Order Going to Factory Today! - Wheels???

Order Going to Factory Today! - Wheels???

Hi Everyone,

Ok, I've just about figured out what I want to get, and my order is due to go out today at midnight excited!

Here's what I'm planning on getting:

MS 60
- Flat White
- 19" Wheels
- Pano Roof
- Piano Black Interior
- Black Leather Interior
- Tech Package
- Sound Package
- Air Suspension

I only have two things that I'm not absolutely certain about yet: Wheels and Color:

Wheels - I don't know whether I want to spend the $3500 and get the 22" wheels, or perhaps go with aftermarket 20's like this guy did and sell my 19's.

Is rubbing really going to be an issue with the the 20's?
Am I going to lose a lot of the "stock" feel of the car, or will it actually improve handling vs the 19's?
Do you guys like the look of the stock turbine 22's better?
Are the 22's really worth the extra $3500, or is the aftermarket solution better?

Color - I've been pretty set on the flat white, but then I saw a pic with black on black wheels, and I was impressed. Black cars are so hard to keep clean though! Thoughts? I was going to get white and maybe do some carbon fiber accent wraps on the rear view mirrors and other areas of the car.

Sorry a lot of thoughts in my head. Help! :)


asim77 | April 30, 2013

This is what my last car was like for reference, I really like this look:

mrspaghetti | April 30, 2013

Keep in mind that the 21" wheels are the same price later as they are at build time, so you can always switch and not be paying any extra (except possibly for install).

Color is purely subjective. If you like black and white equally, maybe get two Teslas :)

fluxemag | April 30, 2013

I would get white, glass roof and aftermarket grey or black wheels. But then again I'm biased. Also, the factory wheels are either 19" or 21".

fluxemag | April 30, 2013

The 21" wheels on the Tesla website do not include tires. If you get it when you order they do. Big difference in cost.

asim77 | April 30, 2013

Sorry, I meant 21's.

DJay | April 30, 2013

If your driven by looks and performance, get the 21's, they look great and grip better. If you're driven by practicality stay with the 19", they will give you a longer tire life, smoother ride, and longer range (about 5%) and look good. There is no right answer.

carlk | April 30, 2013

It looks you have experience with low profile tires already. I would go with the 21" if the extra cost is not an issue. I'd stay with OEM. You never know what kind of trouble you might see with after market wheel and tires.

hiroshiy | April 30, 2013

I currently drive 245/35R20 front and 285/30R20 for rear. IMHO I think rubbing/rim rash depends on tires too. In my experience Bridgestone S001 is narrower than Pirelli P-Zero or Michelin PS2, thus easier to get rim rash.

Other than that 21 looks pretty stunning!

jbunn | April 30, 2013

19's are still a pretty low profile look, drive well, and can take the occasional curb. Really wish I could have had the turbine rims in a 19 though... : (

dborn | April 30, 2013

White shows the dirt far less than black. Maybe psychological, but i feel a white car is cooler in the summer too. (We don't get cold winters). 21 inch wheels are very impractical. If you want turbines, in 19 in they are available aftermarket - there is a thread from long ago about this. if you wanted them grey or black, you could always have them powder coated if they don't come in the exact colour you want.

generubin | April 30, 2013

OMG, I have driven two S's with 21's and my S which has 19's. The ride is sooooo much better with the 19's.

asim77 | May 1, 2013

Thanks for the help everyone!

Order was placed:

MS 60
- Flat White
- 19" Wheels
- Pano Roof
- Piano Black Interior
- Black Leather Interior
- Tech Package
- Sound Package
- Air Suspension

I figure I have many months to decide now if I want to go get aftermarket 20's. I went with white because I know me, I don't have time to shine the car every day.

pvetesla | May 1, 2013

I'm getting White with Pano roof too.

I have to tell you....I've seen a white with 19" wheels. Not to be a car snob (because I really didn't care much about cars until I found the Model S)...but it just doesn't look right on a white car. I think you can pull it off on a dark color car since the black on the thicker walls of the tires mask the look.

In my book 21" on a white car is a must! Hopefully you’ll see one driving around so you can make the same observation as I did. Seeing it with your own 2 eyes speaks volumes.

asim77 | May 1, 2013

Thanks pvetesla, It'll be a game time decision. Got a few months, I'll probably go aftermarket though.

soren | May 1, 2013

Drove The Pearl White today. Two white Tesla S was lined up. One with 21" Dark rims, and one with 19" silver wheels. In real life the 19" rims is quilte large.
And imo the 19" didn't look wrong at all.
I'll choose the 19".

stealth_mode | May 1, 2013

I ordered pearl white -dark 21" pano roof. in my opinion the contrasts look really great. Inplan to get after market 19" winter tires for our winter conditions in Switzerland.
How about the tire pressure sensors on aftermarket wheels? can they be retro fitted? does Tesla sell the OEM sensors separately? - at least I am not aware of it and I have never seen it in the online shop.

vgrinshpun | May 1, 2013

I've test driven MS with 19" and 21" wheels back to back this past Sunday, including on cobblestone streets. The amazing thing is that there were no discernible difference in how comfortable the ride in both cars was.

