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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?


I posted this info in another thread before I saw this one. I hate to cross post, but here it is:

Got an email today from Tesla listing new tire and wheel packages for purchase. Here's a quote:

Tesla Motors has released new information on wheel/tire pricing. If you have not seen it already, here it is:

19” Winter Wheel/Tire Package with Pirelli Winter Tires
o $2400

19” Winter Studded Wheel/Tire Package with Nokian studded winter tires
o $2800

19” Wheel Package -- set of 4 19” wheels
o $1000

19 “ Wheel (single)
o $275

21” Wheel/Tire Package -- set of 4 21” Silver Wheels with Performance Tires
o $5,200

21” Wheel (single)
o $950

End quote.

The items which do not say "tires" are for rims only. Sorry about the awkward formatting, but that is pretty much the way it came.

Thanks Harold

This is great news! I ordered the 21" but live in Colorado and with the car showing up likely in Nov\Dec I need the 19" wheels right away. Just being able to order the wheels is perfect too so I can order Blizzak tires, the best ice tires I have ever used.

Thanks Tesla!


Yowza! Now you can even mix and match -- 19" fronts and 21" rears, etc. ;p

For the winter, you can buy 19 inch steel rims and the tires of your choice.

TM's bolt pattern is 5x120.


Just don't forget to choose the correct offset (40mm). Every 25 mm of offset difference (from stock) is like adding an extra 1000 lb. to the axle weight. The wheel bearings don't appreciate the additional load.

Living in Maryland, I've never used winter/snow tires, but since my Signature S is coming with 21" wheels I've been assuming I need to get a set of 19" wheels for winter. Last winter was extremely mild - we had maybe three days where there was freezing or near-freezing precipitation to deal with on the roads.

My question is, what does it mean to drive with winter tires on dry roads for months on end? Does the ride suck? Do the tires wear prematurely?

If the air suspension can lift each wheel for tire changing as someone implied a few months back in some other thread, I may just leave the 21" wheels on the car and plan to swap out at home when the weather actually turns bad (another toy buying opportunity! - compressor). That way I could get the studded tires and have even more confidence when driving in actual bad conditions.

Winter tires are made of a soft sticky compound. They wear very quickly at temperatures above eight degrees Celsius.

- My question is, what does it mean to drive with winter tires on dry roads for months on end?

Basically it means that the tire life will be short and the handling will be squishy.

For mild winter areas all-seasons are a reasonable compromise solution. Even if you have two sets of wheels you still should consider all-seasons for your winter tires because they will tend to last longer and handle better during 90% to 95% of your driving. Snow tires will be better for the five or six days of actual snow you experience in a year, but often in areas with mild winters folks don't drive on those days.

If you're getting 2 sets, all-seasons may not be a great idea. They're like hybrid cars: neither fish nor fowl. They will wear faster than summers in summer, with less traction, and give mediocre performance in serious snow. Maybe penny-wise and pound-foolish. IMO.

The other disadvantage, tho', of driving on winters on pavement is that the actual contact with the road is reduced because of the wide channels between treads necessary to "throw off" the snow without clogging. If you only have a few days of real snow per year, it might be smarter just to park the car till it melts! Unless you get a kick out of changing wheels. ;)

"freezing or near-freezing precipitation" is NOT the same as snow. Ice tires are quite different from snows. Snow tires actually suck on ice, because the contact area is reduced.

What are the group's thoughts about the performance tires in water-logged Seattle? We get two dry months per year. We get snow, but rarely and we use snow tires on our van in the winter for skiing. So, my question really comes down to this: can I keep the performance tires on year round? Other than wear and expense, is there a downside to this?


The wider the tread surface is, the more it will be problematic in wet conditions. Hydroplaning happens when the wedge of water that builds up under the front of the tire becomes equal to the inflation pressure of the tire. The wider the tire the more water is wedged and the sooner it happens. (Also the lower the inflation pressure the sooner it happens).

The 21" tires have a wider tread surface than the 19" tires even though the nominal section width is the same.

