Yes, it's called a launch vehicle. This isn't Star Trek where you can touch your nipple and talk to the blind guy in the engine room to whip you up a magical force field to float that shit up into space.
They had to lift all of that to MARS, dude. Try dragging a 1985 Honda Civic up Mt. Everest 50 million times. Then tell me you wouldn't toss out the spare tire in the first 50 feet.
So, what, it takes infinitely more energy for an extra few mm of sheet metal to launch that thing? A launch vehicle the size of the moon for slightly thicker tires versus the one they initially used? Apparently the Atlas V was used, and from what I am reading it is very much capable of launching the rover with a few more pounds/thicker tires and still grossly overpowered to deliver the payload. Also I never said anything about changing the tires to rubber or plastic! But alas I am just a armchair internet engineer. I don't have an engineer degree so I must just be another stupid hick.