Not too long ago, you could brag about rolling on 18-inch (457.2 mm) wheels. These days, you’ll need a few more inches to boast because an entry-level Tesla Model Y already comes standard with 19s. If you’re not a fan of poverty-spec wheels, upgrading to 20s will cost you an additional two thousand dollars, but are they worth it?
20-inch (508 mm) Induction wheels are more expensive than 19-inch (482.6 mm) Gemini Aeros for Tesla Model Ys. However, you should be prepared to sacrifice more than just the extra cost. Bigger wheels enhance your car’s appearance but can compromise driving range and ride comfort.
Continue reading if the decision to get bigger wheels for your Tesla Model Y keeps you up at night. This article will help you make the right decision by explaining the differences between 19 and 20-inch wheels while going over their pros and cons.
- Differences Between Tesla Model Y’s 19 and 20-Inch Wheels
- Wheel Numbers Explained
- How Wheels and Tires Affect Performance
- Pros and Cons of Different Wheels for Tesla Model Y
- Other Wheel Options for Tesla Model Y
- What You Should Know / Relevant Tidbits (FAQs)
Differences Between Tesla Model Y’s 19 and 20-Inch Wheels
Aside from the diameter, there are critical differences between the Tesla Model Y’s 19 and 20-inch wheels. So, to decide if getting the bigger wheel option is a good idea, it helps to know what those differences are.
The table below shows the specs of each wheel:
|Tesla Model Y 19” Gemini Aero Wheels||Tesla Model Y 20” Induction Wheels|
|Size||19 x 9.5” (482.6 x 241.3 mm)||20 x 9.5” (508 x 241.3 mm)|
|PCD||5 x 114.3||5 x 114.3|
|Center Bore||64.1 mm (2.52 inches)||64.1 mm (2.52 inches)|
|Weight||29.6 lb (13.42 kg)||31.55 lb (14.31 kg)|
|Tires||Continental ProContact RX 255/45R19 104W XL||Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 255/40R20 101W XL|
Wheel Numbers Explained
The Tesla Model Y’s 19 and 20-inch wheel options have a similar center bore, offset, and PCD but vary in weight, size, and the tires with which they come. If some of these terms sound Greek to you, don’t worry. We will cover the definitions to help you choose the right wheels for your Tesla:
Wheel size is often shown as diameter x width in inches. The Gemini Aero wheel size is 19 x 9.5”, while the Induction wheel measures 20 x 9.5”, which means that the Induction wheel is an inch longer in diameter but has the same width as the Aero wheel.
A wheel’s offset is the distance from its centerline to the surface that touches the car’s hub. Wheels can have either a positive or negative offset or no (zero) offset.
- Positive offset. A positive offset means that the wheel’s mounting surface is closer to the side facing the curb.
- Negative offset. When the wheel’s mounting surface is closer to the side facing the car’s suspension, it has a negative offset.
- Zero offset. Zero offset means the mounting surface lies in the center of the wheel’s width.
The Implications of Wheel Offset
Wheels with a negative offset may appeal to those who want to give their vehicle a wider track, which may be done for aesthetic reasons or to improve the car’s handling.
However, wheels with a negative offset put more strain on components like the axle, bearings, and driveline. If the offset is too negative, it can also cause the tires to rub against the wheel well or fenders, limiting its ability to turn.
The Gemini Aero and Induction wheels have a positive offset of +45, which means that the wheels sit closer to the car’s suspension. Most factory-fitted wheels have a positive offset since it looks neater and allows wider tires.
PCD stands for Pitch Circle Diameter, the diameter in millimeters of an imaginary circle that runs along the center of each stud on a wheel. I will not bore you with how PCD is measured since it is primarily used to determine what wheels are compatible with your ride.
The Tesla Model Y Gemini and Induction wheels have a PCD of 5×114.3, but you don’t have to worry about fitment since they are both factory options.
The Center Bore refers to the size of the machined hole at the back of the wheel that surrounds the vehicle’s hub. It is crucial for the center bore to match the hub size to ensure that the wheel is mounted precisely.
