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compounding the michelin s energy xm2 value

Compounding the Michelin’s Energy XM2+ value

On the surface it’s identical but delve a little deeper and you’ll discover an improved compound aimed at consistent performance over its lifespan

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

25 Jun 2019

It’s pretty common knowledge that a tyre incrementally loses performance as the tread depth wears out with use. Water displacement is often the most affected aspect that begins to deteriorate and subsequently sees wet braking performance decline as well.

Michelin wanted to address that with a revision of its popular Energy XM2+ in Malaysia. It isn’t a new tyre by any means, having been around for eight years to meet the daily requirements of pedestrian vehicles that prioritise safety and longevity.

From the outside, the XM2+ is indistinguishable from its predecessor; the XM2. In fact, Michelin themselves will tell you the tread design is identical as they’ve recycled the moulds for the tyres.

The only enhancement done is the use of a new full-silica rubber compound that improves braking performance in the wet whilst maintaining its consistency even with the tread depth reducing over time.

Of course, talk is cheap so demonstrations on went braking and handling were carried out at the launch to walk the talk. As far as we can recall, this might also have been the first tyre launch and test that included a worn example of the product to prove its claim.

The worn example was down to its last 15 per cent and easily as well as consistently outbraked the competition in the wet. In general, as the tyre tread wears out the braking performance will deteriorate and the competition did exhibit those symptoms that came across as a fleeting floating-like sensation before the tyres eventually displaced enough water to bite onto the road surface.

Now we come to the all important question on how to differentiate the tyres if the tread design is identical? Michelin has added the “+” symbol on the sidewall to tell the outgoing XM2 and new XM2+ apart.

It’ll be available in 32 different sizes over the common 14-16inch wheel diameters that will pretty much cover all the common compact models that ply our streets.