19" wheels real advantages???

19" wheels real advantages???

My debate with myself continues... What are the "real" benefits of the bigger wheels? Yes they look better however is there any real advantages? And disadvantages of the upgrade. Does it help / hurt performance? My understanding the 18" could get as much as a 10% increase in miles because of the rim caps? The 18" are starting to grow on me but maybe its I could just use that $1500 toward something else. Is there a significant increase in the cost of the tires? Any thoughts beyond they look great would be welcomed.

PaceyWhitter | September 29, 2017

Beyond the look, they have shorter sidewalls. This is a positive because that reduces sidewall flex an thus give the car the feeling of having more grip in the corners. However, this is a negative because it makes ride harsher and increases the chance of tire damage from potholes. Everything is a trade-off.

Iwantmy3 | September 29, 2017

Of all of the potential upgrades on the list, this is the easiest one to reject. $1500 "upgrade" that costs a substantial amount of range just doesn't appeal to me at all.

I will stick with the 18" and possible remove the aero caps when not on long trips.

Mozart | September 29, 2017

Low profile performance tires look better and handle better. However, they cost more, are more easily damaged, wear out faster, and ride rougher

Patronus | September 29, 2017

Oh, and because they likely have weight that is farther from the center of the wheel, they will be detrimental to range.

stevenmaifert | September 29, 2017

What byrned said!

95dawg | September 29, 2017

- Acceleration and range performance will suffer with higher unsprung weight. Increase in unsprung weight could also add additional stress to the suspension bits. M3 can handle 19s since it is an OEM option, but it is additional stress none the less. One could spend $$$$ on 19" ultralight wheels, but one could also buy 18" version of it.

- Go to a local track or track day event and see what racers are using. Unless the track is very smooth, you'll see 16/17/18 for the most part.

- Without beefy calipers and discs behind the larger wheels, it looks unattractive and takes away from having plus wheel/tire set.

Yodrak. | September 29, 2017

"Low profile ... tires look better and handle better ..."

Like many things, that's a matter of opinion. In another matter of opinion, I personally do not equate a rougher ride with better handling.

Frank99 | September 29, 2017

I agree with you, Yodrak. My butt and spine was a lot more tolerant of "road feel" when I was 18. Now that I'm not 18, my butt would prefer the shock absorption characteristics of a 65 series tire over a 40 series tire. I really don't care that Ricky Racer thinks the 40 series tire on a +2 wheel "looks better".
I've said before that if Tesla offered an optional 17" wheel, I'd take it in a minute.

tom8959 | September 29, 2017

"My debate with myself continues... What are the "real" benefits of the bigger wheels?"

I would say that appearance is indeed a "real" benefit - a benefit you'll enjoy every time you look at your beautiful car. That said, one can certainly argue whether the larger wheels are indeed better looking, or worth the extra cost.

For me, when the time comes to order my M3, I'll take the nineteens.

Pkalhan | September 29, 2017

Damn!! I never should have read this thread. I want to 19s as the look amazing, but it seems the negatives outweigh the benefits :(.

I am in agreement with @Tom8959 though, if they look good to you, that is a benefit that one will enjoy every time they walk up to their car. I think I will stick to my guns and still get the 19s even though the 18s seems to have more practical benefits.

ng0 | September 29, 2017

For me it's mostly going to be a decision about looks. I still haven't decided 100%, but I hate that the aero wheels just look so cheap.

stammit | September 29, 2017

This is the most level-headed thread I've seen in quite some time! I'm going with the 19's, but it's only for appearance. The stiffer sidewalls improve handling in only the most extreme driving conditions, and the extra weight will definitely impact performance & range.

The roads in PBC are basically perfect, so I don't have to worry too much about potholes, but I'd definitely go with the 18's if I lived up north.

rcobbjr | September 29, 2017

@tom yes I agree they look better and whether that is a benefit or not is personal. I won't really see them when I get in the car from my garage or the two seconds when I walk up to the car in a parking lot. I was looking for a car performance reason that would give me the push to spend the money. I too am not interested in a rougher ride even with potential better handling. I'm looking for a great smooth ride.

