Fun Fact: The first radial tire patent, #US1203910 was filed on May 21, 1915 by Arthur Savage, owner of the Savage Tire company in San Diego, CA. www.google.com/patents/US1203910
Major advancements in tires don't come around very often. With "the" major step being the first radial tires produced by Michelin back in 1946, after Artur Savage's patents expired. In the last few decades we have seen the improvements in tires come from better manufacturing processes, additives to the rubber compounds, and tread designs.
Over the last few years, Michelin has raised the bar for technology in multiple tire categories. First it was the Pilot Super Sport that uses multiple compounds of rubber and high tension Twaron belts to provide extremely high levels of grip in the dry and wet yet still have a 30,000 mileage warranty (15,000 on split fitment). The next year they rolled out the Michelin Defender, a tire that features advanced 3D siping techniques. This technology allows the tire to stop up to 31 feet shorter and last up to 21,000 miles longer than its leading competitor, and it comes with one of the highest mileage warranties ever at 90,000 miles. And finally last year they released the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, featuring a new Helio compound with sunflower oil, which was tested by a few of your fellow BMW CCA members. This all-season tire blew away the competition in all tests, and even beat a few high performance summer tires in an autocross!
This year Michelin announced the Premier A/S tire, which features a revolutionary tread design that evolves to prolong grip. This new EverGrip technology not only stops shorter on wet roads than the leading competitors’ brand new tires, it also can out stop their brand new tires when they are worn. The tire combines hidden grooves that emerge as the tire wears down, expanding rain grooves that widen over time to continue to evacuate water, and a unique rubber compound for increased wet grip.
Here are the details of these three technologies from the Michelin USA
press release at the North American International Auto Show:
• Emerging Grooves: Initially hidden when the tire is new, MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip has another set of grooves along the tire’s shoulder that emerge as the tire becomes worn. More than 150 hidden grooves emerge to provide additional help in channeling water away and maintaining wet traction as miles are logged.
• Expanding Rain Grooves: In most tires, as the rain grooves lose depth, the amount of water they can funnel away from the tire is diminished. MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip has rain grooves positioned around the circumference of the tire with a special geometric shape that gets wider as the tread wears. This helps maintain the amount of water that the tire can channel away even as these rain grooves lose depth.
• High-traction Rubber Compound: MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip features a proprietary rubber compound with extreme amounts of silica and sunflower oil. The silica provides the bonding strength and adherence to keep the treads on the road for high traction in wet conditions. The sunflower oil allows the tire to grip on wet roads at lower temperatures. These ingredients are mixed through an exacting process that ensures a consistent material contacting the road both when new and worn.
Once again Michelin has raised the bar for tire technology and produced another game changer. With innovations and products like these, I am proud to be a Michelin Brand Ambassador. And I am very happy to see them as the title sponsor for the BMW CCA Oktoberfest.
Read what the NY Times had to say about the Michelin Premier A/S here
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