Michelin Confirms That its Close To Developing Tires That Can Help a Supercar Reach 300 MPH
French tire manufacturer Michelin is on the cusp of developing tires that can help an automaker reach a top speed of 300 mph. The development is the latest frontier in a race among a handful of automakers to become the first company to have a car that can reach a top speed of 300 mph. While the hypothetical race is mostly driven by ego, Michelin is right at the center of it because it’s the company that supplied tires to Bugatti and Koenigsegg when they set their respective top speed records.
ICYMI: Michelin Created Flexible Wheels - Video
The phrase “reinventing the wheel” is a popular way of describing the method of duplicating an idea that already exists. It’s generally used in negative terms - “don’t reinvent the wheel when it’s not needed” - but not in the case of Michelin. The French tire maker takes pride in actually trying to reinvent the wheel in literal terms. In that sense, it may have done just that with the introduction of the Maxion Flexible Wheel with ACORUS Technology.
In simple terms, the Maxion Flexible Wheel with ACORUS Technology is a wheel that was designed specifically to withstand the toughest road conditions for large diameter, low-profile tires. Part of what makes this wheel unique is its ability to literally deform in certain road conditions to protect the tire and wheel body. Two flexible rubber flanges mounted on opposite sides of the wheel body take center stage in that regard. These flanges help absorb impact from potholes and curbs, deforms accordingly, and reverts back to its original shape once the tires are back on smooth road surfaces. This development not only protects the tires from puncturing, but they also protect the alloy rims from cracking or suffering sidewall damage. Michelin’s new wheel also helps improve comfort and noise levels, a common shortcoming among low profile tires with short sidewalls.
The Maxion Flexible Wheel with ACORUS Technology is compatible with any type and brand of tire, including low rolling resistance tires. It’s not as ambitious as Michelin’s other tire concepts, including Visionary 3D-printed Concept, but it is already available in the market, specifically in 19-inch-and-above sizes to premium automakers. There’s no word yet on when the tire will be available to the public, but expect an announcement on that end sooner than later.
The Michelin Visionary Concept Tire Could be a Game Changer
The modern automotive tire is the product of centuries of development, with forerunners including leather, iron, and wood bands once mounted to horse-drawn carriages. These days, you can get a rubber tire to suit a wide range of applications, whether it’s maximum forward grip, such as the drag radials equipped on the Dodge Demon, low-rolling resistance tires on hybrids like the Toyota Prius, or studded snow tires for your winter beater. Which begs the question – what comes next? Well, Michelin is giving us a few ideas with its Visionary Concept, recently presented at the Movin’On summit in Montreal. While it’s unlikely you’ll see anything like this offered for mass consumption anytime soon, the Vision Concept does offer a few enticing models for future mobility, including enhanced adaptability, extreme long-term usage, and environmentally conscious production.
Essentially a 3D-printed tire and wheel combination, the Michelin Visionary Concept doesn’t use air to keep it pumped up, which means you won’t be breaking out the pressure gauge at the gas station. And since it uses additive manufacturing techniques, the tires will last for a very long time – “as long as the vehicle itself,” according to Michelin. Adaptability is also a key feature, with new tread designs printed directly onto the tire/wheel surface to suit whatever conditions you might face. The details on this concept are pretty interesting, so read on for more.
Continue reading for the full story.
Just a few hours after the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the company announced it broke the world-record lap time on Nurburgring. With a lap time of 6:57, the 918 Spyder became the fastest road-going car, beating the previous record by 14 seconds.
The model that established the record was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and now the tire company has revealed a video (above) that offers us a closer look at the new Nurburgring record. The video also includes interviews from the car’s project manager Frank Walliser, Michelin’s Cornelis Ter Braakm and Walter Rohrl, and the driver responsible for the record, Marc Lieb.
As a reminder, the 918 Spyder is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine with an output of 608 horsepower with a 154-horsepower electric motor powering the rear axle and a 127-horsepower electric motor on the front axle. This system generates a total of 887 horsepower and helps the 918 Spyder to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 211 mph.
With summertime about halfway over and fall bearing down on all of us, the thought of taking the summer tires off of your beloved ride in favor of all-season rubber that just doesn’t perform the same is depressing. With exception to us southern-state dwellers, you need a set of tires that can handle the rain, snow and ice that the winter, fall and spring present us, and most summer tires simply can’t handle the elements. Well, Michelin has an all-new all-season tire that packs summer tire-like stickiness with an all-season design and features: the Pilot A/S 3.
This all-new Pilot Sport tire uses a special blend of silica to help enhance the "sticky" feeling of the tire and a tread design that helps jettison water from under your car’s footprint. The combination of water channeling and extra silica really helps the tire bite down on the road. Additionally, variable-thickness sipes on the outer section of the tread help break up the tension in the water and then lock together to create maximum rubber contact to the asphalt.
When it comes to tires, you cannot base purchasing decisions on sheer performance, unless you have tons of money to blow. You also have to consider how long the manufacture guarantees the tire will last. Most summer tires don’t include a mileage warranty and most all-season tires with any sort of warranty are too hard to perform well. Michelin obviously found a nice balance with the Pilot A/S 3,as these shoes come with a 45,000-mile warranty.
A truly unique feature on the A/S 3 that surprises even me - a seasoned expert in the tire industry - is Michelin’s Helio Compound, which helps the rubber retain its soft and sticky properties in cold temperatures. This is a frequent complaint of all-season tire users, as it can take seemingly forever for your tires to get up to temperature on a cold day. Not only does this increase cold-weather grip, but it also increases comfort in cold weather.
You can snag up these tires now between the sizes of 175/65R15 and 285/35R20, which covers cars ranging from the Fiat 500 to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG. Once we get our hands on a set of them, we will let you know just how well they do, so stay tuned!
Click past the jump to see detailed videos on these all-new tires and the crazy tests they underwent.
When discussing tire brands, there are very few that have the history and cache of Michelin. The French tire manufacturer has been at the forefront of tire technology, and for its latest technological innovation, Michelin brought a roster of drivers to the NOLA Motorsports Park to test out the Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires.
Suffice to say, these tires give new meaning to the word ’versatility’. If assurances were currency that makes the world turn, Michelin’s promise of these tires’ capabilities are what you can consider as "taking it to the bank".
The Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires are built to last through all four seasons, so says Michelin. These bad boys match the traction of many summer tires while also offering the ability to drive in all seasons, including wet and wintery conditions.
And as the video will show you, Michelin’s test session at the NOLA Motorsports Park gives further credence to the overall capability and versatility of the French tire maker’s Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires.