The tire itself is still underestimated by many drivers. It is these black, round things, on which a large part of the responsibility for the topic driving safety lies. No matter if it comes with short braking distances to come to an early stop, in curves enough side support to provide dynamics and driving pleasure are experienced, or enough liability in the winter just to go up a mountain. The tire makes the difference!
Michelin presents a new tire, the Alpin2014, for the winter 2015 / 5
With flower sap for adhesion
The Alpin5 is the fifth generation of a premium winter tire family from France. The French manufacturer of premium tires has put a lot of brainpower into the development of the new Alpin5. And even sunflower oil. Sounds strange, but that's how it is. The ingredients for the perfect tires are in principle known, only the mixture and the preparation make the difference. But as far as I know, sunflower oil is in use for the first time in a tire.
Cold weather needs soft rubber
A winter tire must offer the right mix of durability and soft rubber. The colder it gets, the more brittle and inelastic it gets. You can try it yourself, throw a mason jar into the freezer. After a few hours this rubber is brittle and far less elastic than before at room temperature.
But a tire is a complex piece of rubber. And in addition to the material, the shape also plays a role. How are the grooves shaped? Like the angle of the individual profile blocks to each other. Premium winter tires work at an extremely high level. The difference to cheap tires from China has already been demonstrated by me in another article.
With a combination of a high silica content and sunflower oil, the new Alpin5 wants to be a tire that shows off its special talents, especially in European winters. Because for the most part, here in the well-mannered winter climate of Europe, we do not ride on closed snow cover but on cold asphalt, a lot in the rain, as well as on slush. In addition to the effective rubber mixture, the tire tread is also in demand here.
The new Alpin5 has more slats than its predecessor 16, which is good for grip on roads covered in slush. In addition, its profile pattern has been consistently adapted to the V-arrow pattern, ideal conditions to be able to displace a lot of water on wet roads.
So that the tire works properly on cold, dry roads, its tread blocks have an integrated support. This avoids the feeling of a “spongy” winter tire when driving quickly over dry roads in a high-quality vehicle. Michelin calls this technology “StabiliGrip”.
I was able to drive the new Michelin Alpin5 in Austria a few days ago. However, in less optimal conditions. It was unusually sunny and warm in the mountains around Innsbruck. I drove the tire on a front-wheel drive Volvo, one Audi A3 with front-wheel drive and a BMW 3 Series GT with rear-wheel drive. Now a short trip in the Alps is not a tire test and the fact that we only drove this one tire does not allow any comparison or statements Competition situation to.
But let's put it this way:
The Alpin5 ran as I expected. He was sportably direct, to feel good, gave a clear impression of the grip conditions and it was quiet.
Michelin will be launching the new Alpin5 for the 2015 winter season - in other words, wholesalers from summer, preferably on your car from October. It is offered in 27 different sizes between 196 / 65-15 and 225/55 - 17.