Michelin Latitude Tour Accentuates Crossover Benefits
Despite rising fuel costs and a trend towards smaller cars, crossover SUV vehicles remain particularly popular in North America. Aware of this, Michelin has produced a tyre specifically for this unique class of vehicle. The Michelin Latitude Tour tyre is specifically designed for crossover vehicles, and the tyre major states the tyre is intended to accentuate the features that make these vehicles so popular, providing the strength of a truck tyre with the ride and comfort of a passenger car tyre.
“Designing a tyre to match the unique characteristics of a crossover vehicle was a welcomed challenge,” said John M. Soule, light-truck brand category manager, Michelin Americas Small Tires. “Many people buy these vehicles because they are typically more fuel efficient and comfortable than an SUV, yet they still demand truck-like strength and versatility. The Latitude Tour tyre compliments these features perfectly and also adds fuel-efficiency benefits and class-leading performance in other key areas, including tread life.”
Michelin says that its advanced technology and “obsessive” engineering make the Latitude Tour the longest lasting, most fuel-efficient crossover tyre in its class; a statement backed up by rolling resistance tests conducted on size P265/70R17 tyres fitted to a Chevrolet Tahoe, in which the Latitude Tour was compared against the Bridgestone Dueler Hl Alenza and Goodyear Fortera SA. The company has utilised its trademark MaxTouch Construction, combined with special tread compounds to allow the Latitude Tour tyre to deliver 33 per cent more miles than the nearest competitive tyre from the aforementioned group. The MaxTouch Construction technology also reportedly permits a tyre design innovation that delivers dramatically improved tread life without sacrificing performance, and is backed by a 65,000-mile manufacturer’s limited warranty. MaxTouch Construction, explains Michelin, optimises the way a tyre comes into contact with the surface, helping to reduce unnecessary friction. The result is better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
Extensive wet-road testing led to the water evacuating tread pattern featuring open circumferential grooves and two-dimensional (2D) interlocking sipes. In addition, a newly developed silica-based compound works together with the 2D sipes to deliver shorter braking distances on wet roads.
Crossovers are designed to offer the ride and handling of a passenger car without sacrificing the utility and convenience of an SUV. The Latitude Tour is intended to take that ride to a new level, says Michelin. The company’s Michelin Comfort Control Technology combines several tyre features to deliver the quietest, most comfortable ride available from Michelin. Even the tread pattern is acoustically tuned, offering a tyre that is literally in harmony with the road.