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Car Lab behind the scenes: Space-saver spare tyres

By Chris Thompson, 26 Jan 2020 Season 2

Space-saver spare tyres on Lexus RC

Why on Earth did we think this was a good idea? Well, to prove that it wasn’t

When someone comes to you and asks if you’d like to drive a rear-wheel drive car with barely any grip on a skid pan for season 2 of WhichCar TV, you almost immediately say yes. Well, you do if you work for MOTOR Magazine.

That led me to the DECA facility in Shepparton, driving a Lexus RC300 F Sport which, as it turns out didn’t have enough power to slide easily with its normal, grippy tyres. But the tests our video director Sean Lander set up for me meant soon I would have the opposite problem.

If you don’t know, some cars come with a smaller spare tyre for emergencies, essentially the size of a motorcycle tyre. Our thinking was that the car surely wouldn’t handle as well with one of these bad boys taking the place of a full-sized tyre.

Then we thought ‘What would happen if all four tyres were space-savers?’ and, well, the answer is pretty obvious once you’ve seen the segment. Obviously, don’t try this at home.

Space-saver spare tyres on Lexus RC

Sean, mate, you sure this is a good idea?

It actually turned out to be hilarious fun being able to send the RC300 into a frenzy of oversteer at will, even though it made actually controlling the car under normal manoeuvres quite a task. It’s not something I’d want to be contending with on a public road.

As I said in the TV segment, it’s worth making a plan to get your original tyre fixed ASAP, as you don’t want to be caught out in an emergency with a space saver on your car. Let alone four of the things.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE AT TENPLAY