January 7, 2003

Rolls to get first Michelin PAX run-flats

Detroit, Michigan – The first North American fitment for the Michelin PAX System was unveiled at the Detroit auto show on the new 2004 Rolls Royce Phantom, available in April 2003. The Rolls is fitted with Michelin PAX 265x790R540A tires. Although this is the first North American vehicle riding on PAX System, the tire/wheel system has been available in Europe since June 2001 and is found on the Renault Scenic and the new Audi A8.

Michelin introduced the PAX System in 1998. The system includes a tire, an asymmetrical wheel, a flexible support ring inside the tire and a tire pressure monitoring system. In the event of a loss of air pressure, the PAX tire rides on the inner support ring. The vehicle can continue to operate at 55 mph for up to 125 miles. Although easily mounted and dismounted, a PAX System tire cannot come off the rim during operation.

“We proudly welcome Rolls Royce as the latest customer of the Michelin PAX System and the first automaker to bring PAX System to the streets of North America,” said Jean-Michel Guillon, COO of Michelin Automotive Industry Division. “This is the next logical step in the advancement of PAX System in the industry. The system has had great success with consumers and automakers alike in Europe. Now, drivers in North America will have the chance to experience the PAX System advantages.”

In addition to outfitting the new Rolls Royce Phantom with PAX System, Michelin has also equipped four concept vehicles at the NAIAS with its PAX System tires. Mazda is featuring a concept vehicle sporting Michelin PAX 225x750R540A tires. The Renault Vel Satis has been fitted with Michelin PAX 225x690R540A tires and the Renault Koleos is completed with Michelin PAX 240x800R560A Heracles tires. Toyota is introducing a new fuel cell vehicle equipped with Michelin PAX 215x730R560 tires.

While Michelin is introducing PAX System on a production vehicle and four concept vehicles, Goodyear has equipped one concept vehicle with PAX System tires for the show as well. Goodyear, Pirelli and Sumitomo are each developing the PAX System in their own product lines. “Our vision was for PAX System to become an industry standard embraced by major automakers on every continent and manufactured by a variety of tiremakers. Now in 2003, we are seeing this goal rapidly becoming reality,” said Guillon.

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