All About Tesla Tires
By: Discount Tire
Say what you will about the methods (and metrics) its CEO uses, Tesla is a household name in the automotive industry. With a growing product line soon to include CUVs with its upcoming Model Y, it’s a good time to stop and consider how far this company has come.
Once being a niche automotive manufacturer that boasted ludicrous (see what we did there?) performance out of its Roadster and Model S, it’s now outselling traditional and established auto manufacturers in the segments it competes in with the Model 3. Regardless of what you think of its design, you simply can’t deny that Tesla is positioned to continue its revolutionary run of hard-fought success in the coming dawn of widespread electric vehicle ownership.
But what about Tesla tires, you ask?
First off, we know Tesla tires can be expensive to replace—especially if you blow one out on top of bending or cracking an OE Tesla rim. That combined with the near-instantaneous amount of torque that Teslas produce from their multiple electric engines create a sad but unavoidable reality that Tesla tires are often not long for this world regardless of which model or trim level of Tesla you drive.
Here’s the thing to ask yourselves, Tesla owners: are you willing to trade 10-15 miles of battery range to drastically reduce the likelihood of this this happening, while gaining some serious ride comfort in the process?
For some, that answer is no. That’s totally fine. Respectable, even. If you bought your Tesla to get the best possible electric-powered mileage out of it no matter what, good for you.
Or maybe you like to womp on internal combustion engine sports cars and want the lowest-profile, most performance-oriented tire out there? No one would blame you for that either.
But maybe you’re trying to retain performance and efficiency while drastically improving your overall ride comfort?
There are options for all three of these Tesla tire types.
Tesla tires for improving range
Generally speaking, every “long range” or high-capacity battery variant of Tesla ship on solid all-season tires focused on fuel economy (no matter what kind of “fuel” is in use to propel a given vehicle) and all-season grip.
These are some of the most common and widely produced tires out there—it’s hard to make a bad choice with how much tire technology has developed over the years. If anything, take your budget into consideration and go from there!
Tesla tires for performance
For the performance-oriented trim level of each Tesla model, (Model S Performance, Model 3 Performance, Model X Performance, presumably the Model Y performance and whichever older P90D or P100D variant you drive) these come equipped with one of if not the best summer ultra-high performance tire out there: the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.
Not a lot you can really to do upgrade beyond this tire, no matter which Tesla you drive. That it comes as the OE (original equipment) tire on the performance trim level of each Tesla speaks volumes to how seriously Tesla takes its performance chops.
But what you can do is a plus-zero size increase on the section width of its fitment. While the Model S and Model X are staggered fitments, our fitment shows that you can run up to 20mm wider on the fronts and rears. From here, you can also drop your aspect ratio (the tire’s overall height) another 5mm. What this does is put more rubber on the road, giving you better grip under extreme acceleration, shorter stopping distances and the capacity for higher lateral-G performance when cornering.
A shorter aspect ratio also reduces rolling resistance, which can further help with acceleration performance and may even offset some of the increase in rolling resistance you’ll incur by going with almost a 10% wider set of tires in this manner. What this does is effectively mitigate some of the loss in range you might experience when going with wider tires that are the same height as your previous set of tires.
The tradeoff? Think about the quality of the roads where you drive. If there are a lot of potholes this could make it more likely that you’ll have a puncture or (even worse) damage on your OE Tesla wheels.
Did you bend or crack one of your Tesla’s wheels? Our stores offer wheel and rim repair services for far cheaper than buying a brand new Tesla wheel (or set of wheels) and can fix Tesla wheels of any variety.
Tesla tires for all-season drivability and comfort
As we’ve previously covered on the more performance oriented Tesla tire options, the inverse of section-width plus sizing can be done to great effect for any given Tesla’s overall ride comfort. By going with a taller tire (even on the same tire) you’ll give your tesla that much more cushion when you go over a bump or pothole.
Here’s the thing: this will put a marginally greater strain on your drivetrain, thus making your Tesla just a smidge slower to accelerate, longer to brake while reducing its range to a certain extent.
But we’ll let you in on a trick here.
If you swap your Tesla’s original equipment wheels with a shorter diameter set that’s also lighter in weight—especially if you just busted a wheel and are looking down a multi-thousand-dollar expense that your insurance won’t be any help with on a set of new OE Tesla wheels—you’ll likely offset if not improve on any knock in charge efficiency you’d lose by going with bigger tires.
In effect, you can get a significantly larger and more durable tire that will give you the same (if not improved) battery range, all on a more comfortable ride both around town and on the highway.
In the meantime, take the guesswork out of picking out the very best tires for your Tesla by shopping our Tesla-specific tires, wheels, and Tesla wheel/tire packages from our homepage. From there, make an appointment at a location near you!