Tesla Tires Come With Sound-Dampening Acoustic Foam




Tesla Model X & S

According to a Tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, via Teslarati, the Tesla Model S & X are hushed beyond their seamless powertrain.

Driving an electric car provides a sense of serenity that’s not found in traditional ICE vehicles. This may be something that attracts some while pushing others away. Tesla vehicles, despite their stealth, provide unmatched acceleration that may woo even those that have learned to crave the rumble of a gas engine.

While having no internal combustion, no traditional transmission, and very few moving components may be more than enough to make an EV peaceful to its passengers and the environment, Tesla has taken it a step further by equipping some Model S & X vehicles with acoustic foam-filled sound dampening tires.


Model S Continental ContiSportContact 5p Tire with Noise Reducing Technology

It’s important to note, however, that not all configurations come standard with the Continental ContiSilent tires. But, performance trims utilize them. You can surely go to your nearest Tesla dealer and request to get the Continental ContiSportContact 5P tires with the specific ContiSilent technology put on your vehicle. Not all ContiSportContact 5P tire sizes or variations contain the technology.

According to Continental, the tires can limit tire noise by up to an additional 9 decibels before it reaches the cabin. This is through the use of a special sound-absorbing polyurethane foam material, which is placed inside the tire. The foam has no impact on steering or handling quality, or the tire’s ability to adequately respond to road conditions.

According to Teslarati, Tesla owners have noted that the ContiSilent tires are noticeably quieter than the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires found in prior versions of the Model S.

Since Tesla doesn’t use model years, like traditional automakers, and most issues are resolved via over-the-air updates, the vehicles are ever-changing. We are finding more and more that the electric automaker is also continually working with suppliers to update facets of the vehicles, and oftentimes the improvements go unannounced.

It’s crazy to think that you don’t need to trade in your car, or upgrade to a new model, to know that you will potentially receive that latest updates from Tesla.

Source: TIRERACK via Teslarati

Category: Tesla

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28 responses to "Tesla Tires Come With Sound-Dampening Acoustic Foam"
  1. MEroller says:

    Michael and Tammy Subasic reported on the sound damping foam in Tesla tires in April of this year:

    1. JIMJFOX says:

      Tiresome video! Just get to the point, already.

  2. Dave Hrivnak says:

    This is true. The downside of those 21″ extremely low profile tires is they are easily damaged by pot holes and they are hard to find as NO one locally had any including Tesla and so had to order via tire rack at a crazy price of $400 for one tire!

    1. Tom says:

      The tires cost more per mile than the electricity. That isn’t a good thing

  3. acevolt says:

    The OEM Goodyear tires also had foam insulation in them. It would be interesting to have an interior dB sound comparison between the different tires.

  4. vvk says:

    And yet my BMW is still quieter at speed, despite the loud V8.

    1. Unplugged says:

      According to Edmunds test measurements you are wrong. The BMW 7 series measurements are as follows:
      Sound level @ idle (dB) 44.3
      @ Full throttle (dB) 73.1
      @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 63.0

      The Model S is:
      Db @ Idle: 36.4
      Db @ Full Throttle: 62.5
      Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 61.7

      Do you happen to have another measurement cite, or ?

      1. JIMJFOX says:

        Excellent! Another blowhard [vvk] shot down in flames- very well done. How I love facts- which can make you unpopular with the ‘i hear say…’

        1. vvk says:

          I don’t know about the 7 series but my 2010 550i M-Sport rides better and quieter than my 2017 Tesla MS. I have both cars and subjectively the 5 series is quieter at speed with 17″ Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires on it. I am sure these tires are considerably quieter than the steam roller 19″+ run flat tires the 7-series was measured with.

  5. Mister G says:

    I wonder if the foam will make tire more puncture resistant?

  6. AP says:

    Here’s a test of the tires done by Car and Driver. Apparently, they don’t do much.


    1. Unplugged says:

      I would think it has more to do with tread design, than foam. At least that is what I have found in the last 40 years or so.

  7. unlucky says:

    9dB is a buttload. I have to think that is exaggerated.

