There are very few elements of the Bugatti Veyron which might count as 'average'. The world's fastest production car exceeds expectations in its performance by going above and beyond the normal degree of attention to automotive detail, even for supercars. And the tyres on this particular masterpiece are no exception. If you're driving your Veyron around in Melbourne, cheap tyres do not apply, I'm afraid.
At 540mm, they are the widest tyres ever placed on a production car. They sit 520 in height, on rims which can only be fitted with the tyres twice, before Bugatti insists on a replacement to ensure the beading remains flawless. Each set of wheels costs $40 000 USD – the same as a well-kitted Volkswagen Golf.
Designed by Michelin specifically for this car, the tyres on the Veyron must be capable of a lot. Given the car can travel over 160km/h faster than the landing speed of a jetliner, the centrifugal force on the tyres can be extreme. It is this same centrifugal force which typically requires tyres on record-breaking rocket cars to be constructed of solid rubber, so the spinning at extreme speeds doesn't make them lose shape or worse, disintegrate. Cheap tyres are a threat to safety at these speeds, so provided you could find a Melbourne street straight enough to wind it up so high, you could come to a safe stop.
Apart from this, the Veyron's extreme tyres must be able to handle the torsional stress of hard cornering, and must be sticky to hold the pavement. They also need to be able to last somewhat longer than a racing tire. And lastly, because this is a luxury car, they also feature a run-flat quality, and are capable of running on zero tire pressure for nearly 200 kilometres at 80 km/h.
An impressive feat of engineering, and an even more impressive price tag.