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Why are 21" wheels recommended on the P85D?

Why are 21" wheels recommended on the P85D?

So I was window shopping on the Design page, and when I specified the P85D, 21" wheels came up as a recommendation (in addition to other things).

The 19" wheels are cheaper and more resistant to punctures/damage than the 21" ones, so why does the performance vehicle get the 21" recommended?

JackClark | 9 décembre 2014

Tesla's larger diameter wheels are also wider and offer more tread face, which improves handling / acceleration / braking in dry conditions. Because the tire itself is the same diameter, the bigger rim reduces sidewall rubber, and lower-profile tires tend to flex less when cornering, also adding to handling stability.

Smaller wheels are better for real-world driving, which is probably why Tesla only recommends them on the P.

PleasantonS | 9 décembre 2014

I have spoken with a number of wheel manufacturers regarding the 21 inch wheels on my P85+ and the option to replace them with smaller rims. Most strongly discouraged going any smaller than 20 inches at the same time as recommending increasing the rim to a 10 or 10.5 inches in width. The amount of near instant torque available to the rear of the car made most of them feel that 19 inch rims would leave the car somewhat unstable, depending on how aggressively you drive. I ordered the 21's on my P85D for that reason.

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

You mentioned "performance", No?

Low profile tire with short side wall (less flexes) is always preferred for cars that require better handling and steering response. Get it if you like sharp steering feel. Don't if you want cushy ride.

TytanX_ | 9 décembre 2014

Tesla recommends the 21" wheels because they cost more and they make more money. That is the only reason.

If you want the best performance get the 21s. If you want the most comfort more affordability (if that is a concern on a $120,000 car) get the 19s.

mjt.private | 9 décembre 2014

I've seen sidewall rubber break up over time as a result of too much torque through them. The taller sidewall can get twisted rotationally, as the car accelerates. The high weight of the Model S certainly won't help things either.

Tyres are essential to car performance - just consider their importance in F1. If you want supercar performance, you need supercar tyres.

Or you take 0-60 in 5.5 secs, about the same as a 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500S. Not exactly slow.

enijensohn | 9 décembre 2014

I have a p85+ in Chicago---had to replace my 21 inch rims with 19s---the ride was to harsh for the city, pot holes jarred me, I popped 3 tires in 3 months...almost didn't like driving the car...

then I replaced them with 19inch tires from tesla...I love it now...still better handling then the regular s85, but with a ride that is more than adequate...I enjoy the car much much more---

I figure if I go to the track ever ill put back the 21 for that day only...

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

@mjt.private made anther good point. There are videos that show how violently sidewall can get twised during drag runs. I would not try pedal to the metal too often if I got the 19"er.

To be honest even the 265/21 tire is a little too weak for a 5000lb, 700hp car imo. I've been advocating Tesla to upgrade it to a wider tire for the performance model but could not get most people here to respond.

@TytanX You are right that Tesla wants to make more money. Otherwise it would tell people who order 19" they could be just as happy with a non-P model.

TytanX_ | 9 décembre 2014

@carlk I wasn't implying there was anything wrong with Tesla's approach. I just meant to take Tesla's recommendation with a grain of salt.

If low profile tires are the best performance, why don't formula one cars have low profile tires?

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

@TytanX I knew you weren't. My comment is actually along the same line as yours. Tesla will sell you a car, and the more expensive one the better, long as you are willing to pay for it. It really does not care what you do with the car after you bought it. There is nothing wrong with that of course.

The sarcasm is toward people who definitely want a 3.2 sec car but then value comfort over performance. Again nothing wrong with what you want to do with the car you bought.

As for F1 car it's because regulation set the rim size for the reason that, get this, cars can not go too fast. The small rim won't accomodate larger brakes for the car to drive fast and has the power to slow down. It's the same as those regulations that restrict engine size and turbo charging. This one about rim size could be changing soon though.

http://www.autoblog.com/2014/07/09/pirelli-testing-low-profile-tires-for...

Red Sage ca us | 9 décembre 2014

It was similar rules changes, limiting the use of advanced technology in F1 Racing, that led to Ayrton Senna's death, IMO.

shop | 9 décembre 2014

The 21s are made with stickier rubber meaning they grip better. Anything over 500 hp demands that kind of tire. There are downsides though, limited lifespan and harsher ride.

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

I tend to agree. Those rules maybe good for average F1 drivers but too restrictive for drivers like Senna. The 13" rim rule was there a few years before Senns's death and it's still there today.

Grinnin'.VA | 9 décembre 2014

@ carlk | December 9, 2014

To be honest even the 265/21 tire is a little too weak for a 5000lb, 700hp car imo.

