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Does anyone know what causes the lower range on larger wheels? Is it a grippier performance-oriented tire, or just the slightly larger contact patch makes that much difference? Or physics of angular momentum?
 

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Is it a grippier performance-oriented tire, or just the slightly larger contact patch makes that much difference? Or physics of angular momentum?
The larger wheels aren't just an issue of wheel diameter. They also come with 255 width tires, vs. 235 on the 19" wheels. So that's more frontal area for aerodynamic drag, more tread area for rotating aerodynamic drag, and more tread width for rolling resistance. The wheel size & shape could also have differences in aerodynamic drag, and there could be different tire compounds used.

EDIT: also, if you look at the tire specs here, it looks like the tires they use on the 19" wheels have an "A" efficiency rating, while the tires used on the 21" wheels have a "B" rating.
 

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2022 Kia EV6 First Edition Steel Gray Matte
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I believe it’s the added weight but I could be wrong
@robby-d @Lechon You are exactly right. The added weight of the extra alloy metal in each rim requires a lot more energy to get them spinning upon each acceleration. Like a merry-go-round with none of your friends on it compared to one with three of your friends on it. LOL
 

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So what's the advantage of larger wheels and why would I want them? Seems like we are paying extra for a feature that not many want.
Performance. Large wheels means lower sidewalls, which translates to stiffness and better handling in corners. In this case, the 255's are 20mm (4/5") wider, so bigger contact patch = more traction (stopping / accel / turning), and again with stiffer sidewalls, more of that contact patch stays planted in more aggressive maneuvers.

Plus, larger rims and lower-profile tires are a style many appreciate the look of.
 

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Performance. Large wheels means lower sidewalls, which translates to stiffness and better handling in corners. In this case, the 255's are 20mm (4/5") wider, so bigger contact patch = more traction (stopping / accel / turning), and again with stiffer sidewalls, more of that contact patch stays planted in more aggressive maneuvers.

Plus, larger rims and lower-profile tires are a style many appreciate the look of.
The negatives are many - less range, more expensive, and more importantly.... worse acceleration and worse top-end speed with larger wheels.

A Model Y Performance owner documented the change from 21" to 19"


I love the scientific testing behind it. No more "internet guessing"
 

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If real life driving was a drag race, tires would only provide just enough traction to launch. But most people like their cars to turn and stop well, too ;) And sometimes even in non-favourable weather :)
 

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If real life driving was a drag race, tires would only provide just enough traction to launch. But most people like their cars to turn and stop well, too ;) And sometimes even in non-favourable weather :)
True.

Diminishing returns. 21" is overkill. 20" is the sweet spot IMO. You lose some range but gain in traction.


Besides... EVs are a special case. They are HEAVY at 4300+ lbs so you don't even need AWD for snow. The extra weight acts as bonus traction of sorts :)
 
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