Michelin recently introduced MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres in India, successor to the widely used Energy EM2 tyres. Michelin aims to target young commuting consumers who look for a tyre with performance and safety that lasts till the end of the tyre’s life. With the MICHELIN Energy XM2+, the company claims that these tyres are the ideal fitment for small and mid-size passenger cars.
Mohan Kumar, Vice President, Michelin India said “Long Lasting Performance is at the heart of Michelin’s activity. In India, we are again raising the bar for daily commuting tyres with MICHELIN Energy XM2+, which improves on its predecessor, the MICHELIN Energy XM2, a leading mass-market tyre for 8 consecutive years. We are committed to bringing tyres to our customers that stay safe and offer high performance levels to their legal wear limit, and MICHELIN Energy XM2+ is a true testament of this commitment.”
Michelin boldly claims that – with a new full-silica rubber compound, the MICHELIN Energy XM2+ stops 2.4 meters shorter on wet roads in new condition and 3.3 meters in worn out condition compared to a premium competitor tyre. While offering longer mileage outlasting its leading competitor by 29%. The ‘+’ sign on the sidewall denotes the rubber compound upgrade versus its predecessor. While maintaining the Green ‘X’ marking of its predecessor, which indicates optimised fuel savings.
Michelin invited us to WABCO Proving Grounds, Chennai to test out the MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres and put it through its paces on the proving ground. The test was split into two sections – wet braking test and a high-speed loop around the Wabco testing facility. The tyres were installed on two similarly spec’d Maruti Suzuki Swifts to nullify any discrepancies. One of the Swift was fitted with MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres which were reasonably worn out, with only 1.5mm of tread was left to be exact. Similarly, the other Swift was fitted with equally worn out competitor tyres which happened to be Bridgestone.
Coming to the tests, Michelin had outsourced the testing of their tyres to Applus IDIADA, India – an international firm based out of Spain, which carries out independent testing of various cars, components and tyres, among others. The tests were conducted under professional guidance from the experts to avoid any mishaps. In the first test, we were asked to drive on a long straight stretch of tarmac with continuous sprinkling of water; replicating rainy or wet road conditions, at a steady speed of 100kph in 5th cog and then apply full brakes with the clutch engaged at the set marker on the wet patch.
The braking on the worn out MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres was unbelievably impressive to say the least. There was absolutely no drama of any sort while braking hard, the car held its line without any hint of fishtailing (rear tyres losing grip) and there was minimal ABS involvement with optimal grip from the tyres even on the wet surface. The competitor tyres on the other hand were consistently bad. The car covered longer distances to come to a complete halt while scaring the pants off the driver and the experts alike. We have to admit that the ABS was the only saving grace on the Swift fitted with competitor tyres.
The second test was a quick dash with medium to high speed driving around the WABCO proving ground. Testing the driving dynamics of the car with freshly baked MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres fitted on the Swift. Here too, the tyres impressed us with its quiet and smooth ride quality it offered along with superior grip in the corners and tight turns, displaying excellent road holding throughout, even on the long right handed parabola not exceeding 80kph. We were so tempted to push the car to its limit and test the true potential of the tyres. Unfortunately, we were bound to stay within the stipulated speeds. The MICHELIN Energy XM2+ tyres added an extra layer of predictability to the Swift’s already great handling characteristics. It instantly responded to the smallest of steering inputs without any delay and held its line without any drama even during the slalom course towards the end of the test track.
Needless to say, the new Michelin tyres offer excellent performance, efficiency, superior grip and are long lasting too. Michelin’s strong stance on safety and performance of the new tyres is exactly what we experienced at the WABCO Proving Ground. Our drive experience was a testament to this very apt stance. The tyres pricing starts from ₹5090; about 10% higher than its closest competitor Bridgestone. It’s a reasonable ask for the quality it offers; money well spent we think. Next time, you’re looking for a new set of tyres – you must definitely check these out.