The tyres are the obviously contact points between your car and the road. This simple fact alone, however trivial it may appear, should be sufficient in itself to make you understand how vital they are. No carbon fibre chassis, ultra-sophisticated trim or hyper-effective braking system is worth much without perfectly efficient – or rather still performing – tyres. Just think of the loss of performance suffered by a Formula 1® car as the tyres decay. But there is more than just lap time. Transposed to everyday driving, efficient tyres spell safety. They represent the difference between dodging a danger or getting into a crash with possibly even very grave consequences. Very many are the dynamic aspects of the car that are affected by the tyres. Firstly, grip: a high-quality tyre – not some cheap spin-off imported from some unspecified country – will guarantee road-holding that is unachievable for other tyres that do not have millions of kilometres and of Euros invested in R&D behind their industrialisation.
In brief, handling can mean drawing a bend with the right line or experiencing unfortunate loss of grip with consequences that more often than not depend on the fate of that instant. Then there is braking: distances greatly depend on the road grip offered by the tyre. Once again, a high-quality tyre will stop you before a budget brand. Expanding the issue, the conditions of a tyre are as important as its intrinsic quality. A high-quality tyre with a worn tread cannot guarantee the same safety as it could when it was new. This applies particularly in the event of aquaplaning because a worn tread cannot ensure the right water displacement. Then, there is the matter of correct pressure: an aspect which is often neglected but that greatly influences road holding, emergency manoeuvre reactivity and braking efficiency (in addition to fuel consumption). Finally, all tyres must be put in the condition to work in the best possible way. So, it is essential to drive with car fitting a set of tyres designed for the time of the year. Winter or all-season on snow and ice, summer the rest of the year. Once again, fitting the wrong tyres will inevitably compromise the safety of your vehicle.