• Apr 16, 2009
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

"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."

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.

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 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.


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  • 22 Comments
      996700
      • 5 Years Ago
      Im sure all the toyota prius owners' out there are jumping up and down.
      stealthebeatles
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm gonna get some 35's of these and put them on my Jeep.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles
        David - umm. Try to find your sense of humor. I think you left it somewhere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles
        Right, because I'm sure these tires are great for off road use. I bet they air down really well, and the tread pattern is great.

        Or, do you put 35's on to drive around the neighborhood?

        On top of that, I'm pretty sure that rolling resistance doesn't mean quite as much when you're driving a brick shaped object.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Low rolling resistance has to do with the hysteresis loss during the rolling operation. The tire is under fatigue loading, and dissipates energy in every cycle.

      For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_rolling_resistance_tires

      • 5 Years Ago
      They claim the tires on the Volt yield 1 more mile to the 40 mile range which comes to only a 2.5% boost in mileage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am behind you on that $5 Z-Rated tire. I eat through them like candy at the track.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I had a set of Assurance Comfortreads on my Odyssey that were 80K rated, so this 65K tire is down on tread life. Compared to the rest of the line (the TrippleTread was 80K rated at the time too)

      Of course, those 80K tires were shot at about 45K, so good luck getting 65K out of these.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The hyper-milers tire.
      • 5 Years Ago
      so a frictionless surface would net a 12% increase in fuel economy?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gladly, your noodliness. Just don't eat me.

        If it was purely a matter of reducing elasticity, then the optimal shape would be circular; in other words, you'd have an infinitely thin rectangle in contact with the road -- which would again provide zero resistance for anything. I'm not sure of the precise figures, but you want that rectangle to be roughly four inches long, front-to-rear, at a minimum; otherwise you'd have no resistance.

        The difference here is the vertical deformation doesn't affect the horizontal deformation so much as with a traditionally constructed radial tyre; and it's the horizontal deformation that contributes to rolling resistance. The construction of the walls would appear to be different in this tyre.

        They're priced right, and they'll probably hit the market about when I'm ready to get a full set. That's great. I wonder if Costco will stock them?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, a frictionless surface means your tires spin and the car goes no where. Low rolling resistance refers to the behavior of the tire as it rolls and each part of it makes contact with the ground. I believe that when a tire elastically deforms as it makes contact with the ground you lose the optimal circular shape, thus causing some resistance to rolling. So I think a low rolling resistant tire is more elastically stiff. Anybody want to correct me?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not sure this is much of a buy.

      Assuming that the savings is 4% (the 27% is the decrease in rolling resistance) the math works out this way...

      (Disclaimer: I'm not a tire expert by any strech so my tire comparison may not be correct)

      Goodyear Regatta (75,000 mile tire) Priceing seems to range from $70-100/tire, I'm assuming a price of $85/tire. If the tire is used for all 75,000 mi on my 33mpg civic I will burn $4545.45 in fuel over the life of the tire. (75000/33*$2/gal=$4545.45)

      Goodyear assurance Max (65,000 mile tire) pricing ranges from $100-120/tire, I'm assuming a price of $110 per tire. Same assumptions, if the tire is used for all 65,000 mi but increases my average mpg by 4% to 34.32mpg (33*1.04) I will burn $3787.87 in fuel over the life of the tire (65000/34.32*$2/gal= $3787.87).

      That comparison is a little off, as the Regatta has a 15% longer life span. So, I'll reduce the fuel cost by 15%. In 65,000 mi I'll burn $3863.63 in fuel ($4545.45*.85).

      Thus the actual cost of these tires is:

      Regatta - 3863.63+($85*4)=$4203.63
      Assurance Max - 3787.87+($110*4)= $4227.87

      Thus it is costs $24 more to purchase more efficient tires, over the life of the tire. The difference increases if you were to chose a tire with a longer life or if you find a special or sale on another tire (but not the new Assurance Max). Of course the new tires become effectivly less expensive if fuel prices climb again, and stay up, over the life of the tire.

      However, it's good that companies are trying to make more efficient products and I applaude that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The price premium is not worth it for me since I already average 30 mpg. I might break even if they were $100, but not $120. And my tire life is usually only 40-50% of the manufacturer's claim.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So can we have it required by law that if you purchase a set of these tires your vehicle may only travel in the slow lane on the freeway?
      • 5 Years Ago
      " This technology allows Goodyear to retain a 65,000-mile tread wear limited warranty while providing 27 percent less rolling resistance"

      ... coincidentally or not they also provide 27 percent less fun while driving hard into corners.
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