Anyone besides me want a Performance Plus - 19 option

Anyone besides me want a Performance Plus - 19 option

I am struggling with getting the 21" or the 19" inch tires for my July 2014 car. Probably going to go with the 19" but not decided. I have driven the car with 19" but not with the 21" yet. I"m hoping to decide to go with the 19" wheels as I don't want to be replacing tires so often.
It makes sense to have a Performance Plus - 19 option since it's about more than bigger tires. Increased range, better handling. It also shouldn't cost as much as the cost of going from the 19" wheels to the 21" wheels option should be separated out.

Jolanda | September 14, 2013

I would have ordered the plus option if it were available without the 21" rims. With th 21" rims the TCO of the car steps out of budget.

ScottV | September 14, 2013

I was debating on whether to get the 21" wheels, until I saw a customer's car in the SC that had 10K miles on it and the treads were VERY shallow. I don't want the expense of annual tire replacement, nor do i want to restrain my driving habits to squeeze miles out of each tire set. IMO, if you have the discretionary budget to replace the tires more often - i'd say go for it. The 21's look great on the car and give slightly better handling with the P85 at speed, esp. on curves with greater contact area to the road.

jat | September 14, 2013

The P+ option consists of wider rear rims and stiffening up the rear suspension, so putting 19" wheels on it is losing the rear traction benefits part of the upgrade.

If you want wider 19" wheels, you can get that after-market pretty easily.

Kimscar | September 14, 2013

You have overlooked part of my post it's more than putting 19" tires on the plus package, by selling a Performance Plus 19" package it should cost less because the option of going from 19" inch rims to 21" rims is $4,500.00 dollars. Also the tuning of the suspension might be slightly different between 19" and 21" tires.

shop | September 14, 2013

If you want the full benefit of the plus package, ie being able to hug the road and corner like on rails, then you need softer tires that grip better. Which means 10,000 mile replacements. It is what it is.

mrrjm | September 14, 2013

I think the reason the tires are wearing out with the + package is because of the level of abuse they get. The tires I bought for my Porsche they told me would last only 3-4k. 7k Miles later they were still like new. When I get my MS+ I'll post my findings.

NomoDinos | September 14, 2013

Kimscar - Sorry I'm no engineer, but I asked the same question and lolachampcar explained why the 21's are required for the plus. I believe it had something to do with the wider tires being able to compensate for the stiffer, less compliant bushings or something. Try using for the explanation, sorry I can't remember the name of the thread (and couldn't find it on my first pass)

jat | September 14, 2013

@mrrjm - sticky, low-profile tires are going to wear quicker, particularly with all the negative camber in the rear. I have had friends with Vettes that burned through the rears in under 10k miles. That is one of the reasons I went with 19", though I bought aftermarket wheels/tires dedicated for track use (265/35ZR20 g-Force Rivals and 20x9 BBS CH-Rs) - I expect to get about 10 track days out of them, or under 1500mi.

Kimscar | September 14, 2013

@shop -I fully understand that those cornering will not be as good with the 19"s as it would be with the 21"s. I'm okay with that.

@mrrjm - I believe after reading many posts n the 21" tires that even if you drive them in a mild manner they will wear out faster. Softer tires, occasional alignment problems. Of course the need for speed (top gun) will reduce your wear.

@NoMoDinos - I agree with your statement and lolachampcar is the expert. But I believe it is a matter of them also tuning the suspension for the 19" tires. I had also thought that the tuning of the suspension might need to be tweaked.

@jat - I agree with your last statement.

NomoDinos | September 14, 2013

Kimscar - sorry, misread your post. I would definitely choose a 19" performance plus option. I just can't bring myself to replace tires every year, no matter how great they look or handle.

carlk | September 14, 2013

I don't think you can order 19" with performance package. You can replace them with after market tires but the just defeats the purpose. Why not just get a non-plus performance model?

For people who want that kind of performance you just have to pay the price. There is no high performance car in the world that uses long thread life tires. To me I don't think having to replace the tires every year or so is that big a deal. I don't like the environment aspect of it though.

Kimscar | September 14, 2013

@carlk - as it stands now my plan is a P85. Given the option to get a plus version with 19" wheels would:
1. Increase range. ( if it improves it for the 21"s I imagine it improves it for the 19"s)

2. Increase handling. Yes I know it won't perform the same as the 21"s but that's okay it would perform better than the P85 without a plus with 19" wheels.

3. Cost should be $2000.00 to 4000.00 less than the plus as it exists now. That is assuming that it wouldn't take much time to tune the suspension and it wouldn't be hard to implement during the production process.

@NoMoDinos you and I are thinking the same about the tires issue.

Gizmotoy | September 14, 2013

I find this a bit weird as well. There are a large number of performance cars that use 18" wheels and optionally 19"s. Indeed, the general advice on the subject is to stay small because they're lighter and reducing unsprung weight is key.

Most of the comments here say you should get the 21"s for the softer tires... why not just offer the 19"s with softer tires? The 21"s are 35s, I wonder what the exact sizing is on the 19"s. Theyll have more sidewall roll, but several manufacturers now make soft extreme performance tires in standard profiles with very stiff sidewalls.

