Question: increase tire diameter to fill wheel gap?

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Mad Hungarian

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#41
So, as a recap, have we determined that this wheel is the 19" and the aero is the 18" (with the hard V shaped fins as opposed to these swooping V wheels in the picture)? View attachment 1751
Correct, with one new addition: Based on the RC hunting efforts of those around Freemont the past few days, it now appears that the 18" V spoke may have an aero cover.
upload_2017-6-5_10-40-52-png.1752

(props to Andrew Batiuk)
Whether this is standard or an optional accessory is anyone's guess, but I have a funny feeling these may be the standard base setup in order to be able to get the maximum EPA range rating.
However as we've seen in earlier pics, the underlying V-spoke wheel is quite pretty on its own, so for those who aren't hyper milers or just don't want the Space 1999 look it should be a simple affair to ditch them. Whether Tesla will offer a smaller five-finger lug cap for the V-spoke like the ones seen on the Alpha (and presumably what will be standard on the 19" swooping V) remains to be seen. If not, I'm sure we'll hear the aftermarket firing up the CAD software...
 
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Mad Hungarian

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#42
And 17" would be even smoother?
Yes, absolutely. But it remains to be seen which versions of the car - if any - will be able to handle 17". What follows is me purely spit-balling...
It appears there are at least two different front calipers running around on the RC cars, a pedestrian-looking floating caliper and a higher end multi-piston monobloc caliper like the S, X and Alpha have.
My best guess is that the RWD base cars will get the cheaper floating caliper, and based on images I'm feeling somewhat confident that might be able to downsize to 17". Whether the monoblocs go with AWD or AWD P models is not yet known, but I'm thinking that 18" will be the minimum on those.
 

garsh

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#43
Correct, with one new addition: Based on the RC hunting efforts of those around Freemont the past few days, it now appears that the 18" V spoke may have an aero cover.
This would be interesting. I could see leaving the aero covers off most of the time, and then installing them when I go on a long trip and want the extra efficiency.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#44
This would be interesting. I could see leaving the aero covers off most of the time, and then installing them when I go on a long trip and want the extra efficiency.
Yes, and I'm sure you wouldn't be alone, that's a pretty solid plan.
As a wheel guy I have to admit I'm surprised that don't find them as hideous as others do, I'm thinking painted to match the body colour they might even be kind of retro-future kitschy cool.
 

KennethK

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#45
As most here, I actually like the 18" V without the aero covers, but I am holding out for the AWD option which may be paired ( bundled) with the 19" option. @Mad Hungarian , thanks for all your useful information on comfort of ride. It makes this really a non issue as to what packages to select for wheels. I have an i3 with 20" wheels now which I have gotten used to, but like the extra comfort when I switch to the 19" winter wheels.
 

Mad Hungarian

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#47
As most here, I actually like the 18" V without the aero covers, but I am holding out for the AWD option which may be paired ( bundled) with the 19" option. @Mad Hungarian , thanks for all your useful information on comfort of ride. It makes this really a non issue as to what packages to select for wheels. I have an i3 with 20" wheels now which I have gotten used to, but like the extra comfort when I switch to the 19" winter wheels.
You're quite welcome. Don't forget that when comparing ride qualities for different diameters it's important to stay apples-to-apples to be accurate. One of the reasons you might be finding such a noticeable improvement when switching down to the 19" winters is that winter tires usually have a much softer sidewall in order to slow down steering inputs and maintain traction on icy surfaces. So I'm guessing about half the improvement you're feeling is due to this effect. If you tried an i3 on 19" summers you'd likely find the ride comfort somewhere between your winter 19" and summer 20".
This is important to consider for the long term when deciding on a size. Just because the OE 19" or 20" tire's ride is firm doesn't mean you can't improve on it when it comes to replace. These 30-to-50 series low profile tire sizes used to be strictly the domain of all-out performace models, which is what gave them a bad rap for harsh ride and low life expectancy. But as this sizing has become more mainstream, and tire technology has exploded forward, we're now seeing long-wearing, cushy-riding (well, relatively) 40/45/50 series tires that still offer great performance. To wit: I'm testing a set of 235/45R18 Conti PureContacts right now on my Volt that have a fabulously smooth ride and an incredible 740 treadwear rating. Will they set records at the Nurburgring? No. But they still offer way more grip than the OE 215/55R17 and give up very little in comfort.
 

