Michelin has rolled out the newest tire for light trucks and SUVs, the LTX M/S2, designed to offer significant improvements in safety, longevity and fuel efficiency, the company said.
Earlier this week, the tiremaker invited select media to put the LTX M/S2 to the test at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds in Laurens County, S.C. The tires, fitted to Ford F150s and Chevrolet Silverados, were tested in wet handling and wet braking exercises.
The new tire is a revamped version of the original LTX M/S, which was released in 1992. And though vehicle trends have changed since then with the introduction of crossover utility vehicles and the decline in full-sized SUVs the pickup truck market is projected to grow through at least 2014, according to Rob Cunningham, light truck category manager for Michelin North America.
“With the Michelin LTX M/S2 tire, consumers don’t have to sacrifice one benefit for another, offering a long tread life and true all-season security and utility for greater confidence,” he said. “The LTX M/S tire is proven in the market and we have worked hard to ensure that the next generation of this product is even better.”
Specifically, the LTX M/S2 offers 8% more biting edges than the prior generation due to interlocking siping that allows tread blocks to lock together and preserve rigidity, resulting in better snow traction. Also, less bending of the tread blocks under torque results in less energy used, increasing fuel economy, Michelin said.
The tire also features a silica tread compound for enhanced wet performance and better lateral water evacuation; reduced vibrations and road noise for a quiet ride; an extra steel belt for durability and strength to handle loads up to 13,500 pounds; and a unique contact patch shape that evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering, creating “the longest lasting tire in its class,” according to the tiremaker.
The LTX M/S2 will be available in 38 P-metric and LT sizes by March 2010. Rim diameters range from 15 to 20 inches. The tire will carry a 70,000 mile limited warranty.