Tires are often one of the most neglected components on a vehicle, since they tend to be trouble-free until they suddenly aren’t. In fact, most drivers ignore their tires completely, until they hear the telltale thump-thump-thump of a flat tire.
If you know your way around a car, you’ll change to your spare tire (assuming your car still has one) at the side of the road, likely ignoring the warning label on your temporary spare that says things like “inflate to 60 psi” and “do not exceed 50 mph.”
Liability aside, there’s a reason that these tires have warning labels. Since they feature a much narrower profile that a regular tire, they offer substantially less grip, which affects acceleration (if the tire is on a driven wheel), braking and handling.
Drive carefully, and the temporary spare is good enough to get you to a local garage or tire store. If you’re an enthusiast, however, you may find yourself wondering what it would be like to drive a car equipped with nothing but temporary spare tires, sensing the potential for big fun at modest speeds.
That’s the premise behind Chris Harris’s first video for YouTube’s Drive channel. Not content to fit the likes of a Mazda MX-5 Miata with temporary spares, Harris conducts his experiment with a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe, which happens to produce around 480 horsepower when equipped with the Performance Package.
We probably don’t need to tell you that 125 millimeter-wide tires aren’t exactly optimum for delivering that kind of power to the pavement. While the average driver may find the revised handling on the terrifying side, Harris calls it “marvelous,” and “the best handling car I’ve driven in ages.”
Frankly, we’d jump at the chance to turn a few laps in a similarly-equipped car. We think Harris sums it up best when he says, “fun is better than speed.”