Low profile tyres
- by Abhishek Chaliha
- Apr 19, 2012
- Views : 36415
Shod on most sports cars, low profile tyres help improve handling and drive dynamics but at the cost of bumpy and harsh ride quality
Sports cars, in general, are low slung speed machines with tyres that stick close to the wheel rims. These tyres with such short sidewalls are called low profile tyres.
The shorter and stiffer sidewalls of low profile tyres allow better steering responsiveness and improve a vehicle’s handling characteristics. At the same time, sports cars are capable of high speeds which mean they require more grip from the tyres to stay on the road – reason why low profile tyres have wide contact patches by default.
Low profile tyres serve a dual purpose of improving drive dynamics and providing superior grip. This is why these tyres are a common product in the aftermarket modifications sector. Wider and taller wheel rims shod with low profile tyres can be fit onto any car. However, bear in mind that all vehicles come with a 3 percent margin for increasing the size of wheels and tyres fitted to it. Any bigger and it will adversely affect the vehicle’s drive dynamics and ride and handling.
Low profile tyres have their drawbacks though -- a wider contact patch means more grip, which also means that the vehicle will require more energy to move forward thereby reducing fuel economy. Low profile tyres with stiffer sidewalls have less air in them resulting in a bumpier ride.
TIP: Low-profile tyres being used on smooth tarmac gives an excellent feel but if venture on Indian highways with very low profile tyres, you're a potential puncture customer with a damaged tyre and the rim.
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