LAURENS, S.C.-In a continuing effort to prove that a tire's handling characteristics need not be hindered by rolling resistance technology, Michelin Americas Small Tires recently sponsored a technology workshop for trade press journalists. The seminar, held April 10 in Asheville, N.C., provided information about rolling resistance. Since last year, Michelin has waged a somewhat lonely effort to convince the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to revise the Uniform Tire Quality Grading labeling on tires to reflect their fuel economy and rolling resistance. However, other tire manufacturers continue to oppose the move. (See story on page 9.)
MAST said that critics who say rolling resistance compromises a tire's handling are all wet, then set out to attempt to prove its claim.
On a ride-and-drive ``expedition'' from the seminar site, journalists drove BMWs shod with MAST's relatively new Energy MXV4 tires, which boast enhanced rolling resistance-and wet-weather handling without use of a special aquachannel. Periodically, the writers stopped to switch to identical cars running on Goodyear Aquatreds.
At MAST's Laurens proving ground the tires were again put through their paces under various wet-track conditions.