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What are Low Profile Tyres?

Low Profile tyres are nothing new and have been around since the 60's when Perilli designed the tyres for BMW. By the 60's improvements in roads meant that drivers were less worried about the ride of the car and now started to see the alloy wheels and tyres as not only a design statement but also a way to affect performance. The reduction in the size of the tyre wall itself means that larger alloy wheels could be fitted. 

A lot of prestige manufacturers still use them today such as Audi, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche, however, they are now becoming much more mainstream with most manufacturers having a number of models within their range offering them.

What the advantages of Low Profile tyres?

Appearance - They are normally fitted the larger than average alloy wheels which have a huge impact on the over all appearance of your car.

Stability - Because the wheels are thinner to compensate the side wall is much thicker and stiffer. This means better stability and road handling. 

Wider Tyres - A low profile tyre tends to be thicker, this means that more of the tyre is in constant contact with the road. This is it said by some increases safety. 

Improved Grip - As the tyres have more contact with the road they can grip much better than a standard tyre which has a smaller proportion of the tyre in contact with the road's surface. 

Performance - Because of the extra grip that a low-profile tyre has, some manufacturers claim it can have a positive impact on performance. 

Disadvantages of Low Profile tyres?

Road Noise - As the tyre is thinner and has much more contact with the road, as the air moves between the treads it can be much noisier than a standard tyre. 

Harsher Ride - The physical reduction in tyre and harder side wall means that the suspension is much harder and the ride and overall comfort of the car can affected. 

Pot Holes - As there is less tyre low profile tyres are more prone to damage caused by a pothole which standard tyres may be able to absorb or handle without resulting in a puncture or blowout. 

Fuel Economy - Low profile tyres have a rolling resistance and tend to be heavier than standard tyres. This means that they may affect your fuel economy. 

Hander to Handle - The lower tyre and increased stiffness of the tyre's sidewall may mean that your car is harder to steer and more difficult to control in icing conditions.