Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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65 w w w . M o d e r n T i r e D e a l e r . c o m DESTINATION X/T e X/T is a more rugged version of the A/T2, and not an R/T, or rugged terrain, tire, a new category that fits between an A/T and an M/T tire. Like the A/T2, the X/T features full-depth interlocking 3D sipe technology. Unlike the A/T2, the X/T has a tread design with staggered shoulder lugs that provide extra biting edges for off-road performance, and open shoulder slots for both off-road traction and water evacuation. e X/T is backed by a 50,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. It will be available in 25 R-, S- and T-rated sizes, broken out as follows: 15-inches (4): ranging from 30x9.50R15LT to 35x12.50R15LT. 16-inches (6): ranging from LT215/85R16 to LT285/75R16. 17-inches (7): ranging from LT235/80R17 to LT315/70R17. 18-inches (4): ranging from 35x12.50R18LT to LT275/65R18. 20-inches (4): ranging from 35x12.50R20LT to LT285/60R20. Top fitments for the X/T include the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, GMC Sierra and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Unlike the A/T, the AT/2 and X/T are stamped with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, which gives them comparatively better control in wet and snowy conditions. FIRESTONE WEATHERGRIP Dealers also received a first-hand look at the Firestone WeatherGrip, the company's first all-weather touring tire in the U.S. and Canada. It, too, is 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certified. e tire's tread pattern was designed using Bridgestone's new Hydro-Grip technology package. e company says it features full-depth grooves and open shoulder slots for enhanced water evacuation, and a rounded footprint that helps reduce the risk of hydroplaning. "Drivers today are looking for durable, dependable tires that work hard and keep them in control in every driving season," said Erik Seidel, BATO's president of consumer replacement tire sales in the U.S. and Canada. "is is why we built the Firestone WeatherGrip tire to provide enhanced grip in wet and winter conditions, so drivers can confidently take on any forecast." e WeatherGrip features TractionTech, a new technology package exclusive to the Firestone brand. TractionTech leverages a full-depth tread design and interlocking sipes to ensure the tire maintains its wet and snow performance over its 65,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. It is available in 33 15- through 19-inch sizes. According to Bridgestone, that size complement fits more than 60% of the most popular cars and crossovers on the road today. Additional sizes are planned, added the company. All three Firestone tires are backed by the company's 90-Day Buy & Try Guarantee. ■ Is it possible to find a replace- ment-only tire on a new ve- hicle? Yes, says Robert Saul, director of U.S. and Canada consumer and tire product strategy for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC. The new Firestone Destination AT/2 and X/T were designed for the replacement market. However... "Although these are re- placement product lines, we have noticed there's some in- creasing interest on the part of OEMs to look at what we at Bridgestone Firestone call shelf-tire programs, 'shelf-tire' meaning is there something we have already that we can utilize on a new vehicle platform rather than develop something from scratch for a new vehicle platform?" he said. "These Destination tires could be used if a shelf-tire program were to surface (from an OEM) that wanted a tire like that." The new Firestone Weather- Grip and Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack also target are replacement-only tires. But you never know. Targeting only the replacement market, but... OEMs may take Firestone Destination tires off the shelf COURTESY OF BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS Bridgestone defines "all-weather" tires as those that have the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake designation and are marketed for year-round use. Still part of a niche market, they bridge the gap between the larger all-season and winter tire segments. Target vehicles for the M/T 2 are the Toyota Ta- coma TRD, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Rubicon. Bridgestone backs the aggressive Firestone Destination X/T with a 50,000-mile tread wear warranty.

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