Low rolling resistance tires usually bring fuel economy at the expense of noise, comfort and performance. Something's got to give, and to make the doughnuts turn more easily, engineers have to crank up the amount of silica in the tread formulation, resulting in noisy, wimpy tires. Goodyear's new Assurance Fuel Max tire is a way to have your cake and eat it, too. The Assurance Fuel Max has a new tread compound designed right down to the molecules to deliver a 27% reduction in rolling resistance without the traditional compromises. The 65,000-mile tread wear warranty that the standard Assurance tire carries is also offered on the Fuel Max, and traction is at least as good, both wet and dry.

Goodyear claims that the new tire's construction and proprietary compound can help drivers save 4% more fuel, equating to thousands of miles over the life of the tires. The Fuel Max tires are actually virtually the same as the original Assurance doughnuts, differing in tread compound only. Goodyear says the original Assurance's tread design is the reason for the Fuel Max performing well. Pricing is right around $100-$120 per tire in the common sizes, within range for a decent tire of any make these days. We're still waiting for a Z-Rated tire that lasts 150,000 miles and costs five bucks, but in the meantime, Goodyear's new development takes some of the sacrifice out of being more frugal. Press release posted after the jump.

[Source: Goodyear]


GOODYEAR INTRODUCES BREAKTHROUGH

ASSURANCE FUEL MAX TIRE

State-of-the Art Science Helps Deliver Fuel-Efficiency, All-Season Traction and

65,000-Mile Tread Life Limited Warranty in a Cost-Effective Tire Choice

AKRON, Ohio, April 9, 2009 – As families search for cost savings in every aspect of their lives, Goodyear is responding with a tire that offers a breakthrough in fuel-efficient technology: the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max.

"Goodyear has an unparalleled track record of developing leading edge tire technologies such as AquaChannel Technology, RunFlat Technology, Carbon Fiber Technology and TripleTred Technology, and is always working to develop new and innovative products and relevant technologies for consumers," said Gary Medalis, Goodyear general manager, passenger tires. "Goodyear achieved a breakthrough in proprietary technology that has enabled us to expand performance attributes."

With the new Assurance Fuel Max, Goodyear has introduced a tire tread compound that has been developed at the molecular level to yield improvements in rolling resistance while retaining or even enhancing tread life and traction over the original Goodyear Assurance tire. This technology allows Goodyear to retain a 65,000-mile tread wear limited warranty while providing 27 percent less rolling resistance, which equates to a 4 percent improvement in highway fuel economy. In essence, this greater fuel efficiency means drivers can save 2,600 miles worth of gas over the life of a set of 4 tires.**

Many fuel-efficient tires today depend on replacing carbon black material with silica in the tread compound, either in part or in total, to minimize rolling resistance.

At the heart of Goodyear's new tread is a blend of polymers, which increase their selective reactivity with the silica filler, to help improve silica dispersion and to enhance the overall physical properties of the tread. The marriage of the Assurance Fuel Max tire construction and this proprietary tread, results in tires that help provide excellent fuel-efficiency, as well as confident wet and dry traction, and long tread life.

The tire structure and tread design, including two unique tread zones, contribute to the Assurance Fuel Max's confident traction, braking and tread life performance. The Dry Zone, with strong shoulder blocks, helps enhance handling and grip for confident maneuvering on dry pavement.

The Wet Tread Zone in the center features Dual AquaChannel Grooves to help evacuate water from the tread face for great wet traction. Plus, Zig-Zagging Micro Grooves and Center Tread Notches help grip the road in rain or light snow.

The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is available in 27 sizes – to fit about 80 percent of the auto tire segment. This includes automobiles such as the Pontiac Grand Prix and Chevrolet Impala, minivans such as the Chrysler Town & Country, and even hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Malibu. On February 10, General Motors announced that the 2011 Chevy Volt will come equipped with Assurance Fuel Max tires.

Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. The company employs about 70,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 60 facilities in 26 countries around the world. For more information about Goodyear consumer tires, go to www.goodyeartires.com.

**(Note: This savings is based on a 4% fuel economy improvement, on 65,000-mile tread life limited warranty, as compared to the standard Goodyear Assurance tire tested on P195/65R15 size on a 2008 Honda Civic. Actual results may vary based on when tires are replaced, driving and road conditions, and proper tire maintenance.)