Of course, P85D owners can buy any wheel/tire that fits and that suits their preferences. If you want wider tires, go for it.

Good luck.

Go Tesla!

Panoz | 9 décembre 2014

Well I'm just as confused as I was - one person says they kept replacing tires (bad) and other imply you'll replace the 19's due to sidewall stress.

What to do, what to do...

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

@Grinnin' The tire has to fit the well plus any tolerance required with the suspension setting.

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

@Panoz My P85+ has close to 10K on it and still has a lot of treads left on the tires. They should get 15K without a problem. My Porsche uses exactly the same PSII tires averaging about 15K miles for the rear tires too. On the other hand you probably can get another 10K or more from the 19" less gripy tires. Either way it will be fine. You just need to understand the trade off between tire life and perfomance is always there.

Panoz | 9 décembre 2014

@carik: thanks, that's what I'm trying to understand. I've also read about 21" rims getting nicked by curbs and car washes, as well as more damage to them from potholes.

In all likelihood, if I get the performance car, I'd get 19" wheels because I won't be drag racing very much. I already have a sports car that can beat the non-performance S (if I knew how to drive it) and I just don't do burn outs.

I appreciate the comments.

lolachampcar | 9 décembre 2014

PDs do not do burn outs either even doing 3.1 second runs :) Sounds like you and your PD will get along just fine.

WRT tires, I have an issue with the value of Tesla's 21s. You can buy the exact same wheel (at least it looks like the exact same wheel) at the Tire Rack complete with TPMS sensors (although the Tire Rack does not yet know about the new sensors - you can get them from Tesla for $200 a set) and Pilot Super Sport rubber for about half of what Tesla wants.

I'm going a different route with 9" wide 20" diameter TSW wheels that are roughly 7 lbs per rim lighter than Tesla's 21s, again, using Pilot Super Sports. For those not familiar with PSS', they handle better and wear much better than their older PS2 counterparts.

Food for thought.

lolachampcar | 9 décembre 2014

Tire Rack MS look alike 21s... I'm betting they are the same source Tesla uses by the looks of them (no inside info - just a guess)

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/33818-The-Tire-Rack-and-Ax...!

Bighorn | 9 décembre 2014

Dave-
Taiwanese imitation of a USA-produced rim, best I can tell.

Bighorn | 9 décembre 2014

Bill, not Dave.

teslabayarea | 9 décembre 2014

My plan is to get new tires and rims when the 19" tires wear out. By the time I should be ready to unleash the full power of the P85D at that time!

carlk | 9 décembre 2014

We don't know where Tesla's OEM rims are sourced from either. I do like the idea of getting something that is not the same as you see on thousands of MS everywhere.

Bighorn | 9 décembre 2014

@carl
The 21" turbines say "Made in USA".

Blu Zap | 9 décembre 2014

@Panoz and all,
You may want to check out this thread on TMC.

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/39060-Pilot-Super-Sports-f...

They discuss the value of the staggered tire widths on the P85+/P85D. The have a link to a Michelin feedback site so we can encourage Michelin to produce the PSS tires in the 265 size of our rear tires. Apparently the PSS performs better and lasts longer than the PS2s that are OEM for us.

I gave them my feedback along with the others on the thread. Check it out if you are interested.

Fred | 9 décembre 2014

The only option I didn't choose on my new P85D were the 21" wheels. With all of the torque and my lead foot, tires won't last very long. Replacement tires for the 21's are about $500 each. Replacements for the 19's I opted for are about $185. The final "straw" was this paragraph from the order page:

"21-inch wheels are equipped with low-profile performance tires that provide less protection from, and are consequently more likely to suffer damage from, uneven road surfaces, debris, curbs, and other common obstacles. Damage to wheels or tires from these conditions are not covered under the Model S new vehicle limited warranty. 21-inch wheels with low-profile performance tires wear faster and reduce battery range compared to 19-inch wheels with all season tires."

19's will do fine here in sunny Phoenix, AZ.

teslabayarea | 9 décembre 2014

I am definitely looking forward to "one day" having the 21" wheels I would just rather have ones that look different from everyone else and cost less than $4,500

Grinnin'.VA | 10 décembre 2014

@ carlk | December 9, 2014

@Grinnin' The tire has to fit the well plus any tolerance required with the suspension setting.

I'm confused. Are you suggesting that Tesla redesign the P85D to provide more wheel-well space for larger tires? Just to shave a bit off of the 0-60 time?

Go Tesla!

ElectricSteve | 10 décembre 2014

@carl
The 21" turbines say "Made in USA".

The 19" turbines say "made in Mexico". :-)