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Performance tires?

I don't understand the difference between the tire options and was hoping for a little information from all the car folks here. Quite a few people on this forum have said that they view "performance tires" as a negative, mostly it seems because of additional costs down the road due to maintenance and replacement (?). Do they effect the quality of the ride? Maybe make it stiffer and more sportscar-like? Also, the size differential between the performance tires and the regular "all season tires" - is that just the hubcap size (maybe that's called the wheel these days) or the actual circumference of the rubber tire? So does your choice of tire effect turning radius? I'm really hoping that we can test drive different vehicles with the various tires because I like the look of the high performance tires, but I don't want a stiff, bumpy, sports car ride. I have reservations for both a production model and a Signature model and am trying to figure out if these tires are something I want. If it matters, I live in Northern California and this car will never be in true winter driving conditions. Thanks! I appreciate any info all you people with far more automobile knowledge can impart!

The tire size for the 21" wheel is supposed to be 245/35 R21.

I checked and for that size, there are only Summer performance tires available. My favorite tire, Continental ExtremeContact, isn't even available for that size, either A/S or Summer. :(

I'm in WA state and I really want the 21" wheels, so I'll most likely be buying the Winter tire set from Tesla as an add-on and rotating out the wheels in November and March each year. Plenty of room in the garage, so it's not that big a deal for me.

If you live in the northern states and you either don't have storage, (some tire shops will store your off-season tires for a small fee), or you don't want to spend the money for the alternate tire set, the best course would be to skip the 21" wheels and go with the 19" All Seasons.

340 tread wear's pretty good for a high-performance tire.

From my experience, 'performance tires' are typically known as 'low profile' tires that use a softer rubber for better grip, and also have less space between the rim and tire surface.

1)Better connection and grip with the road, and less 'slipping' in turns at high speed on both wet and dry surfaces.
2)They make even the most average car look more ‘sporty’.

1)They are typically more expensive than standard tires (as much as triple the price).
2)They don’t do as well in snow or ice (chains don’t fit them as well)
3)You are more likely to ‘dint’ your rims when you hit or graze a curb.
4)You will ‘feel’ the road more, thus the ride is going to be somewhat harsher depending on what suspension you get.

@Brant, Great news on the Contis! I wonder why TireRack doesn't list that size. They only have 285/30 and 295/30 in the 21". :(


TireRack listed it a week or two ago (when I lasted looked). Now it only shows 5 instead of the 6 back then.

Remember, Tirerack doesn't list all tires or even all options for a given tire line. They present search results for tires that they carry. It would be an error to assume that Tirerack is the definitive resource. I grant that they can be quite useful and that they usually have good prices, but I've often found tire options that didn't show up on Tirerack.

@phb - Noted.

At least for today...

Sears didn't have a direct link but had teh Continental.

- Bridgestone Potenza RE050A @ 140
- Continental ExtremeContact DW @ 340
- Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 @ 280
- Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 @ 280
- Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 @ ? 220
- Nitto INVO @ 260
- Pirelli PZero Nero @ 220
- Pirelli PZero RFT @ 220
- Yokohama ADVAN Sport @ 180

Roughly on the same topic...

What's the difference between...
High performance tires

21" Performance
High performance tires

The latter are listed as only available on Perf and Sig Perf and the image on the Options page is slightly darker for the latter (4th pictured) than the former (3rd pictured).

I had runflat tires on my bmw 545i and they only lasted 20,000 miles. I have since replaced them with non run flat tires and the ride is smoother. If the ride is too stiff in the sig s, I will hopefully be able to find a tire with a little higher sidewall but the car looks sooo nice with the turbine wheels that they are a must have. I have always thought the rims on a car make a big difference.

@brianman: speculation: forged vs. cast

@brianman: Until I get facts saying otherwise, I assume it's just a difference in color of the rim. Maybe to match the carbon fiber accents on the perf better.

I think Robert.Boston is correct. That's the way it was between the stock rims and the Roadster Sport rims at least.

