It looks like the way to get information about the latest changes to the Tesla Model 3 is to visit the parking lot at the automaker’s factory in Fremont.
Tonight we get another new feature that has made its way into the Model 3 – a slightly redesigned 19″ Sport wheel.
Quickly glancing at the new wheels on the back of a car carrier you might not even notice they are new, but upon closer inspection we can see several differences compared to the original Sport rim. Click the image below for a hi-res up-close look, which first appeared on Electrek and are shared with permission here.
The first change that really jumps out at us the spoke now flattens out to blend in with the outer part of the rim. In the previous version, the spokes twisted to enter the outer part of the wheel at an angle.
Along with the flatter spokes, the lip of the wheel is also a lot thicker and flatter. In the old version of the rims the lip curved towards the inside of the wheel, whereas now it is completely flat.
It also appears as though not all the spokes are the same shape.
While it is unknown at this time why they made such seemingly minor changes, they likely increase the efficiency and range of the vehicle. The Sport wheels also come in a 20″ size, but it is also unknown if the design of those wheels will change as well.
UPDATE: We have received information from a reliable source that the 20″ Sport wheels will not be getting this redesign.
UPDATE 2: There has been much speculation that these could possibly be aero covers, mostly due to the look of the valve stem. We are confident they are not for two main reasons.
The first reason is the valve stem looks almost identical to the Model S Slipstream wheels, which are also alloy wheels.
The second is the yellow sticker you see on the wheel. Those are only placed on the physical wheel itself, not the aero cover, to show they have been balanced (h/t Abstract Ocean). Tesla also does not typically ship vehicles with the aero covers installed.
Rumours about these new wheels first appeared a few days ago after hacker @greentheonly commented Tesla was refreshing two of the common wheel looks (in the visualizations).
they are refreshing two of the common wheel looks (but you need to look somewhat hard to see the differences it seems) and then they bring two bigger size ones in smaller more practical size.
— green (@greentheonly) October 9, 2020
What do you think of the new wheels? Let us know in the comments below.