Michelin X-Ice Xi3, a new virtuoso for the winter, guaranteed more
Michelin: new X-Ice Xi3 and winter driving
The world number one tire does not skimp on the means when it comes time to present a new version of its winter tire featuring the X-Ice. Michelin did indeed invite about 350 people to discover the X-Ice Xi3 in the heart of winter and Laurentian late January. Among them, a group of journalists from Quebec and the rest of the continent but also the specialists who will sell this new tire from autumn 2012.
Program, a series of exercises interesting and rather convincing conduct that would never have the same value without the technical session which was one of six stages or "modules" of the day. A clear presentation and full livery by Stephane Beaudoin, images and tables support, with the expert help of Normand Latremouille, head of winter products for Michelin North America.
This man seems to know just about everything winter tires. Own and those of the competition. His answers come easily and instantly. The thing is not trivial since the development of winter shoes for your car is a remarkably complex undertaking. And costly. If you want to excel, to say the least. And it is obvious ambition of Michelin.
The French giant was not starting from nothing. The X-Ice Xi2 tire, on sale for several years, had succeeds the first X-Ice, which was created in 2004 for the Japanese and even the factory drivers there. Yes, there is really cold winter. On the island of Hokkaido anyway. Remember the Olympics Sapporo in 1972.
The mission of the first X-Ice was primarily to provide bite on the ice without crampons. The purpose of the X-Ice Xi2 who succeeds him was wider and better versatility but the X-Ice name remains. Already gained notoriety for but also because the word 'ice' inspires confidence, even among us, according to Normand Latremouille. Because ice remains the most insidious and most dreaded enemy.
The X-Ice Xi2 still ranks among the best in the comparative winter tires but since competition is fierce, Michelin has really pulled out all the game for the third generation of its champion. We are not talking here of subtle alterations but rather an overhaul and full recourse to a series of surprisingly sharp complementary technologies.
Arsenal complete technical
First, the use of a more efficient gum silica. Then a tread that better rejoined the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering, which benefits both to the longevity of the X-Ice Xi3 that has its effectiveness. To achieve this, we multiply the changes and tricks once more.
They range from a plurality of slats has all forms blocks or loaves of more 15% gum which provide more edges for biting into the ice and snow. These blocks cleverly Designed Templates rely on their neighbors even when cornering thanks to tiny reinforcements to improve stability and control on wet or dry floor. It was also etched their zigzag edges to add more bite.
The bottom of the vertical slats is now rounded to further improve the rigidity of tread blocks while reducing their shear, which allows for superior speed ratings. There also micropumps, tiny cavities which cylindrical surface water suck like straws. Thin staggered blocks carved in relief on the bottom of the central groove should promote motor skills regardless of wear. Large lateral grooves are also arranged in a V, as in "rain tires" in F1, to better evacuate water and slush formidable.
All these changes have helped improve braking and acceleration of 7% and 17% on ice and 3% and 6% over the snow for Xi3 compared to Xi2 as measured by Michelin. But the performance was certainly not the only objective by creating this new tire.
We will not have to wear, guaranteed
It is particularly impressive to look and feel almost intact Xi3 and another which we tread brings back its original depth of 10.5 / 32 inch to about 4/32 (or 3 mm) to simulate wear bordering the 46,000 km. The differences with rivals who have been subjected the same test are quite surprising. Michelin retains all such strips as they disappear almost entirely on another reputed tire.
Besides rubber Michelin detoure is still impeccably smooth and rough while the gum of another has the appearance of a smooth black plastic which is nothing very reassuring. We then realized that the small blocks as we mold the bottom of the central groove are likely to preserve the Michelin motor skills use.
Michelin believes so has the longevity of its Xi3 it ensures that you can go 60,000 miles before the wear reaches its legal limit of 2/32 of an inch. The French giant is also alone offer such a guarantee for a winter tire. Is added the same Michelin promise that we will refund your tires if you're not satisfied within the first 30 days. They are also covered by a three-year roadside assistance in case of puncture program.
The new X-Ice Xi3 door even the Green X inscription confirming that ranks among the first quarter (25%) of the best for low rolling resistance, all tire types combined. It therefore helps reduce fuel consumption, so the emission of carbon dioxide (C02). This rating also reflect its qualities of durability, performance and safety.
Distribution and demonstration
The distribution of the new winter tire Michelin X-Ice Xi3 will begin in July 2012 for the next winter. It will initially be available in 33 different sizes for rims from 14 to 18 inches in diameter. This offer should fill more than 90% of the needs for North America, according to the manufacturer.
We will return soon on our impressions and conclusions after putting the Xi3 to the test against some of its rivals on the snowy path and ice complex Mecaglisse Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci. As a bonus, the evaluation of some other Michelin winter tires and indisputable benefits of a few hours of driving at the limit of adhesion, safely, in the paradise of winter driving.
A follow. . .
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