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Here Are the Ultra-Rare Base Wheels on the Tesla Model S

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.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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