Haggy | September 29, 2017

I like the looks better. I'll be getting the car ASAP so I'll get the range whether I need it or not. Even moderate range loss shouldn't affect my ability to take trips, but it's questionable when I would take long trips instead of using the Model S. That could change with FSD. If I do use FSD, then ride comfort will be more of a deal than handling because the car will drive a certain way and would never come close to pushing the limits of handling.

Assuming I'll have plenty of range and may never need to charge on the road. then it comes down to handling vs comfort, and I expect the handling to be great to begin with. If handling is more important that ride quality and you really want to push things, then go for the larger wheels. If you merely like the looks better, that's up to you. Personally I plan to spend far more time inside the car than outside looking at my own wheels.

The best situation would be to test drive both first. I might be able to do that, but when ordering opens up, I will get the car faster if I confirm ASAP. Chances are slim that I wouldn't want the car, and while it would be the first time I bought a car without test driving it, it wouldn't be the first time I bought a car for my wife without her test driving it, and at this point I don't know who will drive which car more. So I might not have an opportunity to test drive before deciding, but I'll see.

deemo | September 29, 2017

For me, I will definitely get the basic wheels, if I find I don't like them with covers I will remove the covers and if still an issue, I will replace with another design of 18s. Replacing it later rather than up front gives more options, I have a second set of tires and wheels and even if replace should end up costing about the same.

michael | September 29, 2017

I'm going for the aero wheels even though I prefer the looks of the upgraded wheels. Not going to repeat what was already said (which I agree with) but I'll add:

1) Tires for the 18" wheels will both last longer and be cheaper due to the thicker sidewalls.
2) For those that despise the looks of the aero covers I'm betting it will be HIGHLY LIKELY there will be additional aero wheel cover designs offered by Tesla, third party, or likely both.
3) Curb rash! With thicker sidewalls the rim of the wheel is higher off the ground meaning it's less likely to get kissed by curb rash than the 19" wheels. Also - if the covers are on it is more likely the covers will get scraped vs. the wheel itself. If I scrape the covers big deal - I'll buy some new ones which will be way less than alloy wheels.

noleaf4me | September 30, 2017

I'm sticking with the 18. I'll spend the $1500 on a sporty set of new 18" rims WITH tires as that is about what you'd pay for them (then you'll have a spare set!)

tstolz | September 30, 2017

Pros for 19s
- Better looks (albeit subjective)
- Better handling

- More expensive to buy
- Rubber costs more
- Rubber wears out faster? (... maybe)
- Ride is more harsh

- Get the 18s and remove the covers when not needed for range ... and/or
- Use the 18s for winter rims and get a second awesome set for summers

Pkalhan | September 30, 2017

Ok, for poops and giggles I just started looking at tire rack and eBay based off of what the speculated information that is available for the 18'' wheels...

Size: 18X8.5"
Offset: +40
PCD: 5X114.3
Center Bore: 64.1mm

What I found was that whatever I found based on this information and adding tires would cost more than the $1,500 upgrade to the 19s. Now that all being said, I have absolutely no knowledge on fitment or anything else about getting aftermarket wheels. If anyone is able to find me a set of gloss back wheels that would fit these specs, I would be very grateful


Patronus | September 30, 2017

Comparing aftermarket wheels/tires to the factory upgrade is not exactly apples-to-apples. With the aftermarket approach you will have your stock wheels and tires to do what you want with - sell, use as spares/winter beaters, use wheels for winter tires, etc. With the factory upgrade you only get the upgraded wheels and tires.

Efontana | September 30, 2017

For me it is about what tires can fit on the wheels. I want 18s, but this tire:

Pilot Sport 4S

is only the right overall diameter in 19. I'll likely see what sizes they offer at time of order before choosing the rim.

ReD eXiLe ms us | October 1, 2017

Pkalhan: Don't forget the cost of the tire pressure monitor sensors. Apparently a Tesla needs a specific type.

Pkalhan | October 1, 2017

@Red eXiLe... :(

I think I will just stick with the 19s and call it a day