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Tire size and model published

A few times the question came up which tires would come standard with the Model S. The answer is now up on the Specs page:
http://www.teslamotors.com/models/specs

"19" cast aluminum wheels with all-season tires (Goodyear Eagle RS-A2 245/45R19). Note: optional 21" wheels come with Continental Extreme Contact DW 245/35R21 tires"

To me this seems to imply that there is no difference between front and rear, i.e., it should be possible to swap tires to increase their life span. The rear tires will probably wear significantly faster not only because the rear wheels are the driven wheels, but also because regenerative braking can (for the same reason) only be applied to the rear wheels.

Does anyone know the bolt pattern? Thinking it might be the same as MB.

Aside from bolt pattern, there is also wheel offset to consider. In the wrong place and the wheel will foul the suspension or the wheel well. So, if you are considering buying a cheap steel rim to use as a spare wheel, then you need to know just that much more before comitting!

It would be interesting to see what the skid pad numbers will be for the Model S. The low center of gravity should help a lot of course but there is a lot of weight that wants to push outward.

Anyone have an estimate / calculation for this? Do the tire sizes matter?

Hello I am building my own tesla and would like to know if it is worth the $3500.00 for the 21inch wheels - is there really a difference? Thanks!

@David Williams - I understand the handling is slightly better and traction is much better with the 21" wheels, but the tires aren't suitable for winter so you really need a second set of tires unless you live someplace where it never snows or ices over. Swapping out tires is a pain as you have to re-pair the tire pressure monitors. Also the sticky rubber for the 21" wheels doesn't last as long.

So, while I prefer the look of the 21" wheels, I wouldn't buy them (when I was considering upgrading to a signature, I would have either taken 19" wheels or traded the 21" with someone who had 19"). YMMV.

@David Williams - others have decided to get after market 21s for less money (c. $1000 cheaper)

@David Williams,

The grip is obviously better with the Performance Plus package as the rear tires jump from 245 to 265, and they are Michelin PS2, some of the best tires on the market as of today. I have upgraded my Porsche's tires from Pirelli Nero to Michelin PS2 same size and could definitely feel an improvement in term of comfort and performance.
Other than this option, low profile tires doesn't mean better traction. On the opposite, low profiles can dribble more than thicker tires and reduce traction. They can handle better in corners though.
What makes the difference in Tesla's offer is that the 21" come with relatively low cost but pretty good Conti DW tires (have them on the BMW) that have much better grip than the Goodyear all season tires that ship with the stock 19" rims.

Globally, Run Flats and All Seasons suck in term or pure performance. Forget them if you want good tires.

The trade off with the 21" rims, is that both rims and tires become VERY vulnerable so I still hesitate. My daily driver is a BMW with 19" rims and low profile tires (30) and I have damaged them a couple times on the freeway (101 and 17 are bad enough to give these tires a hard time) so I'm really concerned about low profiles on 21"...

The stock size for the 19" (245/45-19) is a problematic size. There's simply no excellent performance tire for this size (compared to the PS2 for the perf+ package).
But you have the Conti ExtremeContact DW available in this size, same tires than Tesla mounts on the regular 21" rims; this will greatly improve the behavior of the car (on dry roads) compared to the stock all season tires... and most likely offer the same level of traction that the 21".

Best,
Luc


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