Winter wheels/tires packages for Model S

Winter wheels/tires packages for Model S

At my test drive this weekend at Toronto I was told that Tesla will soon officially announce their winter wheels/tires packages for Model S.

Prelim info is they will offer 2 options, both on the 19" rims currently being offered with all-season tires (I'm assuming 245/45/19):

- Option 1: non-studded Pirelli winter tires (no info yet on which ones), set of 4 for $2400
- Option 2: studded Nokian winter tires (no info on which one but I'm assuming Hakkapeliitta 7), set of 4 for $2800

No word yet on the availability/pricing of purchasing just the extra set of 19" rims.

For general reference, price on for Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II (Performance Winter/Snow) are $271 each ($1084 for a set of 4); price on for Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 (studded) are $339 each ($1356 for a set of 4).

I've never had to switch between summer and winter tires (I've used all-seasons on my previous and current rides), but since I'm going with the 21" performance tires, being in NE Ohio, I'll need to switch to either all-season or winter tires from November to March. So pending availability/pricing on the extra set of rims, I'll most likely be purchasing from Tesla Option 1 mentioned above.

Thoughts on pricing, choice of tires by TM?

jerry3 | August 13, 2012


It could be done, but I would limit my speed to 50 mph tops and accelerate/brake slowly until the original tire was on because even though the RPMs are close enough not to mess up the drive train, the handling and braking are different (and those could possibly affect the ABC/TC/VCS etc.). That kind of excitement you don't need.

jerry3 | August 13, 2012


Agreed, 100%. The belts could also be damaged storing the tire flat in the car.

Brian H | August 13, 2012

Think carefully before using runflats.
Here's a start:
A side effect of the stiff sidewalls found on run-flats is that they never look flat. As a result, the danger of driving on underinflated tires is even greater, as many people don't check their tire pressures until they "look" low.
To counter this problem, the use of tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) has become mandatory in run-flat applications. Since run-flats only provide a limited zero-pressure driving range, TPMS is critical to help the driver know when the mileage clock starts ticking, and more importantly, when time is up.
Repairability — SST run-flat repair guidelines are nearly similar to those for standard tires. Michelin's PAX has more stringent repair procedures, including a warning that repairs can only be carried out at a "Michelin PAX System authorized servicing dealer." In either case, if the zero-pressure driving distance or speed is exceeded, the tire might need outright replacement. Furthermore, tire sealant-in-a-can leak repair products shouldn't be used, because they can foul many types of TPMS air-pressure sensors.

Andrew18 | August 14, 2012

I just called and changed my wheels to 21" greys; and they said I can get the 19" rims shipped out to me or sent to and installed by our Chicago Tesla shop afterward. I will deal with the winter tire issue later.

Sig/perf #587

Brian H | August 14, 2012

Yes, making the wheels available on spec really increases your flexibility.

Sounds like a plan!

John56 | August 15, 2012

@Carmine, Thanks for the tip re: Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS.
Found this chart on Tirerack...
Rates Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS number 1 and Conti DWS number 2.

Carmine | August 15, 2012

John56, I think that the 19" RE970AS's are a good choice for our area of the US.
As far as a 19" turbine wheel, the absolute best match is the Lorinser RS8. The only problem is that a set of 4 approach 4K.
BYT had a good suggestion for 19" turbines at a reasonable price (see his comment earlier in this discussion. As he stated these wheels are from the UK, may not be available in the US & may not even be the right bolt pattern or offset for the S.
It might be nice if we could get a group together who are interested in 19" turbines, approach a distributor and give them a guaranteed order for large number of wheels. Possibly, they may import a container's worth of wheels for us.....or, give us a sweet deal on the RS8's.....or, maybe I'm just dreaming....again!

BYT | August 15, 2012

Anything is possible, I would be willing to get in on an order like that Carmine. I'm getting the sinister dark 21" rims on my Model S. I am worried about the potholes and the effect of the road on my new babies wheels but wouldn't dream of changing out the look of those 21" but if they get banged up, I'll have too. And I would most likely opt for 19" next time around.

