Michelin LTX AT2 Light Truck Tire auto product reviews
Michelin LTX A/T2; photo by James Bergeron. Click image to enlarge


By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery: Michelin LTX A/T2

Birmingham, Alabama – When first invited to Birmingham for Michelin’s Launch of their new Light Truck tire – the LTX A/T2 – my first notion was to check the weather report; being a Canadian, that is just what I do. For the week leading up to my journey to the south, Birmingham was a balmy 35 degrees Celsius with average humidity of 95 per cent. Part of me was looking forward to warming up my bloodstream after the long winter, while another part of me was dreading the thought of all that humidity.

By the time I actually arrived in Alabama however, the temperatures changed – possibly affected by forests fires in the neighbouring state of Georgia – and the humidity had subsided. The resulting weather was 30 degrees Celsius, dry and with a nice breeze – absolutely perfect weather for some off-roading in the back country of Alabama.

This trip was going to be a long series of firsts for me. My first time in Alabama or anywhere south of the 42nd parallel, actually; my first time doing some true off-roading, like a good ol’ boy in a pick-up truck – not to mention the first time eating grits and encountering that down-to-earth southern hospitality.

Michelin LTX AT2 Light Truck Tire auto product reviews
Michelin LTX A/T2; photo courtesy Michelin. Click image to enlarge

While trucks are really not my thing – I’m more of a car guy – my first real off-road experience was quite and eye-opener. I was quite impressed by the capabilities of both the new Michelin LTX A/T2 tire and the Ford F150 pick-up trucks used to demonstrate the tire. Trucks are big business, which certainly cannot be ignored – especially with 50 per cent of the OE (original equipment) orders in the tire business being for light trucks and SUVs.

Michelin prides themselves on being the “and” brand, developing products that conform to strict standards while continuing to provide the best balance between ‘Safety and the Environment and Performance and Value.” With the LTX A/T2 Light Truck tire comes a new tire capable of providing your light truck or SUV with the ability to venture on or off-road in comfort and safety.

Michelin LTX AT2 Light Truck Tire auto product reviews
Michelin LTX A/T2; photo by James Bergeron. Click image to enlarge

Tuning a tire is a complex science and achieving the correct balance between a smooth, quiet ride on the highway and grip out on backwoods trails lined with dirt and rocks while still delivering an aesthetically-pleasing tire is a real challenge for any tire manufacturer.

The Michelin LTX A/T2 tire is targeted at a market where the buyers are tire savvy. They own a light truck or SUV and are willing to pay a premium for the ability to have both great on and off-road performance. Typically, these buyers are also seeking a tire that is durable and has the ability to carry heavy loads. Last, but not least, light truck tire buyers are looking for an aesthetically-pleasing tire, something that says “I like to go off-roading”: a tire that looks rough and tough but still rides quietly on the highway.

As one Michelin representative put it, “This tire is the ‘I can if I want to tire’; this tire provides the tools to help people get to a destination. If you compare it to the BF Goodrich brand, their tires are targeted to enthusiasts where the off-roading is the experience, where one might go off-roading for hours. The Michelin LTX A/T2 might lead you off road for hours but you would probably have a destination of some other kind.”

Michelin LTX AT2 Light Truck Tire auto product reviews
Michelin LTX A/T2; photo by James Bergeron. Click image to enlarge

According to Michelin, the LTX A/T2 tire incorporates several innovations and features including:

Off-Road Grip and Styling: With aggressive notched tread blocks and biting edges, the Michelin LTX A/T2 tire digs into nearly any surface for great off-road traction including dirt, mud, gravel, and wet grass. Visual styling indicators call-out its gripping capabilities, including a four-row proportional tread, new sidewall and aggressive outer blocks.

Comfort and Handling: While the Michelin LTX A/T2 tire excels in providing the grip and durability expected from a rugged off-road tire, it also delivers handling performance on the road. Through Michelin Comfort Control Technology and precision manufacturing, the LTX A/T2 tire is designed to greatly reduce vibrations and road noise for a quiet ride.

Endurance and Durability: Michelin Advanced MaxTouch Construction technology creates a tire with the longest tread life in the light truck/SUV tire class while a third steel belt in LT LRD and LRE helps to deliver the durability to take on the toughest jobs.

Michelin LTX AT2 Light Truck Tire auto product reviews
Michelin LTX A/T2; photo courtesy Michelin. Click image to enlarge

An Independent testing firm confirmed that the new Michelin LTX A/T2 tire lasts 30% longer, and has better dirt, mud, gravel and wet grass performance than both the Goodyear Wrangler SA and the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo, both direct competitors to the new Michelin tire.

My testing of the LTX A/T2 tire was an eye-opener for me. The F150 is a really heavy vehicle, and the way the tire allowed it to drive up and down some extreme inclines was quite impressive. Rock climbing, hill climbing and fording — the Michelin LTX A/T2 was able to do it all with little strain. On the road the LTX A/T2 was also extremely quiet and smooth, equivalent to many luxury touring tires.

With 32 sizes, including P-Metric and LT fitments, Michelin LTX A/T2 tire fits a wide spectrum of light trucks and SUVs. The product will be available at authorized Michelin dealers starting August 2007, in Canada.




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).