Since the Gemini and Induction wheels are both factory options, you can ensure the center bore of 64.1 mm (2.52 inches) is as it should be.
Wheel weight refers to the rims without the tires. The Gemini Aero Wheel is almost 2 lb (0.90 kg) lighter, weighing only 29.6 lb (13.42 kg) compared to the Induction wheel, which weighs 31.55 lb (14.31 kg).
Lighter wheels contribute to lowering a vehicle’s unsprung weight. Manufacturers try their best to reduce a car’s unsprung weight to improve comfort and driving dynamics since less unsprung weight improves the suspension’s performance.
At a glance, the smaller wheel option may seem lighter, but after factoring in the weight of the tires and the air in them, the difference becomes less significant.
Using the tires that come with the Gemini Aero wheels as an example, let’s examine what the numbers and letters on the tire’s sidewall mean.
Gemini Aero wheels come with Continental ProContact RX 255/45R19 104W XL tires.
Here’s what the numbers and letters signify:
- Tire width: This is the length of the tire from one side to the other in millimeters.
- Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio refers to how tall the sidewall is as a percentage of the tire’s width.
- Tire construction: This term refers to the tire’s internal construction. R stands for its radial construction, while D is an abbreviation for diagonal plies.
- Wheel diameter (inches): This is the rim diameter on which the tire can be mounted.
- Load index: A tire’s load index refers to how much weight it can support based on a load index chart.
- Speed rating: This indicates the maximum speed you should travel using the tire based on a speed rating chart.
|Gemini Aero Wheels (19s)||Induction Wheels (20s)|
|Tire Specifications||Continental ProContact RX 255/45R19 104W XL||Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 255/40R20 101W XL|
|Aspect Ratio||45 (45% of 255mm = 114.75mm)||40 (40% of 255mm = 102mm)|
|Wheel Diameter||19 inches (482.6 mm)||20 inches (508 mm)|
|Load Rating||104 (1984 lb or 50393.6 kg)||101 (1819 lb 46202.6 kg)|
|Speed Rating||W (168 mph or 270.37 km/h)||W (168 mph or 270.37 km/h)|
How Wheels and Tires Affect Performance
Many people upgrade their car’s wheels for aesthetic reasons. However, even if you’re not the nerdy type, you should still consider reviewing wheel and tire specifications since they can significantly affect the user experience and the car’s performance:
Wheel size can have a dramatic impact on ride comfort. Smaller wheels are generally lighter, which impacts suspension performance.
The suspension helps keep the car firmly planted on the road and the occupants comfortable by compressing and expanding to deal with road imperfections. Using lighter wheels lets the suspension travel more freely and do its job more effectively.
Smaller wheels also have thicker sidewalls, which do a better job of cushioning bumps and potholes.
Newton’s Law of Motion states, “The acceleration of an object depends on the object’s mass, and the amount of force applied.” Larger and heavier wheels will require more effort from the engine to rotate. So, increasing wheel size will lead to slower acceleration since you’re adding mass with the engine delivering the same amount of torque.
The diameter and width of a wheel affect how a car handles corners. Smaller wheels will respond more directly to a driver’s steering inputs since each wheel rotation covers a shorter distance. However, wider wheels will have a larger contact patch with the road, which translates to better grip.
If your primary reason for upgrading to bigger wheels is to improve handling, you might also wish to consider suspension upgrades.
“You should really stiffen your suspension along with increasing tire width as body roll will increase substantially if the car can dig much harder into corners due to the added friction leading to corner stability.”Car Throttle
A car’s turning radius is how tightly a vehicle can turn when the steering is fully turned in a particular direction. Significantly increasing the width or altering the offset of the wheels can cause them to rub against the fender or wheel well, limiting their ability to turn.
Your car’s speedometer is calibrated based on the combined diameter of your wheels and tires. Upgrading to bigger rims often means using tires with a lower aspect ratio. However, if the upgrade increases the overall diameter of your wheels and tires, your speedometer reading will be less accurate.
