What’s Good for Your is Good for Your Tires

GREENVILLE, S.C. – May 20, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Have Michelin-rated chefs had an impact on tire design?  It may be the perfect collaboration as the new Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire uses sunflower oil – common in light cooking recipes – to create the unique rubber compound that delivers its incredible performance.  It turns out that sunflower oil, used in the patented Michelin Helio Compound™ technology, allows this new luxury performance tire to maintain its edge in wet and snowy weather while still delivering safety, all-weather handling, great ride quality and comfort that luxury consumers demand.

While the vibrant, strong sunflower is recognized worldwide for its beauty, its benefits are not as apparent.  The oil from sunflowers is a valued and healthy vegetable oil and sunflower seeds are enjoyed as a healthy, tasty snack and nutritious ingredient to many foods.  So, why would Michelin tire engineers turn to this readily available, but unusual ingredient as a solution for tire performance?

Because shorter is better and with the Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire, the use of sunflower oil means stopping up to two car lengths shorter, or up to 19 feet shorter in wet conditions, than a leading competitor1.

By utilizing the technologically advanced Helio Compound™, made with the oil from specific types of sunflowers, the Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire increases traction at low temperatures for braking and handling in wet conditions and has better overall performance in the snow.

“Sometimes you don’t have to look further than your own kitchen to find a viable, technical solution,” said Dominique Josson, product category manager, Michelin North America.  “Sunflower oil is particularly useful in high-performance, all-season tires because it allows the tire to maintain winter performance that might otherwise be sacrificed to gain handling and wet grip.”

In addition to the revolutionary use of sunflower oil, the Primacy™ MXM4® offers all of Michelin’s latest technological thinking including 3-D Variable Thickness Sipes for precision handling and MaxTouch Construction for greater longevity.

Michelin tires in the luxury segment have been the number one choice of carmakers for many years and, with the addition of the Primacy™ MXM4®, tire, the performance envelope just opened a little wider. Consumers now have a choice to enhance their vehicle with a tire that encompasses advanced Michelin technologies and a complete balance of performances.

The Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire also meets the Michelin Green X® standard, guaranteeing a level of energy efficiency among the highest in the market and reduced CO2 emissions.

The Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® will eventually replace the highly successful Michelin Pilot® MXM4® tire that has been extremely successful with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), having 425 model-year fitments over the last 10 years.

Currently, the all-new Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire has seven original equipment fitments on the road:

  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Sedan
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe
  • 2011 Infiniti M37
  • 2011 Infiniti M56
  • 2009 Buick Lacrosse

Available to consumers in North America July 1, 2010, the Michelin Primacy™ MXM4® tire will offer 13 replacement market sizes with rim diameters ranging from 16- to 19-inch.  For more information on specific sizing, please visit www.michelinman.com.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.  Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 20,900 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

1Based on wet braking test results versus Continental ContiProContact™

SOURCE: Michelin North America