Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the various tire specifications and structural designs? Why certain types of tires are called “Ultra High Performance” and other called “Passenger Car”? It really is not very mysterious; the fancy monikers are an easy way to distinguish the enhanced performance aspect of one tire over another.
Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires are specially designed and manufactured to offer the driver a significant increase in the handling, cornering and gripping capabilities of their vehicle whether an auto or truck. The qualities of UHP tires which make them excellent for “working the road” also make them better at stopping and maneuvering away from possible accidents. However, these capabilities often decrease the mileage-wear capacity and thus you have to purchase new tires more often.
There is also an aesthetic appeal to UHP tires; simply put, they look much better on autos than passenger car tires. The tread patterns are more aggressive and attractive and most UHP tires have a lower profile. This means the tire sidewall depth is much smaller on UHP tires versus passenger car tires.
Passenger Car tires afford the driver a softer ride and increased wear-time while being cost effective too. Most American vehicles still come with passenger car tires rather that UHP tires because the US consumer has traditionally been slow to adapt to the stiffer feel of high performance tires. In Europe, the more preeminent manufacturers have UHP on all their models.
The one quality that many consumers do not overlook when it comes to Passenger car tires is the cost. UHP tires are typically two to three times more expensive than passenger car tires. For many people, all the style and performance in the world is still not enough reason to spend several hundred pounds for tires; even if they do operate better mechanically.