To make matters worse, the 21"s are staggered sizing on the plus, so you can't even rotate them.

jat | September 14, 2013

Driving my S85 at the track with stock 19" wheels, I didn't notice the rear suspension being soft. After I ran the track with 20" g-Force Rivals (which are much stickier than even the P+ rubber), I could feel what people have characterized as the floaty feeling in the rear. So, I suspect you have to have the stickier tires to even notice the need for the stiffer suspension.

Gizmotoy | September 14, 2013

@jat: I'm curious how that works out. Do you just get a lap or two in? We're you able to recharge at the track? I track my current car, and think it would be kind of cool to compare the MS, if even for only a lap or two.

jat | September 14, 2013

@Gizmotoy - I ran in Hooked on Driving at AMP, which has 4 run groups. You get 5 sessions of 25min each, and the track only has 120V outlets (working on trying to use a 240V outlet at an on-track body shop this coming Friday, other tracks have 14-50 outlets available for rent). It would start limiting power after about 8-9 laps due to drivetrain temperature (out of 12-13), and then I would charge at 120V before the next session. I only ran 4 of the 5 sessions because I couldn't get enough charge (I averaged about 1100Wh/mi on the track), and still had to charge an hour before I could make it to a friend's house with HPWC, where I charged for an hour to make it home. The stock 19" tires also got pretty greasy after just a few laps driving hard, but the Rivals never did (and I could brake about 100' later for turn 1).

I never got passed in the A run group, and passed Vettes and 911s among others - you can just leap out of the corners so much quicker, and you really only feel the weight of the car in S's. Even after it started limiting power, it was still fun -- you just have to change your lines to preserve momentum, driving it like a big Miata. If the session had gone on longer, one of the 911s was gaining on me and would have passed me in another lap or two.

So, I think HPDE where you have breaks between sessions to cool off and charge is ideal -- you wouldn't get as much out of it if you didn't have those breaks (note that the P85 will overheat even quicker, as the power is increased but the cooling system is the same as the S85 - you would probably have to be judicious about where you kept it floored for a long time to enjoy it). If you have 14-50 available at your track, you should be able to get enough charge to run all the sessions - just make sure to leave enough to get home.

T3SLA | September 14, 2013

Not sure what you propose to do with the plus, but if its stability, control, and stiffness, the plus with 19 inch tires is counter productive. Too much side wall roll on the 19 inch.
Test drive the performance with 19" then the performance with 21". I did. There was a noticeable difference in purpose from steering wheel to road. 19" always was oversteered and felt more floaty. 21 did not over steer felt solid. The plus is one more level above 21", but not enough to qualify my purchase of the p85+ versus the p85 with 21" wheels.

Of course this is not scientific with a lot of room for possible error. Could be the car or the tire or my psyche.

Go test drive side by side.

Kimscar | September 15, 2013

First range would be extended never a bad thing. Second I believe it could be tuned for the 19" wheels to have better performance. On his thread there has been some back and forth on that issue.

It would be nice to see a study done to show what a plus package with 19" rims would do for the car.

info | September 15, 2013

I wanted 19's for two reasons. First, I thought they'd ride better. Since 99% of the time I'm driving I'm concerned with comfort, I'd forego the advantage of being able to take a corner 3 mph faster (made up this number) for the softer ride. Secondly, the 21's wear faster. Even the 19's aren't little old lady tires. If you get 30,000 miles out of them you're doing good. I drive conservatively and am used to getting 50,000+ from my S-class Mercedes tires.

There is a significant difference in the 0-40 times between the S and the P. After 60, the difference isn't as "feelable". I have driven the P for a significant amount of time, although I own an S. I found the P was more fun to demonstrate power and better on my psyche knowing that I could take anything next to me, if the boy racer in the next lane wanted to give it a go. Obviously this is a juvenile way to look at things, but whether or not they want to admit it, most males never exceed 16 years of age in maturity. I'm in the "most males" category. It was a great feeling, but one I could live without considering expense.

To your point about Tesla's pricing: Originally I configured a 60, then realized the price difference for value made me swing to an 85. After I test drove a P, I called and wanted to know if I could get a P with 19's and I was told I couldn't. I was also told that if I reconfigured, I'd go back in line and would get my car several months after my S would be in my garage. I opted to continue with the S purchase and 99% of the time, I'm glad I did.

If you buy a P, you can downgrade to 19's for no cost, but if you buy an S, you need to pay $4,500 for the 21's. Obviously, you can take delivery with the P's tires and trade them to someone who wants the 21's but doesn't want to pay $4,500 who might be willing to pay $3,000.

In my opinion, unless you are a race driver, know exactly how to follow a line through the curve, have more guts than the average person, need to make either a quick get-a-way or outrun the "revenooers", the 19's and the P would give you the best of all worlds.

