I recently ran across the Tesla pictured above, and I was incredibly surprised. Generally speaking, it looks like every other Tesla Model S you’ll encounter, but this one has one big change: the wheels. These are the "ultra-base level" wheels for the Model S, and virtually nobody who got this car chose these wheels. I’ve only seen two Model S models with them in the six years this car has been out, so I figured it’d be a noteworthy post here.
To start, a little background on the Model S. As you probably know, it came out back in 2012 and it’s been a highly popular electric car. It was originally offered in three flavors: a base-level 60 kilowatt-hour model, a mid-level 85 kWh model and a sportier, high-performance P85 model.
Except, that isn’t true. When the Model S first came out, for its first few months on the market, Tesla also offered a 40 kWh model, an entry-level version with a range of just 160 miles and a lot of missing equipment. A navigation system and a backup camera were options, for instance, and Supercharging was unavailable. Within a few months, Tesla quietly killed off the 40 kWh Model S, leaving these cars to be especially rare.
The ultra-base wheel Model S shown above is likely a 40 kWh version, as these were price leaders and usually purchased with few options. With that said, it isn’t certainly one. I believe these wheels were also "standard" on at least the 60 kWh Model S for at least a year or two, though virtually everyone paid extra to upgrade to nicer-looking wheels. Eventually, they went away, and most people — including many Tesla fans — don’t even know they ever existed. A few Google searches to try and find mention of them didn’t yield a single result.
But, here they are: the base-level wheels from the stripped-down Tesla Model S — a rare touch that hardly ever shows up on the roads.