-- "freezing or near-freezing precipitation" is NOT the same as snow.

Correct, which is why good all-season tires are better than snow tires for those conditions. You get the flexibility needed in freezing temperatures, the ice traction because of the multiple sipes, and the better wear characteristics for the majority of days which are dry. Good all-season tires will do that. Of course, there many all-seasons that are not good.

Was there mention of an option for a set of the 19" wheels with their all-season tires(Goodyear?) and the price?

Kublai, no, this option was not mentioned so far. But it appears they will be selling the extra set of 19" rims without tires --> you could purchase separately your choice of all-seasons to complete the package.

Anyone in Seattle with rain tire experience? That's another climatic option ...


After a cross country trip in February and my first set of Snow Tires I became a believer and now always put on Snow tires come December.

The tests also show a different result than you are offering.

"In the end, only today's high-tech studless winter / snow tires have proven to consistently blend good noise comfort along with traction in snow and on ice."

Excellent study. The previous line is worth including:

"All-season tires are designed to provide traction in a wider range of temperatures, but we've found they can perform like a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Only today's dedicated winter / snow tires have proven to be able to blend good noise comfort and winter traction."

I just switched back to the 21" performance tires and ordered a 2nd set of 19" rims ($1,000). I live in NJ and did not view the 21" tires as practical for our weather in the winter and the bad conditions of our roads (pot holes). It bothered me that as a Signature reservation holder, downgrading to the 19" wheels was the equivalent of parting with a $3,500 option that Tesla would not credit toward my purchase price. Once they published the cost of the 19" rims, I decided to get the 21" tires and either switch to the 19" rims in the winter or simply sell the 21" rims to someone else. I decided to buy the tires for the 19" rims myself (as opposed to ordering through Tesla) because I have not decided which tires I should get and there seem to be plenty of options. Any recommendations on the best all-season tires for driving in the Northeast? Now, I just hope I get my car before winter arrives! (Estimated delivery date on my agreement says "September.")

@Peter, I live on the west side of Philly and I did the same thing. I went with the 21" wheels and will order an extra set of standard 19" wheels. Tirerack has the Tesla OEM 19" Goodyears on sale for $153 each, so I'll probably order 4 of those.

Also one should remember that the 21s come with summer tires which are not suitable or safe near freezing.

@John56 Thanks.

Is anyone concerned that the S doesn't come with a spare tire ? If you get a flat, you have to get it towed ?

You get a can of puncture fix, which will allow you to drive slowly to the nearest tire store. Where you will have to replace the tire, and maybe the wheel, too.

Theres also that active air three wheel bit to get you to a garage to get your tire patched. Hmmmmm I guess garages will still get a LITTLE business }B)

- Is anyone concerned that the S doesn't come with a spare tire ?

Yes, no spare tire is the worst thing about the Model S.

-- If you get a flat, you have to get it towed ?

If you have the air suspension, you should be able to limp a short distance on three wheels.

In addition, Tesla is selling the wheels at a very reasonable price so it won't be expensive to purchase a spare (though it really should be included in the price). The 21" wheel/tire won't fit in the frunk but the 19" one should be able to if you remove the lining.

Probably the best way to deal with the situation is to leave the spare at home normally and only carry it on long trips. The limp mode on the air suspension should avoid run-flat damage to the tire so most flats are likely to be repairable.

Is anyone concerned that the S doesn't come with a spare tire ? (Eys )

The whole issue has been discussed here:

If you have the air suspension, you should be able to limp a short distance on three wheels. (jerry3)

In the same thread, the "limp on three wheels" stunt has been discussed. Get real -- it's just a stunt! The air suspension may in fact be helpful for changing tires (together with a jack, of course, but reducing the sweat to lift the car up), but "limping on three wheels" is not a mode of operation.


It was never "just a stunt" in my DS-21. No reason why it should be a stunt in the Model S. Of course, you don't want to run on three wheels for any length of time, but to get to a place where it is safe to change the tire (on the highway) or to a nearby tire place (in the city) it should be just fine.

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