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#48
As a wheel guy I have to admit I'm surprised that don't find them as hideous as others do, I'm thinking painted to match the body colour they might even be kind of retro-future kitschy cool.
@Mad Hungarian now you are stealing my thunder! As I said in a previous post, those wheel covers are begging to be customized. I see it as getting two different wheel looks, - with and without. This is going to be fun! Call me Senor retro-future kitschy cool! :cool:
 

ModFather

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#49
One of the reasons you might be finding such a noticeable improvement when switching down to the 19" winters is that winter tires usually have a much softer sidewall in order to slow down steering inputs and maintain traction on icy surfaces. .
@arnis opined in a different thread that A/S (all season) tires were the worst of both worlds. He likes two sets of tires, summer and winter. I have Michelin EnergySaver A/S tires on my Prius and love them. But this is Southern California where snow is banned and I don't know the first thing about driving in snow. @Mad Hungarian what is your opinion of A/S tires in mild climate areas?
 

Mad Hungarian

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#50
@arnis opined in a different thread that A/S (all season) tires were the worst of both worlds. He likes two sets of tires, summer and winter. I have Michelin EnergySaver A/S tires on my Prius and love them. But this is Southern California where snow is banned and I don't know the first thing about driving in snow. @Mad Hungarian what is your opinion of A/S tires in mild climate areas?
Many years ago this would have been a very different discussion, but today I am a HUGE fan of all season ultra high performance (UHP) tires, even for those of us who run a second set of dedicated winter tires. The recent advances in tread design and especially rubber compounds are such that most top all season UHP tires can run nearly neck-to-neck with their summer-only counter parts in terms of street performance but offer distinct advantages when the weather gets colder. And I don't mean sub-zero and snowing, I mean as soon as it drops much below 10C or 50F. So for a climate like we have in Canada where you never know what you'll get in April/May or October/November they're a far better proposition.
The only time I recommend summer-only UHP models is for folks who constantly drive to the limits on nice warm summer days, track their cars regularly or insist on the bragging rights. But the truth is the average person, and even a dedicated nutcase like me, is far more likely to reach the traction limits of their tires on a cold rainy day than on a warm dry one. And it is here the latest UHP A/S reigns supreme.
Would I really use them in winter? No. Our winters are insane.
But in a milder climate that sees just vestigial snow from time to time the good ones would be fine year-round, and for reasons described above often the best choice.
 

Jean Théoret

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#51
There are a lot of variables to answer that with 100% certainty in every case. And every driver has their own idea of what acceptable ride comfort is. But as we're pretty sure that the 18" will be a 235/45R18 and the 19" will be a 235/40R19, if we assume the same tire model is used then yes, you will be able to feel that the 19" ride is firmer, most noticeably over smaller, sharper bumps. However it should be noted that the multi-link type suspension that the 3 will have is generally very good at handling larger diameter / lower profile tire sizes, my A4 with the same type of suspension rode just fine on 235/40's. So if you love the look or prefer sharper handling, I don't personally think the 19" is going to be a problem even on our horrible Quebec roads. Damage from impact will be slightly more of a risk, but no matter what you ride on around here sooner or later one of our meteor impact craters will get you :eek:.
But if you really want the smoothest ride, stick with 18".
Many thanks for your reply. As you Know, I'm using the 235/45R/17 2008 standard size with the Sline I guess. So I'll be using 18'' for winter and 19'' for the summer. And for those craters, your right, better be careful @ 300$ +- per tire!o_O
 

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#52
One of my all time fave OE tires was the 335/35R15 on the back of the Countach...
I remember back in high school, promising myself that I would own a Countach at some point in my life.
I check prices online every now and then. Still way out of my reach (>$300k).

