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 | March 16, 2019

Thanks for the insight!

Mathew.williams | March 16, 2019

Sure, My first post!

Magic 8 Ball | March 16, 2019

Pics or it didn't happen.

Bighorn | March 16, 2019

So what was the change from before?

JAD | March 16, 2019

Can you provide wh/mile before and after?

ODWms | March 16, 2019

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

tarasmills | March 17, 2019

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

JAD | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 17, 2019

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

twistedskipper | March 17, 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 | March 17, 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 | March 18, 2019


Spartan-117 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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 | March 18, 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