Michelin’s CrossClimate+ tyre has been heralded as “exemplary” after triumphing in rigorous tyre tests carried out in Germany – further elevating its reputation for unrivalled long lasting performance in the fleet market.
Auto Bild magazine staged what it believes are the first ever published in-depth tests comparing the performance of different ranges of tyre as they wear.
It pitted CrossClimate+ – a summer tyre with winter capabilities – against all-season fitments from five competitors* at three separate tread depths of 8mm (new), 4mm and 2mm.
The exceptional results for the CrossClimate+ are testament to Michelin’s commitment to making tyres that are safe down to the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
Some parts of the tyre industry recommend that tyres should be changed when they have 3mm – or even 4mm – of tread remaining.
But Michelin believes this is unnecessary, costly to motorists and the fleet sector, and harmful to the environment.
Jonathan Layton, Michelin’s Head of Fleet in the UK and Ireland, says: “These results are vital for the fleet market as they prove Michelin’s commitment to long lasting performance is streets ahead of its competitors.
“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 purchased brand new sets of tyres for the trial, and used a buffing machine to ensure tread depths were consistent across all brands for the part-worn trials. The cars were driven on a test track in controlled conditions on wet, dry and snowy surfaces – measuring their performance in each of the 11 handling disciplines**.
At the end of the tests, Auto Bild said it was “able to rebut the general request to change tyres at half tread depth by referring to the compelling performance of the Michelin tyre”.
The article says it is “inconceivable” that people would throw away an apple after only eating half of it, or that football games would finish after 45 minutes – so why should they pay for new tyres when their old ones could still perform well?
In the snow traction test, Auto Bild found the Michelin tyres delivered “constant grip” while in the winter slalom they lost “almost no performance with decreasing tread”.
And when it came to winter handling, “only the Michelin delivers safe handling with two millimetres of tread”.
Commenting on the wet braking results, Auto Bild testers said: “It’s remarkable that the two-millimetre Michelin brakes better than most candidates with 4mm remaining tread.”
The tests showed that the Michelin CrossClimate+ “had by far the lowest wear”. The CrossClimate+ was the only tyre to beat the projected 50,000km mark, with the Pirelli predicted to last for 31,900km and the Hankook expected to deliver 32,700km.
Commenting on its first-place finish following the assessment results, Auto Bild’s testing team said: “CrossClimate+ is an exemplary all-rounder with balanced performance and minimal loss of performance across its entire lifecycle.”
Layton adds: “We are 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. This test is a clear demonstration that changing tyres early does not guarantee greater safety, and no current studies have established a direct link between accident levels and tyre tread depth.”
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 because 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 because of the need to make more tyres and increased fuel consumption.
* Tested alongside Michelin CrossClimate+ 92 V were the following tyres – Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 88 T, Pirelli Cinturato All Season 88 H, Hankook Kinergy 4S 88 T, Vredestein Quatrac 5 88 T & Nokian Weatherproof 88 T.
** Tests organised by Auto Bild magazine measured tyres’ performance in the following handling disciplines:
Snow – Traction, slalom, braking and handling
Wet – Aquaplaning, skid pan, braking and handling
Dry – Handling, braking, drive-by noise and rolling resistance.
Michelin, the leading tyre company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tyres, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve the mobility industry. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 111,700 employees and operates 68 production facilities in 17 countries which together produced 187 million tyres in 2016. (www.michelin.com)
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