A tyre that performs equally well on sun-baked roads in Summer and on snow-covered roads in Winter has been invented by Michelin. Appropriately named Michelin CrossClimate, it is a world-first and a boon to Irish motorists throughout the year – even during those infrequent severe winter spells. Where it was advisable previously to keep two sets of tyres– one for use in Summer and another for when the grip of Winter approaches – the CrossClimate is billed by Michelin as the first summer tyre to be independently certified for winter use.
The fruit of three technologies, it is made from an innovative compound that grips the road in all conditions. It has an energy-efficient, under-tread layer with low heat build-up properties and a unique ‘V’- pattern tread with varying ‘vee’ angles and self-locking, variable-width sipes that act like claws in snow to enhance traction.
Available in 23 different sizes for 15 to 17-inch wheels, with additional sizes to be added next year, it is described by a Michelin spokesman as ‘perfect for our climate when we only occasionally get severe winter conditions’. ‘No more need we have that annual debate with ourselves about whether it’s worth fitting winter tyres or not’ the spokesman added.
A study conducted by Michelin during the course of its development revealed that 65 percent of European motorists use summer tyres all year round. In Germany – where regulations require winter tyres – the figure was 20 percent while in France, where no regulations apply, the figure was 76 percent. Out of every 10 European motorists, four considered it a constraint to change tyres in summer and winter, leaving the task until the very last minute, while three percent of drivers in Germany and seven percent in France use winter tyres all year round.