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2012-07-19

Michelin tyres have rated A in wet grip since 2010

Back in mid-June, only a short time after manufacturers were able to release their tyre labelling data into the public domain on 30 May, Michelin became the first tyre manufacture to share details of its labelling position across its range with Tyres & Accessories. The details show market leading wet grip has been a key factor in tyre development for years before the introduction of tyre labelling and therefore make for interesting reading.

The majority of Michelin’s summer tyre ranges marketed since 2010 have reportedly achieved the top A rating in wet grip, the safety-related parameter. Specifically all 15 and 16 inch sizes in the Michelin Energy Saver + range, which will be launched this summer, have been classed A in wet grip. The 14 inch sizes are reported to generally have a B rating. The Michelin Primacy 3 range has been rated A in wet grip. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport 3 ranges have been classed A in wet grip.

According to the company, Michelin’s commitment to improving fuel efficiency has been validated by the classification of its new core ranges with a C rating or better. However, some would have expected more from Michelin – a company that has marketed its products on an ecological plane for many years - in this respect. The Michelin Energy Saver + range is rated either B or C in fuel efficiency, depending on the size. The entire Michelin Primacy 3 range has a fuel efficiency rating of C.

Most of the Sport ranges have a fuel efficiency rating of E, reflecting the fact that they deliver a very specific performance balance by combining high total mileage and very strong grip even in extreme driving conditions.

In the area of tyre noise, all of the newer summer ranges (Energy Saver +, Primacy 3) comply with the future limits on exterior rolling noise that will come into effect on 1 November 2016 (two sound waves maximum as shown in the symbol, left). This is over and above what is required now.

Michelin cold weather tyre ranges

The latest generation Alpin cold weather tyre ranges have been rated C in wet grip performance and E in fuel efficiency. According to Michelin, these results have to be contextualised as cold weather tyres are designed to deliver a safe ride in a variety of road conditions (ice, snow, slush) and in the full range of winter temperatures.

Michelin van tyre ranges

Scheduled for launch this summer, the new Michelin Agilis + range is said to demonstrates “an excellent performance balance” with a B rating in wet grip, a very good fuel efficiency rating of C, two waves in exterior rolling noise and the range’s excellent damage resistance and total mileage.

Overall the company reports that Michelin’s strategy is focused on “designing and manufacturing tyres that combine safety in a variety driving conditions (on dry and wet roads and on straights as well as in corners) improved fuel efficiency and high total mileage, whose impact on the total cost of owning a car makes it a key consumer concern, yet one that is not reflected in the new regulation.” This approach highlights the fact that there is a big difference in longevity between the various tyres that consumers can buy. In fact, tyre life can vary by a factor of two, which can be more than a year’s motoring for the average motorist.

In a statement at the time Michelin released the data, representatives wrote: “Michelin supports the introduction of the new European tyre label, which is designed to provide consumers with practical information about three important tyre performance parameters: wet grip, fuel efficiency and external rolling noise…Michelin is reaffirming its commitment to delivering the best performance balance in each of its tyre ranges.”


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