If you've been shopping for a new car recently, or even if you've just been looking at putting a new set of tyres on your existing model, you'll probably have noticed that low-profile tyres are becoming more popular.Even if you don't know the term, you're likely to have seen low-profile tyres around; these are those tyres that have a smaller amount of rubber between the rim and the road, with larger diameter rims as a consequence. These are now offered with most cars, but many drivers don't quite understand how they differ from the standard tyre.
Here's a quick overview of their advantages to help you decide whether low-profile tyres are right for you.
For many drivers, the first thing that attracts them to low-profile tyres is their looks. With that smaller amount of rubber between rim and road, larger alloys can be used, and alloys have become a standout feature of premium and high-performance cars. If you're the sort of person who likes adding custom rims, low-profile tyres should speak to you, and they're always great for making a statement.
The fact that larger rims have become stylistically associated with high-end driving is no coincidence. In fact, this is because low-profile tyres really do come with performance-enhancing benefits. It might seem odd that the amount of rubber on a tyre could drastically affect your drive, but that is certainly the case.
This is because low-profile tyres tend to be wider, enhancing your car's grip and responsiveness while cornering, especially at higher speeds. In fact, you'll actually corner faster and feel more stable on the straight. Additionally, the sidewalls of low-profile tyres are thinner and harder, meaning that they are less vulnerable to flexing. You'll feel more intimately connected to your drive.
However, this does come with a few disadvantages. You will basically be sacrificing a measure of comfort in order to enhance performance; the reduced sidewall flexing and tighter steering can make the car a little less relaxing during everyday driving.
Low-profile tyres allow for larger wheels and thinner sidewalls, meaning that manufacturers have plenty of space to install larger brakes. This is another facet of the enhanced performance that comes along with low-profiles, and increased stopping power is obviously a useful benefit if you'll be pushing your car to its limits.
Of course, it's also nice to know that you have stronger brakes even if you don't plan on opening up the engine too frequently, and many drivers are drawn to low-profile tyres thanks to a decrease in stopping distance alone.