Tesla Model 3 long range with 20 inch staggered wheel set and range loss

Tesla Model 3 long range with 20 inch staggered wheel set and range loss

For those wanting to upgrade wheel and tires to 20 inch. I installed a set of 20 inch TSportline wheels that are staggered on my LR Model 3. I am posting this to share my experience and expected range loss. I removed the stock aero wheels and installed a set of staggered 20 inch wheels (Tires Michelin Pilot sport 4S front 235/35/ZR 20 rear 275/35 ZR 20). The wheels and tires fit perfectly (no rubs) and give the car a very smooth ride. It really hugs the road and gives the car a BMW M3 staggered wheel look. My 63 mile round-trip commute now consumes 82 miles of battery range range. About what I had expected...

Tessa75D | 16 March, 2019

Thanks for the insight!

Mathew.williams | 16 March, 2019

Sure, My first post!

Magic 8 Ball | 16 March, 2019

Pics or it didn't happen.

Bighorn | 16 March, 2019

So what was the change from before?

JAD | 16 March, 2019

Can you provide wh/mile before and after?

ODWms | 16 March, 2019

Also, inquiring minds would like to know if there’s any improvement in 0-60 time due to the better (?) grip.

tarasmills | 17 March, 2019

what back spacing did you have to go with? and how big are they,20x_ _?

JAD | 17 March, 2019

Getting more questions and no answers, but why not go with a 275/30 which would have a much closer diameter? You are riding pretty high in back.

I am staggered but only with 245/35 in back but never had the 18's to compare. I am slightly disappointed with my usage of about 260wh/mi compared to my p85 which gets 285 wh/mi in a much bigger, older car but it has 19s with Eco tires versus 20s on 4S tires which I guess is pretty significant.

ODWms | 17 March, 2019

Tires make that muchof a difference? Wow. I would it think it would be that significant, especially considering the weight/size disparity. I’m assuming the S is significantly heavier than the 3

Spartan-117 | 17 March, 2019

@Mathew.williams. Thanks for posting, I have been considering the same set up. Tsportline staggered 20s. Glad to finally hear some feedback. Are you happy with the set up, any regrets?. Do you have RWD or AWD? Did you lower also? If not, how do you like the 20s with the stock height?

Thanks again!

Mathew.williams | 17 March, 2019

Hi I have pictures to post but i don't see a way to post them on this forum. I did not need to add any wheel spacers in the back. The rims and tires were plug and play. Tire sizes Michelin Pilot Sport 4S front 235/35/ZR 20 rear 275/35 ZR 20). I did not check the wh/mile before and after. The original tires were the 18 inch stock Tesla aero wheels. I was curious to find out if my zero to sixty time improves. With a lot more meat on the rears I suspect it would but i have not measured. This is an early rear wheel drive long range Model.

Bighorn | 17 March, 2019

The contact patch area doesn’t change with wider tires—it gets wider and shorter. Same area touching pavement—physics. Wider tires reduce oversteer/-doesn’t help launch. Better rubber gives better traction, but worse efficiency. Heavier wheels hamper acceleration. If you want to be quick, get lighter 18s.

Mathew.williams | 17 March, 2019

I did not lower the car, it is stock height. No regrets, they look great! As long as you can handle the range loss. They really make the car look like a sports car and less like a Prius. If i had to do it over again I might select a 255/265 rear, maybe that would take less of a hit on range,

EleVen23 | 17 March, 2019

I have the 20" Performance wheels and also interested in wider tires. My stock tires are at 6K miles, still in good shape and came with the acoustic lining inside (Tesla rated tires). Noise level on the tires is very good.

My concern is that wider tires, either on 8.5" or 10" rim, are not T-rated which do not have acoustic lining and may be noisier. Has anyone noticed any increase in tire noise due to the wider tires ?

Magic 8 Ball | 17 March, 2019

Post pics on a hosting site and put links to the images here.

twistedskipper | 17 March, 2019

True. Wider tires only increase contact patch area if you can lower the tire pressure, which depends on the tire still being rated to carry whatever weight is on it at the lower pressure.

Tim2088 | 17 March, 2019

I went with the staggered 20's from Tsportline as well, but saved some money on tires and went with Falken tires. I also have the Tsportline lowering springs and have no issues with rubbing. It really changes the look of the car.

ODWms | 18 March, 2019


Spartan-117 | 18 March, 2019

Sounds like you get the look and feel of a sports car. Cornering must be amazing!

