The Tesla Model Y can now attempt to join the world of serious off-roaders with new beadlock-capable wheels from Unplugged Performance. While these new wheels won't suddenly turn a Model Y into a Jeep Wrangler, they will help increase the performance of their upgraded Teslas in more extreme conditions.
What are beadlock wheels? Essentially, beadlock wheels allow the tire's bead to be mounted on the outside of the rim. It's then secured with an additional outer ring, which is bolted to the wheel on top of the tire bead, squeezing it in place. The idea is to allow lower air pressure than a normal wheel setup can, which provides more grip in the most extreme off-roading conditions.
A standard tire's bead is pressure fit into the wheel's rim and such fitment works perfectly fine in essentially every other situation. Beadlock tires are typically only used on extreme off-road-ready vehicles and military vehicles, as a pressure-fit tire bead will slip off the wheel if the tire pressure gets too low.
However, what makes UP's wheels interesting is that they can be used both ways. If you want them for serious off-road use, you can have your tires mounted outside the rim and have the beadlock ring fitted with the included titanium bolts. Or, if you don't want to use the beadlock, you can just have them mounted normally and keep the beadlock ring in a box in your closet. If you do use the beadlock, though, UP claims tire pressures can go as low as five psi.
These UP-03 wheels only come as 18-inchers, fit Tesla's standard bolt pattern, and work with its stock lug nuts, center caps, and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). As with all UP wheels, these beadlock wheels are made from forged aluminum and come in either a satin black or satin titanium finish. Each wheel costs $1,123.75, which means a set costs $4,495.
Outside of maybe very loose sand, the beadlock capability of these wheels is only going to benefit already heavily upgraded Tesla Model Ys. The sorts of low-traction environments where drivers need the extra grip and contact patch of ultra-low-pressure tires are typically only seen by heavily upgraded off-road vehicles. However, if you're the type of Tesla enthusiast who genuinely does off-road your Model Y, these new UP-03 wheels could be useful.
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