Longer life, improved fuel efficiency as a result of less rolling resistance, and maximum safety. When it comes to tyres, usually things are centered around one aspect, and rare is the donut that touts all three at one go.

That, however, is what Michelin says its new Energy XM2 tyre offers, an equal proportion of all three. Officially launched today, the new donut replaces the Energy XM1, which has been around since 2004, and is targeted to continue to build on the brand’s overall double digit market share. It’s aimed at the compact and lower-mid size passenger car segment.

The line with this one is that it lasts 20% longer than the XM1, so that means that it’ll offer more kilometres of travel over its useful life. The Alternating Bridging Technology used in the Energy XM2 reinforces the rigidity of tread blocks, resulting in the tread block moving less freely to help reduce the rate of tyre wear.

Having evolved from a hybrid compound that was used in the XM1 to a full silica compound, Michelin says the XM2 offers an 8% reduction in rolling resistance and thus, fuel savings as it goes along.

The company says that reduced fuel consumption is achieved as the full silica used in the rubber compound reduces friction between the rubber particles generating less heat. With less heat generated, less energy is lost, not only reducing fuel consumption, but increasing the tyre’s flexibility, thereby improving road holding.

Which is where the maximum safety bit comes in – the Micro Adaptive Compound means the tyre adapts itself better to the irregularities of a road surface and thus, offers improved grip levels.

Elsewhere, the design’s Optimum Void Grooves can evacuate up to 20% more water compared to the XM1, and a higher volume of water evacuated at a faster rate lowers
the risk of hydroplaning, always a no-no.

The company believes it has a winner in its hands with the new donut. “The Energy XM2 has all the necessary attributes – 20% more mileage, additional fuel savings with no compromise on safety – to compete within the compact and lower-mid size passenger car segment that accounts for 80% of all cars sold in Malaysia,” said Michelin Malaysia’s MD Yves Pouliquen at the launch.

There are a total of 22 sizes in the lineup, with fitment across 14- to 16-inches and 175 to 215 widths, and prices for the Energy XM2 range start from RM217 for a 14-incher to RM488 a pop for a 16-inch version.

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