How was your experience with tsportline? Was shipping/delivery quick? Did the quality of the wheels meet your expectations?


gmr6415 | 18 March, 2019

Wider tires just distribute the same weight over a larger area of contact with the road; therefore, less weight per square inch of contact. It's not going to increase traction at launch. If the new tires have a more open tread pattern they can even reduce true contact area with the road and traction.

JAD | 18 March, 2019

The THEORY that wider will not increase grip only works in a laboratory making certain assumptions. The REALITY is a wider tire with the deformation of the rubber and irregularities of the road surface will definitely provide more grip. Look at EVERY car and you will never find wider tires in front and virtually always find wider in back in higher powered cars because the wider tires do provide more grip.

The added grip can be reduced by added weight and rotational mass, so bigger is not always better, but you will get more grip holding everything else constant.

Based on the power and weight of the 3P, wider rear tires should provide a slight improvement in acceleration. That is one of the reasons Tesla wanted 275's on the car, but settle on 235 for range. They actually tuned track mode using a 245 tire.

It would be really nice if someone with 18's would measure their wh/mi before moving to the 20's with performance rubber to get a good idea or range loss with the performance tire upgrade. I am guessing 10-15% based on my experience with 20's only compared to the Model S.

twistedskipper | 18 March, 2019

Possibly the main reason wider tires generally offer better dry pavement traction, whether lateral or longitudinal, is because they have different goals and are therefore constructed differently (e.g. stiffer sidewalls) and use softer compounds. A larger contact patch can also have a better chance at conforming to surface irregularities. I also read somewhere that because the pounds per sq. in. is lower, a softer compound can last longer than it would on a narrower tire.

JAD | 18 March, 2019

Here is a little video showing some of the physics using a dragster for maximum acceleration, it is very complex, not physics 101. Please note they do not use a lightweight 18" rim with 235 tire for maximum acceleration :)

JAD | 18 March, 2019

@twistedskipper, true, wider only adds grip in the dry. In the wet and snow wider tires lift off the road and lose grip.

gmr6415 | 18 March, 2019

@JAD, As someone who used to build and race drag cars I can tell you that wider tires of a same composition do not provide better traction on launch from a dead stop. In fact in wet conditions traction can be drastically reduced.

Here is a pretty good explanation of when it works and when it doesn't . This is the reason drag racers go to treadless slicks and a much softer composition. The width isn't what gives more traction under straight on acceleration.


As an engineer, I know that friction does not depend upon surface area. As a car nut, I know that wider tires have better traction. How do you explain this contradiction?
Asked by: Mark Secunda

This is a good question and one which is commonly asked by students when friction is discussed. It is true that wider tires commonly have better traction. The main reason why this is so does not relate to contact patch, however, but to composition. Soft compound tires are required to be wider in order for the side-wall to support the weight of the car. softer tires have a larger coefficient of friction, therefore better traction. A narrow, soft tire would not be strong enough, nor would it last very long. Wear in a tire is related to contact patch. Harder compound tires wear much longer, and can be narrower. They do, however have a lower coefficient of friction, therefore less traction. Among tires of the same type and composition, here is no appreciable difference in 'traction' with different widths. Wider tires, assuming all other factors are equal, commonly have stiffer side-walls and experience less roll. This gives better cornering performance.
Answered by: Daryl Garner, M.S., Physics teacher MacArthur High School, Lawton, OK

Friction is proportional to the normal force of the asphalt acting upon the car tires. This force is simply equal to the weight which is distributed to each tire when the car is on level ground. Force can be stated as Pressure X Area. For a wide tire, the area is large but the force per unit area is small and vice versa. The force of friction is therefore the same whether the tire is wide or not. However, asphalt is not a uniform surface. Even with steamrollers to flatten the asphalt, the surface is still somewhat irregular, especially over the with of a tire. Drag racers can therefore increase the probability or likelihood of making contact with the road by using a wider tire. In addition a secondary benefit is that the wider tire increased the support base and makes it hard to turn the car over in a turn or in a mishap.
Answered by: Stephen Scholla, B.A., Physics Teacher, Vienna, Virginia

Foxxx | 29 April, 2019

This is the wheel, tire, and suspension set up on our Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range. Our car was equipped with 18's and 235/45s.

Front Wheels 20 X 9 - Forgiato Form Flow
Front Tires 245/35 R20 - Nexen N'Fera SU1

Rear Wheels 20 X 10 - Forgiato Form Flow
Rear Tires 275/30 R20 - Nexen N'Fera SU1

We also installed D2 Racing Lowering Springs.

