Low rolling resistance tires aren't just for hybrids anymore. In search of every improvement to fuel consumption figures they can find, FoMoCo is shoeing its entire 2009 compact SUV line up in eco-rubber. They expect the 16-inch Michelin Latitude Tour tires, like the one pictured to our right, to net an extra one mpg on its 4-cylinder Escape. While that may not sound like a lot, it should dozens of gallons of fuel over the tires'lifetime.
Ford isn't the only automaker taking advantage, either. GM is using low-resistance Bridgestones on its full-size pick up hybrids and claims a 2 mile-per-gallon improvement. If you want to try out low-resistance treads on your own vehicle, just remember that fuel savings aren't the be all and end all of tire technology. Low resistance tires don't flex as much as regular tires and can add a few feet to emergency stopping distances. They are also not recommended for driving off road. The environmental qualities of the tech are undeniable though. Michelin says the 570 million energy-saving tires it has sold in the past 15 years have saved 2.38 billion gallons of fuel from being burned. Just thinking of that fact almost makes you want to sing, "Rollin' rollin' rollin'..."

[Source: The Detoit News]


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