    I’m skeptical that putting foam inside the tires would do that much.

    1. DL says:

      They don’t say what octave band is attenuated. If it’s 9db in just a single band (possible), then you may not even notice it.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Since the cavity inside the tire is acting like a resonance cavity, having a sound absorbing material inside will sure have a strong effect on reducing the sound level. So 9 dB is very realistic especially at the natural resonance frequency.

      1. unlucky says:

        I did consider this before I posted and I simply don’t agree.

        Resonation keeps sound from dissipating. If you don’t damp the sound from the back of the tread and it reflects forward then that means it will be twice as loud, 3dB.

        Damping the back perfectly would mean a 3dB cut. a 9dB cut is 8x. And it seems unrealistic to me.

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          Yes in theory a perfectly closed vessel with a resonating stationary wave will be silent to the exterior, like in a near ideal thermo acoustic system, but a tire, with soft rubber material, will have significant losses to the outside and will therefore emit a good part of the energy. So if you put an absorber directly acting on the internal stationary wave energy, the losses to the exterior will be proportionally reduced. Of course direct emissions are not affected and road surface will still have a big influence as well.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            You just made me think that it could be interesting to replace the absorbing material with a loudspeaker inside the wheel emitting an exact opposite phase sound to cancel out the stationary wave. Something akin to the active headphones that airport workers are wearing to neutralize the sound of the plane reactors. Of course, it would need lots of electricity to do so, but it could have an amazing effect.

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      This gives some info from Michelin:


      In the shown graph of a test there are 3 pikes above 50 dB. At 110 Hz, 210 Hz and 340 Hz. The main one at 210 Hz of 59 dB is reduced to 49 dB with the use of polyurethane foam.

  8. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    Continental announced these tires sometime in 2013. A bit slow news 😉

    Here is a link to road test – they found little difference:

  9. Larspa says:

    I live next to a road where cars pass at speeds between 60 and 80 km/h. I can testify that a Tesla model S is as noicy as any other car – the noice of approaching cars mainly (almost exclusively) coming from the front tires.
    I have only experienced an i3 pass once, and it was notably quieter. But this is of course just subjective observations.

    1. arne-nl says:

      That is very well possible. An i3 has very narrow tires and the wider the tire, the more noise. Also the profile and material make a lot of difference.

  10. cab says:

    I swapped out my 21″ PS2s (new) with the the 19″ slipstream rims with Goodyear Grand Touring tires with the acoustic foam. While, they are considerably quieter, I really believe most of the difference is due to the tread pattern and compound. The difference is most noticeable on concrete freeways where the PS2s were screamers in comparison (on smooth blacktop, both tires were fairly quiet).

    Unfortunately, the overall sound deadening and door/window sealing on my Tesla is a far cry from my previous 5 series. Tesla still has a LONG way to go in this department. I was disappointed when I saw the model 3 would also have frameless doors (around the windows) as I think this contributes to the noise.

    I tend to think that Noise, Vibration And Harshness improvements are a bit of a black art and one that seems to take manufacturers a while to master. Oddly enough, I think THIS is the kind of stuff that could put Tesla at risk if they don’t get their act together…the details will really count once everyone has a long range EV out there.

  11. Mike says:

    What about noise cancellation?

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Yes, that could be interesting.
      According to the Michelin graph the polyurethane foam is already bringing back the 210 Hz pike to the same level as the other two next most important pikes, so going further there would mean that this time the two other pikes must also start to be addressed. That is a bit more difficult though. At 110 Hz it might work although not easy but at 340 Hz, it would rather demand an intervention on the road in the form of fine top coat rubber particles. A good recycling solution for old tires by the way.


    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Harman seem to be ahead here but they cancel in the cabin not at the source in the tire.

      1. Mike says:

        That seems like the way to go.

  12. jim stack says:

    Noise is not really an issue. Bigger items to cover.
    1- longer wearing tires. Tesla eat tires fast compared to many other cars. Maybe from the fast take offs but most from the weight of the car.
    2-Airefree tires like the the Michelen Tweel and Polaris air free would be a big steap ahead in tires. Never get a flat again.