The ‘obvious choice’: Michelin on its CrossClimate + and entire lifetime performance
For its 2017 all-season tyre test, Auto Bild decided to do something different. Throwing out the standard format of pitting a number of factory-fresh tyres against each other, the German car magazine decided to additionally evaluate how the tyres performed when half and almost completely worn. Test results were published in issue 47/2017 of Auto Bild, and were very good news for Michelin.
The Michelin CrossClimate + not only gained a rating of ‘exemplary’ for its performance as a new tyre, when tested with 4mm and 2mm of tread remaining it achieved a ‘good’ rating – the same rating given to the runner-up tyre for its performance when new. The Michelin tyre particularly shone when tested with 2mm of tread remaining. Evaluating the wet braking discipline, the Auto Bild testers noted “it’s remarkable that the 2mm Michelin brakes better than most candidates with 4mm remaining tread.” Testing also showed that the Michelin CrossClimate + “had by far the lowest wear.”
Michelin states that the result achieved by its CrossClimate + in the Auto Bild test is “testament” to its “commitment to making tyres that are safe down to the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.” At any rate, the tyre’s good performance at 2mm hands Michelin ammunition in its battle against the recommendations of some competitors for tyres to be changed when they have 3mm or 4mm of tread remaining. The tyre maker declares tyre replacement at these tread depths “unnecessary, costly to motorists and the fleet sector, and harmful to the environment.”
“These results are vital for the fleet market as they prove Michelin’s commitment to long lasting performance is streets ahead of its competitors,” says Jonathan Layton, Michelin’s head of fleet in the UK and Ireland. “If you’re looking to run a fleet of vehicles on tyres that reduce your replacement costs, save on fuel and help maximise safety year-round, there really is no more obvious choice than the Michelin CrossClimate +.”
Auto Bild’s test team considered the CrossClimate + an “exemplary all-round talent with well-balanced driving performance and the lowest loss of performance over an entire lifetime.” Commenting on this appraisal, Layton credits Michelin with being “at the forefront of using modern technology that makes it possible to provide high levels of performance and grip from new and throughout the tyre’s life down to the legal wear limit of 1.6mm.” Noting that no current studies have established a direct link between accident levels and tyre tread depth, he opines that the Auto Bild test is “a clear demonstration that changing tyres early does not guarantee greater safety.”
A Michelin-commissioned report from Ernst & Young found that changing tyres at 3mm instead of 1.6mm would cost European drivers an extra £6 billion a year in additional tyre purchases and increased fuel consumption (tyres use less fuel as they wear). The report also found that changing at 3mm instead of 1.6mm would lead to an additional 6.6million tonnes equivalent of CO2 emissions due to increased fuel consumption and emissions from the manufacture of additional tyres.