Anyone know if the Model S has run flats on those 21" because if they do pop, those rims are toast, right? Would your next set of tires be run flat low profiles? Do they make good ones of those under $1,500 for a set of 4?

Oh, it's the little things!

Robert22 | August 15, 2012

For those still contemplating the frunk for a spare 19" or 21" tire. The hood will apparently not close per Tesla. They've tried it.

Brian H | August 16, 2012

Do what Leno does for spare parts for his old classic cars: get a 3D printer and make them yourself!

Teoatawki | August 16, 2012

The 21" tires are not run flats.

markapeterman | August 17, 2012

I live in Dallas and am not sure which wheels to get. I like the look of the 21" rims but worry about performance in cold weather. We get only a 2-3 days of icy conditions per year and they are unpredictable (80 degrees one day and 30 and icy the next), so I don't think changing tires is practical. Should I suck it up and get the 19" wheels or can I survive a few days of bad weather on the 21" ones?

Theresa | August 17, 2012

markapeterman--In my opinion the few days that you get that are bad should not be much of an issue unless you drive like a maniac. If you just take it easy (as you should in those conditions) you should be fine. I have a Roadster and I don't change my tires for the winter here in the Midwest but I also don't drive it when it is snowing (mainly because the ground clearance is so low that I am afraid I will become a tobaggan with wheels). But I have taken it out in icy conditions and have found that they are not ideal but they are okay for the short period of ice that occurs.

Thumper | August 17, 2012

I have been told that the "jack" mode is just to keep the tires from dangling and damaging the air shocks while the car is jacked by other means. This is similar to what is found on other air suspension cars. There is no ability to sit on three wheels like was possible on Citroens.

Brian H | August 17, 2012

Heh. Speaking of Citroens, from 2010-3-10:

The most significant automotive news of this century seems to have slipped under the radar. A ratty, busted-to-hell Citroën completed the 24 Hours of LeMons this weekend. Complex hydraulic system and all. As the venerable Murilee Martin said, “It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of this achievement.”

Team Air Prance Schitroën essentially dug the ’72 ID out of the trash. It had been sitting for 20 years and wasn’t running until the Friday before the race. They literally revived it hours before they hit the track. And it finished without exploding into a cloud of unobtainable French parts or spraying the track with Citroën hydraulic fluid. The feat is on par with firing up the Large Hadron Collider. Somebody should make this day a holiday.

jerry3 | August 17, 2012


Right now there are no 21" tires that are all seasons (even "Texas" all seasons). Performance tires turn into wood at freezing temperatures, and on an ice day they won't do the trick (even VCS and TC can't change physics). Basically the choices are:

1. Park the car on ice days. (If you really like the 21" wheels, this is probably the best choice)

2. Purchase a set of winter wheels and tires. Tesla actually sells the wheels at a reasonable price. (This is what I would do if I liked the 21" wheels and lived where there was a real winter.)

3. Purchase the Tesla with 19" wheels, all season tires, and forgo the 21". (This is the lowest cost solution assuming you aren't set on the 21" wheels).

jerry3 | August 17, 2012


IDs and DSs have a really good reputation for robustness. The results aren't surprising to anyone who has ever owned one. Before the 2004 Prius came out I was seriously considering getting one that had been refurbished to replace the horrid VW-TDI. I wasn't keen on any other car because they all looked the same--boring. (This is also my biggest complaint with the Model S--it looks just like almost every other car made in the past 100 years).

Brian H | August 18, 2012

You're just too cutting edge for Tesla. They say they might get more playful with design once they've consolidated their market and rep.

jerry3 | August 18, 2012



MandL | August 24, 2012

I am getting my Sig #802 with 21" wheels and buying the 19" wheels with all-season tires (I don't need a lecture on all-season tires, I live in Maryland and have never used anything else here).

I am willing to sell my 21" wheels and tires to a non sig reservation holder for $3500. That will allow me to break even and you to have both 19s and 21s for the price of the 21 upgrade.

