Tyres are one of the most important components of a vehicle, be it a car of a motorcycle and we often tend to ignore them and only pay attention to the same when they are in need of replacement. Since tyres are the only contact point between the vehicle and the road, their condition directly affects safety, NVH and fuel-efficiency among other factors.
Michelin recently launched a new range of Tyres, called the Energy XM2+, which promises extended life and improved performance, not only when they are new, but also when they are in worn-out condition. The brand promises that in comparison to the competition, the Energy XM2+, when brand new, stops 2.4 meters shorter on wet roads and 3.3 meters in worn condition compared to a competitor tyre. Michelin recently invited us to the WABCO proving ground in Chennai to test the same. Here is how our experience was!
Real-Road Test Track
First, we were given a test vehicle which was running on a brand new set of Michelin Energy XM2+. We were to take this car around a certain section of the track which has been designed in such a way as to simulate real-world driving conditions. Guiding us through the course was representative from IDIADA, the independent testing agency behind the validation of the Energy XM2+.
This test track has a well-paved road, however, sections of it were designed in such a way that we were able to experience the Energy XM2+ performance at different speeds and were quite impressed. The tyre was able to offer superior levels of grip. However, we would be able to shed more light on the same once we get a chance to test the same in real-world road-surfaces and conditions.
Wet-Road Test Track
After this, we moved on to check the wet road performance of the Michelin Energy XM2+ in comparison to its segment rival, that is the Bridgestone B290. For this, two similarly-specced cars were selected and strapped on with a worn-out set of Energy XM2+ and B290 respectively.
We were to drive the test car up to a speed of 100 kmph, enter the wet-track, and smash on the brakes. Now Michelin says that even in worn-out condition, the Energy XM2+ performs better than the competition and stops 3.3 meters before it.
Though we do not have the exact measurements of the difference between the stopping distances of the two tyres, the Energy XM2+ was able to bring the car to a complete halt well before the B290. Not only this, the XM2+ felt more stable under the heavy braking situation.
The white cone represents the braking distance of the Michelin Energy XM2+ while the red cone of the braking distance of the Bridgestone B290. And it’s clearly visible that there is more than a car’s length between the two. It clearly shows that the XM2+ is able to offer better braking performance, in wet-road conditions, even in worn-out condition. That said, it does command a slight premium at a starting price of Rs 5090 over the competition which retails at a starting price of close to Rs 3900. However, since it offers better safety and if you can someone who priorities this aspect, we would recommend that you go with the same.
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