Anyhow, if you want some feedback on designs for 19" staggered wheels, I'd love to take a look. :)
 

Red Sage

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#54
Correct, with one new addition: Based on the RC hunting efforts of those around Freemont the past few days, it now appears that the 18" V spoke may have an aero cover.
View attachment 1752
(props to Andrew Batiuk)
Whether this is standard or an optional accessory is anyone's guess, but I have a funny feeling these may be the standard base setup in order to be able to get the maximum EPA range rating.
However as we've seen in earlier pics, the underlying V-spoke wheel is quite pretty on its own, so for those who aren't hyper milers or just don't want the Space 1999 look it should be a simple affair to ditch them. Whether Tesla will offer a smaller five-finger lug cap for the V-spoke like the ones seen on the Alpha (and presumably what will be standard on the 19" swooping V) remains to be seen. If not, I'm sure we'll hear the aftermarket firing up the CAD software...
Wow. I had no idea at all those were wheel covers. I thought they were actually solid wheels through-and-through. You have a very good eye to have spotted that. Yes, the wheels look good with or without the covers. But I would probably be one of the few souls that left the covers on anytime I wasn't cleaning the car.

Yes, and I'm sure you wouldn't be alone, that's a pretty solid plan.
As a wheel guy I have to admit I'm surprised that don't find them as hideous as others do, I'm thinking painted to match the body colour they might even be kind of retro-future kitschy cool.
I like the look a whole lot, sort of an armored anime appearance. It matches the sketches I've seen in automotive magazines since the early 1980s. Very sleek and futuristic, in my opinion. I would definitely want to see them body colored if possible. It might be interesting to put an LED on them for night driving too... just to get that TRON look on the road.


 

Mad Hungarian

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#55
I remember back in high school, promising myself that I would own a Countach at some point in my life.
I check prices online every now and then. Still way out of my reach (>$300k).

Anyhow, if you want some feedback on designs for 19" staggered wheels, I'd love to take a look. :)
Lambo: Heh heh, yes, it's rather amazing how some of those 70's/80's exotics have just blown the roof in the last few years. My dream car in high school was the 911 Turbo (or more properly the 930, as we snobby kids referred to it) and not even 10 years ago you could find clean examples for well under $50K. Not anymore!

Wheels: Oddly enough I was just PM'ing with @el crucero about design ideas and I am for sure going to have to set up a survey to start formalizing some of the opinions / requests that have been floating around so far. I'm pretty under the weather at the moment but hopefully by next week I'll be up to the task getting that going.
 

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#56
@Mad Hungarian can you tell my why one couldn't go with a set of 225/70 R14's and what would be the restuld (aside from looks)? Now that we know the 19's are 235/40 R19 and the 14's I mention have identical O.D., I'm just wondering why that wouldn't be OK (you seemed to say earlier that even 17's were iffy, or maybe I misunderstood.).

Thanks.
 

MelindaV

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#57
@Mad Hungarian can you tell my why one couldn't go with a set of 225/70 R14's and what would be the restuld (aside from looks)? Now that we know the 19's are 235/40 R19 and the 14's I mention have identical O.D., I'm just wondering why that wouldn't be OK (you seemed to say earlier that even 17's were iffy, or maybe I misunderstood.).

Thanks.
Disk brakes intended to fit in an 18" or 19" likely would not fit in a 14" wheel.
 

ModFather

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#58
the 14's I mention have identical O.D., I'm just wondering why that wouldn't be OK (you seemed to say earlier that even 17's were iffy, or maybe I misunderstood.)..
Disk brakes intended to fit in an 18" or 19" likely would not fit in a 14" wheel.
Exactly @Steve , what @MelindaV said, it has to do with clearance issues for the disc brakes. We won't know for sure until the Mighty Mad One can get his hands on a production car. It is extremely doubtful that anything below 17" will work.