> In general, *if* this is just a very minor effect, then why do *you* care about the tyre-pressure in *your* (real-life) car?
Fuel consumption, comfort and safety.
Safety. Exactly what I say, in that it is just another word for human-predictable-car-physics ;)
That the effect is done on GPU implies that it is purely visual
Of course I don't know implementation specifics. Maybe SpookyCat batch-processes physics on GPGPU?
and thus won't even be seen (from inside the car) in a racing simulator.
Surely one can see tyres in every open-wheel discipline, on some motorcycles, in some top-fuel cars, and many more.
If you actually want to simulate the tire *physics* you don't need the mesh deformation.
The tyre is then capable in realtime of being deformed by contact with a surface and from various forces
I think you need very well the mesh-deformation for exact mesh-mesh-intersection.
And even if all this does change physics by just a fraction, this can make a significant difference in sales and target-consumer-group. Also, some games like rFactor can't be exact enough, in that they also sell their product to professional racing teams (see e.g. Adrian Neweys [Red Bull Racing] quote on http://rfactor-pro.com/)
Apart from that all, SpookyCat is not alone: Live for Speed article about new tyre model -> http://www.lfs.net/?...=report_dec2010