DETROIT-Goodyear said its most durable off-road tire, the Wrangler MT/R (maximum traction/reinforced), has been selected as standard equipment on the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, a sport-utility vehicle billed as tough-enough to tackle the rough and tumble Rubicon Trail.
The tire, in size LT245/75R16, incorporates an aggressive tread pattern that wraps around the sidewall to gain traction on rocks.
It also features the company's Durawell technology-a three-ply sidewall and advanced silica sidewall compounds for abrasion and puncture resistance.
Goodyear tested the Wrangler MT/R in 1999 on Northern California's Rubicon Trail, which is described as the most demanding 22 miles of off-highway driving in the U.S.
The 31-inch tall tire also has shown its mettle on the tire-piercing slickrock of Moab, Utah, and in the brutality of the Goodyear/Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals championship off-road series, the tire maker said.
Although capable of tackling severe off-road terrain, the tire is surprisingly quiet on pavement, said Dave Bair, Goodyear engineering team leader on the Jeep account.
It also looks good, he added.
``The tire's tread and sidewall design turns heads on the rocks and at the grocery store parking lot,'' he said.
DiamlerChrysler A.G. debuted the Wrangler MT/R-shod Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Jan. 7 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Mr. Bair called the vehicle and tire a perfect match. ``The Jeep's suspension complements the tire's traction capabilities,'' he said. ``Off-road enthusiasts will approve of this package.''
Goodyear makes the Wrangler MT/R at its Fayetteville, N.C., tire plant.