The drop is aggressive but the fitment is beautiful with no rubbing, good ride quality, and handling. We have to be careful of large speed bumps, steep driveways, and big potholes with lower suspension. This was more for visual style preference than it was for track or 0 - 60 times. We don't track our car and it is plenty fast for daily driving.

I would imagine that the range is less but I can't say that with any certainty, to be honest. I have heard that lowering the car increases its efficiency but I do not know if that is true. We do frequently take road trips in the car with luggage for two and still no rubbing or issues with range. We go where we want and charge as needed. But my driving style is conservative on road trips usually traveling just a little over the speed limit but slower than most other cars on the road. Before the wheel, tire and suspension upgrade and when the care was still new my style was much more aggressive on road trips but we did a trip from California to Colorado when I noticed that the higher speeds wasted a lot more energy so now we travel at a conservative but safe rate of speed.

I think when making this kind of upgrade, forged wheels are worth the expense for there quality, strength and lightweight.

If you would like to see pictures

If you are curious about the cost of anything just message me. This post got a little long.

nalari10 | 30 April, 2019


I did installed the D2 racing springs, but my car got so low it was very hard to drive but the car looked oustanding with stock 18 rims. So I switched for Eibachs and the ride is very firm and much better since I also installed 20 rims on it.

My question is, did any of the M3 owners lost the regenerating brakes after installing stagerred rims. I lost after mine were installed. Thanks

lbowroom | 30 April, 2019

What exact sizes did you install? I have 245/40-19 on an 8.5 in front and a 275/35-19 on the rear. No change in regen.

nalari10 | 30 April, 2019

Hi ibowroom,

Mine were 235/35/20 fronts and 285/35/20 rears, don't know after the installation my regen is not working

Legendisdope | 30 April, 2019

nalari10 - do you have any pics? and what is the eibach part # please? I am interested in lowering as well.

lbowroom | 30 April, 2019

Did you double check that your settings aren't on low? Do you have a notice about limited regen?

JAD | 30 April, 2019

You kept the 35 profile going up 50 mm only in the rear??? That is going to screw up the computer big time. I would not drive the car like that, the abs and sensors are going to be out of spec with that big diameter variance. Very dangerous.

nalari10 | 1 May, 2019

Hi Legend, the installer got the springs from ebay here is the link

Hi Ibow, settings are on standard and never got any notice about limited regen.

Hi Jad, I didn't choose the tire size was the installers that order and installed. What do you think I should go with the fronts? I can always change them. Would 45 or 55 be better? thanks for the output

JAD | 1 May, 2019

You want to keep the diameter of the tires close to factory. So the fronts are factory 235/35/20 which means the diameter of the rim is 20" plus 35% of the 235 width or 82.25 mm for each sidewall, so the diameter is 26.48". pi times diameter gives you a circumference of 83.19 in.

Compared that to the rear, 285/35/20, 20" + 3.93"x2, diameter is 27.86, so circumference is 87.5 in.

So the car is design to have the front and rear wheels going the same speed and you have the fronts going 5% slower. That is really beyond what the ABS and traction control can handle in my experience. Usually 2-3% is fine, more than that causes big issues.

So normally if you want to run wider tires, they should be a lower profile, like a 285/30/20. The 5% smaller sidewall means your diameter is 26.72 and your circumference is 83.9 in. Well within acceptable variance and your ABS and regen would likely work as designed.

You can use similar math or look at the website to see revolutions per mile to choose an appropriate sized tire for the front, like a 245/40/20. If you go bigger in front and match the rear circumference, ABS etc should work, but your speedo and odometer will likely be off. I would suggest trying to get the correct rear tires as AP also uses wheel speed and you could create new issues.

nalari10 | 1 May, 2019

Thanks Jad for the input appreciated, will get new back tires.

nalari10 | 2 May, 2019

Hi Jad,

Getting new back tires, will keep the fronts. On the back would you suggest 275/30/20 or 275/35/20. Before I go order these tires. Thanks for the help.

JAD | 2 May, 2019

275/30/20, the 35 is almost as bad as the 285/35. the 275/30 is the exact same diameter as stock and I would guess will fix all your issues.

nalari10 | 2 May, 2019

sounds good thanks for the help

Tuning In | 2 May, 2019

Tell me again why you'd want staggered wheels instead of square? It is because you prefer the car to understeer?

nalari10 | 8 May, 2019

Changed the back tires and now everything looks good and regen started working. Thanks for the advise JAD.