+1 Kallisman. Basically certain they are talking about wheel/rim color.

This reminded me to take a look at the Roadster's Design Studio for comparison. And of course that made me wander beyond Wheels...

The Interior section in the Roadster Design Studio is fun to fiddle with. I hope we have that kind of flexibility in the Model S.

We will... and more!

Hmm, not so sure, Mycroft. Certainly there was no "Executive Leather" option posted last month. Even if I wanted bolstered orange Alcantara with black rally inserts on the Model S, I'm reasonably sure that that's not an option. (Frankly, all I really wanted was the "Saddle" color. Why can't leather look like leather, a nice rich brown?)

I was talking about the capabilities of the Design Studio, not the options available.

The interior section in Roadster Design Studio really helps me see what kinds of differences to expect for Reg vs Sig vs Perf. I had no idea the kinds of changes there could be.


It would cost about $2,000 for aftermarket leather in the saddle color, perhaps a bit more for orange and black. You will probably keep the “S” for many years. Why not spend a bit more, and get what you really want? I prefer the saddle color too, the tan I saw in Fremont was hardly inspired!

+1 for a saddle color leather.

Altho I know that TM wants to keep production options simple for the first Sigs produced, it's hard to understand why they couldn't include a little more choice for the interior leather color options. The inventory costs of a few more colors would insignificant, the supply chain is simple, and the cost of installation is identical.

I'm getting a white Sig. Because I live in SoFla, a black interior is ill-advised because of the strong sun. Tan is blah, but saddle would be very nice. Come on TM, give the Sig buyers a few more interior color options and then pass them on, as options, to other buyers as well.

@Robert.Boston: I'm considering aftermarket leather for the interior if no other options emerge, but it grates that we'd have to do that, given the price point for the Sig.I'm hoping that TM will reconsider and provide an interior that won't require an aftermarket fix.

The "cheap Yankee" in me cringes at the idea of ripping off brand new leather, but that's certainly an option. I didn't realize it was so inexpensive (relatively); but, as Sofl points out, there's really no good reason why Tesla couldn't easily offer more choices!

I had the Bridgestone Potenza RE050A @ 140 run flats on my MBZ CLK 550 cabriolet installed from the factory and they only lasted about 10,000 miles. I replaced them with Goodyear Eagles that had twice the wear rating, and was happy with those. I hope the S with performance wheels comes with Continental ExtremeContact DW @ 340, since they have the highest wear rating.

I think Tesla should mount one of each wheel/tire combination on the wall of their stores so customers can see them and decide. I'd like to see those 19" aero wheels, too, although if I do end-up getting a performance model, I'm not going to fall for that "no cost option" nonsense! :-)

"I hope the S with performance wheels comes with Continental ExtremeContact DW"

Me too. I just put Conti DWS on my SLK and I LOVE 'em! So if they're not on their OEM, I'll be replacing them with Conti tires as soon as they wear out.

I'm probably going to buy the Winter tire package with the aero wheels. Depending on price and how they look.

+1 on the saddle leather as well - I was an early requester for this option - i'm in florida also - and black might work with remote ac, but don't any of the california guys ever get dirt inside their cream and white leather cars? a darker brown just won't show wear or dirt as fast and as someone who keeps cars for a while, a darker tan/brown option would be much welcomed.

PS - love that color in shoes also!

+1 on saddle leather for me as well ... hope they are listening ...

Maybe for a future Eddie Bauer edition? :-)

Saddle would be a great look. Especially with the depth of the signature red. I'm still hopeful for something besides carbon fiber accents for the performance series.

"We are the Carb. You will be assimilated!
Resistance is futile, as we are also SuperConductive."


Wheels - What is the difference between the 21" and the 21" Performance wheels? The latter looks darker in the picture, but there's no documentation of the difference.

Physically, they are the same wheel, the difference is aesthetic. Performance wheel will have a darker hue.

From an email by Walter Franck (Tesla Motors?) to brianman, via:

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