go for comfort :). What size wheels are on the prototypes being seen?

Ccarmac1 | 11. April 2017

will it be possible to use model S rims on a model 3?

Frank99 | 11. April 2017

Unknown at this time.

noleaf4me | 11. April 2017

no need for anything more than 18.

4fishtankz | 11. April 2017

OK, 18" it is, especially if I want to get other items on my wish list.