Pardon the audacity of an almost 72-year-old for asking, but why have car-makers developed a fascination for cars with the combination of a larger diameter rim coupled with a lower profile tire? In reading entries on car owner forums, I get the impression that while such combinations may look 'cool' to style and marketing types, they are distinctly impractical on the pot-hole prone streets of many US cities. The lower the profile of the tire, the greater is the likelihood that the sidewall will be damaged beyond repair and perhaps the rim, too, when the owner encounters the inevitable and perhaps unavoidable (think in-motion bumper-to-bumper traffic) pothole.
Such a combination is especially egregious in a vehicle in that growing class that is sold unequipped with even a doughnut spare and jack. My first experience with such a combination is the Nissan Leaf (P205/55R16.) Perhaps some MIT trained engineer will be able to explain how this combination improves the miles/kWhr. I believe it is the case that a P205/70R 15 would have the same circumference and hence revolutions/mile. I think it would decrease the risk of a pothole flat and consequent tow and tire replacement.
Please help me understand.