You can private message me on TMC - unclfuzzy

MandL | August 24, 2012

actually, I think maybe $4500. Forgot about the $2k for the 19s. So I'm only out $1K and you're getting both sets for only $1K premium.

NJS1207 | October 21, 2012


Have you made any further inquiries regarding the Lorinsers? I need to make a decision on 19" wheels, and the Lorinser RS8 or Rial Luganos look like good options, but I have not been able to locate a US supplier. I agree that a group purchase would be a good option. I need winter tires but really do not want to settle for the 19" wheels Tesla is offering. I am thrilled with everything else about the car and do not want to settle on the wheels.

Jgdixon | November 10, 2012

Guys I already have some 245/45 snows. Options on being able to use those?

Andrew18 | November 10, 2012

Just installed my tire holder in the garage. I'm going to have them swap the 19s for the 21s when the car is delivered to Chicago next week. Ill bring home the 21s and hold on to them this winter.

jerry3 | November 10, 2012


Assuming they are 245/45R19 or 245/35R21 and you have four of them and four extra wheels, sure.

ironmikeii | September 10, 2013

I see this thread has gone cold (pun intended) but with summer rapidy winding down, winter driving will be a reality soon enough for us folks on the east coast.

When I ordred my car with 21's, (P85+) I knew I would have to 1.) garage my car for the winter and drive my 328Xit with snows on all four corners, or 2.) order the Tesla winter fitments.

The price on the Tesla package was excellent. Comprable package at (my prefered vendor)is $1,000 more.

Now that I have taken delivery of my "super car" not sure I can go back to driving the BMW. A look at Tesla's web site shows the Winter Tire/Wheel Package SOLD OUT! Not backordered, not check back later, straight up sold out!

Bad timing Telsa! Any hopes this affordable package comes back? I will be a buyer, and really don't want to be priced up $1,000 for another package. I wanted to keep my ride Stock Tesla, with the Stock Tesla 19" wheels.

Bighorn | September 10, 2013

Same situation here. They refer to calling your nearest service center in the text of the tire package offer. Perhaps the SC has access to more sets.

cfOH | September 10, 2013

@ironmikeii Well, I am in the same situation, but have an additional concern: With the P85+, if you buy the Tesla winter wheels/tires bundle, you will end up with skinnier tires on the rear than you have with the 21" setup. That means part of the handling advantage you paid for with the Plus setup will be eliminated.

Personally, I'm not happy about that, so I've started researching alternative setups that involve retaining the "staggered" (wider at the rear) setup, but 19" and with the same Pirelli Sottozero winter tires Tesla specifies (but at 245-width in the front and 265- or 275-width in the rear; while it gets too cold for summer tires, we don't get a whole lot of snow during the winter here).

My biggest beef with going aftermarket on the wheels is having to pay $125 each for TPMS sensors or go without, which I may just do (for $500, I can visually inspect my tires every so often like I've been doing for the past 28 years ;-).

ironmikeii | September 11, 2013

@cfOH if you go without the TPM's you will have the pleasure of looking at the idiot light on your dashboard. May be worth it to save $500 ( sells a package for $388). For me winter driving is a compromise and the few days a year we have to deal with snow covered roads having the security of good traction winter rubber is worth the handling sacrifice.

Priced a package of 19" BBS wheels with Blizzak snows and TPM's - $4,064

Brian H | September 11, 2013

"Sold Out" in TM store lingo often means "Out of Stock", so don't despair. Check.

cfOH | September 11, 2013

@ironmikeii Wait, you're going with Blizzaks for "a few days a year we have to deal with snow-covered roads"??? That's overkill. Unless you're spending several weeks a year driving through fairly thick snow, you really don't need anything more aggressive than decent winter tires (and no, I don't mean snow-rated all-seasons).

Skinnier tires will create traction risks for you, too (especially in a Performance), so don't assume that sacrificing dry traction for snow traction is always a good trade-off, especially if snow happens only occasionally.