Published January 16, 2014
Tire tests, designed to explore the grip limits, traction, economy and noise of tires, are a vital consumer service. However capable your car is, it needs good tires to ensure it's as capable and safe in all conditions as possible.
Testing has one major flaw, though--it can't tell you what that tire might be like in another five, or ten thousand miles--or more. There's no way of knowing if its performance degrades quicker than another over time. Michelin's latest tire, the Premier all-season with 'EverGrip' technology, is designed to maintain class-leading performance for much longer than you'd expect--reducing the risk factor of that top-level brand new tire losing all its best attributes a few thousand miles down the line.
Michelin lists three features of EverGrip that help maintain the tire's performance even as it wears. The first is a special high-traction rubber compound, with high amounts of silica and sunflower oil. Combined, they offer high bonding strength in the treads helping to keep them on the road in wet weather, while the sunflower oil helps low-temperature grip. The tire also has expanding rain grooves. These get wider as the tire wears, making up for the loss of tread depth that can hamper wet-weather performance in regular tires.
Grip is enhanced further as the tire wears with emerging grooves--grooves in the tread that appear as the tire wears past certain points. So efficient are the extra grooves and the expanding rain channels that Michelin claims the Premier series with EverGrip will outperform brand-new tires from other companies in wet weather braking tests. Yes, like a fine red wine they just get better with age.
The best news is that the new range of tire will be available in 32 sizes to begin with, from 185/65R15 to 245/45R18--covering a wide range of vehicles, including the Cadillac CTS, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry among others. The tires--manufactured at Michelin's U.S. plants--will also come with a 60,000-mile limited warranty. You may not go quite that far on a set of tires, but it's nice to know your new set will continue to offer strong grip in poor road conditions even as they age.