Greenville, South Carolina – Michelin has announced a new luxury performance tire, the Primacy MXM4, which uses sunflower oil to create a unique rubber compound for improved performance. The tires are original equipment on some Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and Buick vehicles, and will be available to consumers in July 2010.

Sunflower oil, used in the patented Michelin Helio Compound technology, allows the tire to maintain its edge in wet and snowy weather, while still delivering safety, all-weather handling, ride quality and comfort.

The company said that by using sunflower oil, the Primacy MXM4 tire can stop up to two car lengths shorter, or up to 5.7 metres, in wet weather conditions when compared to a leading competitor. The compound, made with oil from specific types of sunflowers, increases traction at low temperatures for braking and handling in wet conditions, and has better overall performance in snow.

“Sometimes you don’t have to look further than your own kitchen to find a viable, technical solution,” said Dominique Josson, product category manager. “Sunflower oil is particularly useful in high-performance, all-season tires because it allows the tire to maintain winter performance that might otherwise be sacrificed to gain handling and wet grip.”

The Primacy MXM4 will eventually replace the Michelin Pilot MXM4.

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