INGOLSTADT, Germany (Dec. 13, 2001)—German car maker Audi is considering Group Michelin's Pax extended mobility tire/wheel system for its entire vehicle range five to six years down the road, according to an engineer with Audi's advanced car design team.
The company, part of the Volkswagen Group, is planning to make the non-standard tire and rim concept standard on all its models by 2006 or 2007, according to JÃ¼rgen Dietz, the technical project leader with Audi's Avantissimo station wagon concept based on the mechanicals of Audi's A8 full-size sedan. He was quoted in AutoWeek, a Tire Business sister publication.
Describing the technical specs for the Avantissimo, Mr. Dietz outlined Audi's plans for using the Pax system, starting with the 2003 model A6 mid-size sedan, and then broadening to the entire model range.
Part of Audi's decision to use the Pax is based in part on Michelin's decision to license the technology to other companies, Mr. Dietz said, thereby ensuring the car maker can get products from more than one source. Mr. Dietz also pointed to the elimination of the spare tire, which frees up valuable space.
Audi produces more than 650,000 cars a year. It sold 80,372 cars in North America in 2000.