REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Taiwan tire maker Federal Corp. took a fantasy concept — crossing a mud-terrain tire with a directional, ultra-high-performance tire specifically for street use — to create a light-truck product that has become a reality: the Xplora MTS.
Federal Chairman Jamie Ma compares the idea behind the new product to the 1980s hit "Bohemian Rhapsody," a song that revolutionized pop music with its length and operatic overtones.
"When I looked at our tire industry today in the light truck sector, especially on mud-terrain category, our Xplora MTS literally is speaking the 'Bohemian Rhapsody,'" Mr. Ma said. "The pattern design was never seen before, but aggressive with outrageous looks."
Mr. Ma likened the directional V-shape pattern design — with elements of late 1990s' UHP designs — to the operatic element of "Bohemian Rhapsody," saying this blend resulted in the "most incredible M/T street product you can find in the market."
That's the song Federal executives sang during the launch of the Xplora MTS, held recently during a business meeting and ride-and-drive event at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, not too far away from Federal Tire North America's headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
Around a dozen media and selected dealers attended the three-day event, testing the tires on drives through swanky neighborhoods and on the Pacific Coast Highway in aftermarket-enhanced Jeeps and Chevrolet and Toyota pickup trucks.