We don't often cover tires, but a new model from Michelin, Premier A/S with EverGrip, has us at least a little curious. That's because the French tiremaker claims they're not just new tires, but offer "truly revolutionary advancements in tire technology" that are "...able to break the traditional paradigm."

That somewhat hyperbolic statement could have some substance behind it, though, because the company's latest black rubber hoops have been engineered in a brand-new way to fight the bugbear of all tires: a steep loss in performance as they wear, a condition that's especially pronounced in wet conditions. Two of the enablers are ingredients in the rubber compound, one being "extreme amounts" of silica to enhance road adhesion, the other being sunflower oil to maintain the tire's flexibility and grip in cold weather. A new way of laying the rubber strands means the silica and sunflower get more evenly distributed throughout the tire.

One of the mechanical innovations is a groove design that gets wider as the tire wears down. As the depth of a tread channel decreases, which traditionally means a decrease in its ability to drive water away from the contact patch, the channel gets wider to make up for it. Furthermore, another set of more than 150 grooves beneath the outer layers are revealed as the tire wears, helping to keep wet-weather grip near brand-new-tire levels.

Michelin says a worn Premier A/S with EverGrip brings a car to a stop in a shorter distance "than a leading competitor's brand-new tires." The new treads go on sale in the spring in 32 sizes initially and come with a limited 60,000-mile warranty. Still interested? You can find out more about them in the press release below.
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Revolutionary Tread Design Evolves To Maintain Grip Even When Worn

DETROIT (Jan. 14, 2014) – Today at the North American International Auto Show, Michelin introduced the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tire with revolutionary new EverGripTM technology, which provides drivers with exceptional levels of safety even as their tires wear down. Even when worn, the MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGripTM technology stops shorter on wet roads than the leading competitors' brand new tires1.

Available this spring, the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tire combines hidden grooves that emerge as the tire wears down, expanding rain grooves that widen over time to continue to evacuate water and a unique rubber compound for increased wet grip.

"The MICHELIN Premier A/S tire represents a significant breakthrough in automotive safety," said Scott Clark, chief operating officer of Michelin North America's passenger and light truck tire division. "With our truly revolutionary advancements in tire technology, we are able to directly address the effects of tire wear on traction and have been able to break the traditional paradigm."

Tires rely on grooves between the treads to evacuate water and maintain grip with the road. Until now, tires traditionally lost traction in wet conditions as the tread became worn and grooves lost depth decreasing the tire's ability to funnel water away, increasing stopping distances and the chances of hydroplaning. Wet traction is particularly important for automotive safety because drivers are more than twice as likely to be in an accident on wet roads compared to dry roads.2

Unlike conventional tires, the MICHELIN Premier A/S tire uses a revolutionary design with a unique set of features to maintain wet traction even as the tire becomes worn. MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip uses three main elements to provide this traction over time:
  • High-traction Compound: MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip features a proprietary rubber compound with extreme amounts of silica and sunflower oil. The silica provides the bonding strength and adherence to keep the treads on the road for high traction in wet conditions. The sunflower oil allows the tire to grip on wet roads at lower temperatures. These ingredients are mixed through an exacting process that ensures a consistent material contacting the road both when new and worn.
  • Expanding Rain Grooves: In most tires, as the rain grooves lose depth, the amount of water they can funnel away from the tire is diminished. MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip has rain grooves positioned around the circumference of the tire with a special geometric shape that gets wider as the tread wears. This helps maintain the amount of water that the tire can channel away even as these rain grooves lose depth.
  • Emerging Grooves: Initially hidden when the tire is new, MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip has another set of grooves along the tire's shoulder that emerge as the tire becomes worn. More than 150 hidden grooves emerge to provide additional help in channeling water away and maintaining wet traction as miles are logged.
These three elements work together to give MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip exceptional traction in a range of conditions year round. The MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip provides consumers with shorter stopping, hydroplaning resistance and increased grip when new and worn.

"The MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip is a compelling new safety technology that helps keep the driver in control and the car firmly planted on the road, said Clark. "EverGrip continues Michelin's industry-leading commitment to research and development of tire technology."

The MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip will be introduced in the spring and initially will be available in 32 sizes (185/65R15 – 245/45R18) fitting a range of passenger cars including the Cadillac CTS, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry among others. Michelin will offer a limited 60,000-mile warranty with MICHELIN Premier A/S, which will be manufactured in North America at Michelin plants in Lexington and Greenville, S.C., Ardmore, Okla., and Pictou County and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

The MICHELIN Premier A/S with EverGrip is the latest innovation in Michelin's long history of introducing breakthroughs in the tire industry. In 1946, Michelin introduced the radial tire – a special radial ply design now almost universally used in tires that makes them both durable and flexible. In 1992, Michelin was the first tire maker to use silica widely, silica gives tires low-rolling resistance for improved fuel efficiency and improved grip for performance.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,000 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 11 Months Ago
      Do more tire stories..... That is all....
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ironically they are named "Michelin COUGAR"
      • 11 Months Ago
      As long as the tread remains within recommended minimum safe depth until the specified end of life during normal wear, this sounds like a nice feature.
      • 11 Months Ago
      "... a steep loss in performance as they wear" is a pretty hyperbolic statement of your own. When it comes to Dry Traction, tire performance actually improves -- which is why racers have shaved tires and sorted through discard tire bins at tire stores since time immemorial. Or at least they did until the tire manufacturers started selling super-sticky autocross, road racing, dragstrip and oval track special tires ...
      PTC DAWG
      • 11 Months Ago
      My Michelin's had a nice built in dry rot feature within 3 years....not good. Been happier with Bridgestone's as of lately.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @PTC DAWG
        Ditto. I had never had tires dry rot, until I owned Michelin's.
      • 11 Months Ago
      I've usually hear great things about Michelin tires. But I might make the switch to Goodyear since Michelin stopped making the tires I have on my car. Oh, and everyone should stop using that crappy spray on tire shine junk. It might give you a short lived super wet look but it will sling on your car and eat away at your sidewalls.
      A P
      • 11 Months Ago
      As long as the tire was built in a plant outside of France, no problem. French work quality practices are scary.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Michelin can do no wrong in my book, so I'm all for it. Current Pilot Sport PS2 N3 are pretty bare, but a new set of Super Sports are on the way to replace them.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Happier with Michelin tires on my SUV than any other brand. Suspect reports of rot due to people buying cheaper tires during the recession so Michelins grew old on the tire rack
        • 11 Months Ago
        Some michelin tires (such as ones sold at walmart, sears, etc) are actually specifically made for chain stores and are of lesser quality. That would probably explain the dry rot issue
      Cory Stansbury
      • 11 Months Ago
      This sounds an awful lot like some of the technologies Goodyear put in their latest tires. I think they call them evolving traction grooves or something to that effect.
      • 9 Months Ago
      Tyreonwheels - Apollo’s largest unit is in Limda, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Two other manufacturing units are located in the southern Indian rubber-producing state of Kerala, and the latest next generation plant is near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The company has manufacturing presence in Asia, Europe and Africa with 9 modern tyre manufacturing units and exports to 118 countries. APOLLO is the main brand available in India. DUNLOP, VREDESTEIN, KAIZEN, MALOYA, and REGAL are other brands owned by Apollo. APOLLO offers a comprehensive product portfolio spread across Passenger Cars, SUVs & 4x4s, MUVs, Light Trucks, Trucks and Buses, Agriculture, Industrial, Off-Highway Tyres, Retreading materials and Retreaded tyres.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Michelin once had a tire in the 80's that lasted to long...believe they came on caddys.. za4, z4?? something like that..anyway I was mounting tires back then and these cars would come on with 80k on the tires... They later tried a 5 year unlimited mileage tire but back out of that after a few years. I've been to their plant in Greenville and I'm a big fan of the brand..Last I heard they were a private owned company and didn't share info with other brands.
        Cory Stansbury
        • 11 Months Ago
        Not entirely sure what you mean in regards to "too long." Michelin currently sells the Defender with a 90k mile warranty. Goodyear has the Triple Tread at 80k miles and I Hankook has the Optimo 727 with a 100k mile warranty (although I'm not sure anyone gets that compared to the other two). And before you say that warranties are different than reality (often they are), my own father has had north of 80k on each of his previous Michelin Hydroedge tire sets (also 90k mile warranty). I've seen people claim close to 120k miles on some Goodyear Triple Treads on lightweight cars. Were you referring to the tread outlasting the oxidation limits (aka dry rotting)? Not trying to be argumentative or start a fight. Just trying to understand the point being made.
        Dan Wildhirt
        • 11 Months Ago
        The Michelin family still own a large number of shares in the company, but it's not privately held.
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