When I was shopping for a convertible I was attracted to the Audi A-4. Most of the fully equipped cars came with a sport suspension with bigger wheels. I really felt the road---to much for me. This would have been fun sometimes but not as a daily driver for a guy who spends at least three hours a day in the car. Consider your needs and make the purchase for the 99% of the time you use the car, not the 1% of what you'd like to think you will or can do.

T3SLA | September 15, 2013


Drive a p85 with 19", then drive a p85 with 21".
I expect this will be an eye-opener for you related to responsiveness and stability with the 21".

Why do you want the plus?

TikiMan | September 15, 2013

I wouldn't waste your money on a P85+, if road sound and a softer ride are your priorities. The P+ is specifically engineered to work with the 21" wheels, and high-performance tires (including slightly wider rear tires). The noise and ride stiffness increases for a reason (just like on a Ferrari, or Porsche 911). To think otherwise, would be the equivalent of buying a HD 1080p wide-screen LCD TV, to watch old betamax or VHS tapes (what's the point).

On the other hand, if you like the way the 19" wheels look, sound, and feel, but prefer the speed of the P85, just order it with the 19" wheels (personally, it's too bouncy and disconnected with the road for my taste).

If you want a soft ride, with slightly better handling (more connection with the road), get the P85 with the 21" wheels and air-suspension.

However, if you want a MS that rivals the suspension and ride quality of a BMW M5, Porsche 911, etc, then you will want the P85+ in it's entirety.

Kimscar | September 15, 2013

Info@richardpol I've pretty much worked out my configuration as a P85 probably 19" wheels, no pano but everything else. If they had a pano that was just the glass but didn't open I would get that. So what I'm left with is seeing that the plus improved range first and second a little bit of performance boost I would expect.

@T3SLA. I don't expect the 19 to perform like the 21" tires but making a 19" plus version and getting increased range and a little more stability might be nice to have. It would be nice to have both versions at a track and feel the difference. Even better have a professional driver say what he thinks after having driven both on a track.

@TikiMan at present this may seem strange buying a $100,000.00 plus car I don't like the idea of changing the 21" tires as often as it appears necessary. I have test driven the S85 with 19" tires but I wasn't racing around. I was impressed as to how quiet the car was. Still need to try a 21" car. Haven't been I a big hurry since I can't pick up,car till beginning of July. Probably lock in the order in January or February. If they had a plus package for the 19" that gave the range increase along with a little performance increase that might be an option for me.

Gizmotoy | September 15, 2013

Info@richard: that's no longer true. The 21"s don't come with the performance model, so if you want the 21"s you're paying the $4500 upgrade cost no matter which one you select. So if you'd prefer the 19"s, but are considering the plus, the total upgrade cost is $11k including the required 21" wheel price.

TikiMan | September 15, 2013


I have driven a lot of high-performance vehicles in my day, I can tell you without a doubt, if you are a euro performance car enthusiast, you won't like the ride with the 19" wheels. On the flip side, if you are a American car enthusiast, you might actually prefer the 19" wheels (the ride is far more bouncy like a typical American car).

Regardless, high-performance low-profile tires do wear faster than standard tires (due to the softer rubber). I have 15k on my 21"s Continentals currently, and suspect to get at least 20k+. If you drive like a bat-out-of-hell on rough roads, with a lot of corners, you will likely only get 5k to 10k out of the Continentals. However, if you are a bit more conservative, you can actually get some serious milage out of them, and still have fun.

Brian H | September 16, 2013

"long thread life tires" -- knitted rubber? ;p Sounds tricky.

Gizmotoy | September 16, 2013

Sounds like I need to take a test drive in one with 19"s before I make a decision. The sidewalls on the 19"s are still pretty small: for comparison, my Evo with aggressive fitment has a 3.98" sidewall and the sidewalls on the 19"s are 4.3". The recommended inflation level is also about 10psi higher on the S, which will reduce rollover, but it's also about 900lbs heavier. The 21"s, for comparison, are 3.4".

I really wonder how much of this is the tire. Tesla saddles the 19"s with Touring tires, which are the hardest and most flexible category (worst traction, most floaty). The 21"s, on the other hand, get tires from the Max Performance category, the highest available in 19" and 21" sizing the Model S requires.

Indeed, the exact same tires that Tesla installs on the 21"s are available for the 19" wheels. I'd love to see a test with equivalent rubber.

jat | September 16, 2013

I drove a friend's P85 at the track (he followed in mine to see what the gForce Rivals were like). He had Forgestar 19" wheels with Pilot Super Sports on it, and they were really no contest to the 20" Rivals. They didn't get the greasy feeling like my 19" Goodyears did, but it was hard to judge traction levels. The rear end didn't feel much different either.

Gizmotoy | September 16, 2013

@jat: Confused by your comment. His P85 had 20"s? You said both 19" and 20" above.

jat | September 16, 2013

His P85 had 19" Forgestars with 245/45R19 Pilot Super Sports on it. My S85 had 20" BBS wheels with 265/35R20 g-Force Rivals on it.

Mark E | September 17, 2013

I'd actually like a S85+, ie the handling pack on a standard S85. Handling is more important than acceleration to me.