A car’s speedometer works based on how fast your wheels rotate. Increasing the diameter of the wheel translates to covering a greater distance for every rotation, which means the speedometer will give a reading that is lower than how fast you’re traveling. The speedometer reading will also become less accurate as you speed up.
Larger wheels can negatively impact a car’s fuel efficiency since they require more effort from the engine to rotate. EVs like the Tesla Model Y may not have an internal combustion engine or run on fuel, but the same principle applies. The electric motors will need to work harder, using more power from the batteries.
If you’re considering opting for the 20-inch Induction wheels on your Tesla Model Y, be prepared to take a 6 to 7% dip in efficiency. The Induction wheels will lessen your driving range by about 22 miles (35.40 km) for every full charge.
The YouTube video below shows the difference the 20-inch wheels have on driving range, based on a test done in real-world driving conditions:
Pros and Cons of Different Wheels for Tesla Model Y
Now that we’ve established how different tires and wheels affect performance, we can better identify each Model Y wheel option’s advantages and drawbacks.
You’ll see below that each wheel set has its share of pros and cons.
Gemini Aero Wheels
- Smaller tires are relatively cheaper
- Longer driving range
- More comfortable
- Tires have a higher load rating
- Better towing capacity (with > 4 people on board)
- Considered less stylish
- Harder to sell
- Tires have lower ratings based on Tirerack consumer surveys
- Makes the car look more upscale
- Easier to sell (since they are considered upgrades)
- Tires have higher ratings based on Tirerack consumer surveys
- Better handling (due to tires)
- More control in snowy and wet conditions (due to tires)
- Better tire treadwear
- Tires are generally more expensive
- The driving range is somewhat compromised
- Less comfortable
- Tires have a lower load rating
- Decreased towing capacity (with > 4 people on board)
Tesla Tire and Date Replacement Calculator
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You can use this online Tesla tire calculator to find how long any Tesla Model tire will last. You can also estimate the number of miles left on your current set and how many days you have until they need to be swapped out for new ones. If that is the case, you can also find the price for any set of Tesla tires by selecting the appropriate tires. Have fun!
Other Wheel Options for Tesla Model Y
When configuring your Long Range Tesla Model Y, you can only choose between the 19-inch Gemini Aero or 20-inch Induction wheels. The biggest wheels you can get from the factory are the 21-inch (533.4 mm) Uberturbine wheels, which are only available on the Performance Model Y.
If you want to get 21-inch rims for your Long Range Model Y, you must purchase them separately. Fortunately, many wheel manufacturers produce replicas of the Uberturbine wheel.
You may also opt for a different design, but keep the specifications close to the factory options to avoid any issues.
|Tesla Model Y Performance 21” (533.4 mm) Uberturbine Wheels|
|Size||20 x 9.5” (508 x 241.3 mm) Front, 20 x 10.5” (508 x 266.7 mm) Rear|
|Offset||+40 Front, +48 Rear|
|PCD||5 x 114.3|
|Center Bore||64.1 mm (2.52 inches)|
|Weight||38.05 lb (17.25 kg) Front, 38.95 lb (989.33 kg) Rear|
Some Model Y owners manage to fit 22-inch (558.8 mm) wheels with 30-series tires (aspect ratio). The wheels will technically work, but this would not be a practical choice due to the tires’ extremely low profile. You should only consider this option if you can live with the ride comfort of a push cart or if you’re willing to upgrade to air suspension.
What You Should Know / Relevant Tidbits (FAQs)
Will Using Aftermarket Rims Void My Warranty?
Using aftermarket rims will not automatically void your warranty. If a defect occurs, the manufacturer must prove an aftermarket part caused the issue.
Are There Aftermarket Wheel Manufacturers That Produce Wheels Specifically for Tesla?
There are aftermarket wheel manufacturers that produce wheels specifically for Tesla. T Sportline and Ohmwheels are both brands that produce Tesla aftermarket wheels specifically. They have a wide range of wheels for each Tesla model.
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