The car with 21" wheels had noticeable handling advantage and looked fantastic.

horst | May 4, 2013

I would never buy big rims again. There might be a few percent advantage in handling. But keep in mind, that a 21" rim with tire regularly weights more than a 19" one. And less feathered weight means better comfort and better handling. Most of the handling advantage of 21" rims is only felt by the driver.

The best (lightest) wheel would be a classical steel rim. They are regularly a lot lighter than the light alloy ones. Please feel the weight, when you change tires. Typically the broad wheels also suck more energy due to friction. Your mls/kWh will reduce. The higher weight of the tires will do also. Thinner wheels are also not as loud as the thick ones. You will have less noise in your already quiet car.

So I decided to go for the 19" wheels. Together with the air suspension this should be the most economic way to drive.

P.S. I need the best mls/kWh I can get, because speeding on German Autobahns will suck your 85kWh battery empty in 120 miles.

george210 | May 4, 2013

from what I've learned in these postings, the 19" wheels will give you more protection from getting a flat due pot holes in the road and will also keep ya from more readily getting that dreaded "curb rash"

carlk | May 4, 2013

Enough comments about handling and practicallity there but don't forget the looks. The wheel is the first thing that grab people's attention on any cars. It does make a huge difference. Would you buy your MS with Camry body if that option is offered with a $20000 price reduction?

danielccc | May 4, 2013

I have to say I really like the 19" wheels. Very open and sporty. I don't know what the big deal is with the 21" turbines. I mean, they look good, but not that much better, just different, and IMHO too big.

To put things in perspective, the $220,000 Aston Martin Rapide S comes with 20" wheels. This is a car with a 550-horsepower 5.9-liter V-12, 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds while weighing 4,400 pounds (it get 13 mpg city).

No 21" wheels. Just 20". And the New York Times reviewer (not, Broder, obviously) considers those to be "huge", probably because the rears are also very wide: 295/30.

But in the Model S the 21" wheels are not wider. It's 245 for either 19" or 21", except with the Performance plus package, and that's a whole other ballgame.

mkidding | May 4, 2013

Also you should consider the tires on the wheels since that might be the part that's making a bigger difference regarding the "performance" you are expecting.

As far as I know, the tires on the 19" wheels are the ones that are more like those "four seasons" tires, which are relatively harder than the soft ones on the 21" wheels. That means comparing to the 21" wheels, the 19" ones would offer less grip and thus better gas mileage.

Frankly speaking, since they are both 245 width wheels, it really doesn't make much sense for me to spend $3500 more on the 21" wheels especially knowing that the tires are going to wear MUCH faster. Spending $3500 + $6500 on the performance package of course will be a different story.

RickT | May 5, 2013

The cost difference is much greater than the option price. The 21" tires have been wearing out VERY quickly; see other threads on this forum and elsewhere.

When I picked up my MS in December, a Tesla executive wandered through the delivery room at the Fremont plant to chat with imminent owners. His first question was "Which wheels are you getting?" When I replied 19", he said "Phew, good decision." He went on to describe the 21s as suitable mainly for the track.

GeirT | May 5, 2013

My two pennies worth - if it was not for the P85+ package I was dead set on the 19" simply because of road conditions in this country. But vanity caught the better of me and now I am stuck with 21 ;-P

Brian H | May 5, 2013

Aren't the 19" 235 width? The 21" are 245, and the P+ 21" are 265.

defmonk | May 5, 2013

Picked up mine yesterday (VIN # 09826), same configuration in gray with 19" wheels . Initially, it was a tough decision. In addition to the notes above, the open design of the 19" wheels allows the very handsome Tesla logo brake calipers to show through. They're not the garish red of the Porsche calipers, but are nice looking in their own right.

[Thank you, oh carless one, for another insightful comment]

rchiang | May 5, 2013

I picked 21" because there is not too many option out there for after market rims. But the 19" is different, I could buy alot better then dealer's quality. After market 19" is lighter then dealer's, stronger possibily and save more miles after that for long run but all my commute is short, so no problem. After I wear my 245 on my 21" I could buy 265. So its not a big deal.

mkidding | May 5, 2013

@Brian H

I'm pretty sure the 19" are 245/45/R19 Goodyears


Maybe this is a long misunderstanding of mine, but isn't it true that if you want 265 tires, you have to change the rims as well?

Tiebreaker | May 5, 2013


This is what I would do: keep the 19", save the $3,500 and add $4,500 to upgrade to the MS85 (assuming you have already opted for the supercharger). IMHO you will get A LOT more value, even with the additional $4.5K.

Brian H | May 5, 2013

Oops, yes the tires are all 245s except the new P+ rears, which are 265. Had to check by phone; the TM website doesn't seem to mention those specs.