Tesla's new wheels look like a worthwhile investment.
Tesla hasn't exactly been tight-lipped when it comes to leaking information to the public lately, so it doesn't come as a big surprise when someone within the company reveals information about an upcoming product. But the latest leak doesn't come from within Tesla, in fact, it comes from Model S owner Blake Quinn. Quinn noticed a recent software update on his car, which included a new feature to let owners change their wheel configuration on the car's touchscreen.
This wouldn't exactly be newsworthy but Quinn was surprised when he noticed a wheel design for the Model S that he had not seen before. These images sent to Electrek show a new design for the Model S called 'Sonic Silver Tempest' aero wheels.
The wheels aren't available yet on Tesla's website, despite being featured on the in-car configurator, meaning the company may be planning to reveal them in the near future. The configurator also shows optional 21-inch wheels (likely the same Turbine design that is currently available) which will be more attractive than the 19-inch aero ones but less efficient. The wheel design is a significant factor in determining the range of an EV. Opting for smaller, more aerodynamic wheels can dramatically cut down on wind resistance and while home-brew DIY wheels are capable of improving a Tesla's driving range.
Telsa once offered an aero wheel option for the Model S before discontinuing it but now offers the option on the Model 3. In fact, the aero wheels on the Model 3 (pictured below) are said to improve the range by around 10%. The wheel covers can be taken off, revealing a more sporty wheel design at the expense of range.
Just changing from the current 19-inch wheel option to the 21-inch wheels on the Model S drops the range from 345 miles down to 325 miles. If these new 19-inch aero wheels can provide a 10% bump in range, the Model S could see a significant range increase to around 380 miles.