Michelin Introduces New "X-Ice Snow"

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Apr 6, 2006
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I mentioned the TS870 as a newer alternative to the Michelin PA4 that Craig is interested in. The newest Michelin Alpin tire is the Alpin 6, but I am not sure if it will ever show up in the North American market. Some sizes are available in V speed rating.





I think I found my answer - Michelin Canada lists the new Pilot Alpin PA5, which I assume incorporates new developments in line with the X-Ice SNOW. It doesn't look like they intend to sell it in the size I need for winter either. (Sadly, they don't show the Pilot A/S 4 in my summer size either, which I would seriously think about when my PS4S are done).
 

SubLGT

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...According to Michelin, the X-Ice Snow has reduced rolling resistance by 9% (better fuel economy), 7% higher hydroplaning resistance and slush performance, and up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) shorter braking distances on snow when compared to other tires in the category.

Meanwhile, Michelin also made improvements in the tread wear front. The X-Ice Snow is still the only winter tire that comes with a treadwear warranty, even when compared to other premium products, most of them priced almost equally....

...Michelin also shares three key things about the X-Ice Snow. The first one is excellent snow braking and improved overall snow performance. The second one is that the X-Ice Snow is a leader in ice braking, with 2.7 shorter distances than the nearest competitor.

The third one is that the hydroplaning resistance and slush performance are greatly improved, even when the tread wears down...

...
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Michelin X-Ice Snow isn’t designed for spirited driving – most winter tires aren’t. Still, the tire succeeds in providing the driver with usable traction for daily driving.
Cornering grip is very good for a winter tire, the braking distances aren’t overly long, and the highway stability is excellent. Moreover, the X-Ice Snow doesn’t feel as cumbersome to drive as other winter tires

How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The Michelin X-Ice Snow is one of the best winter tires for driving on wet surfaces, provided the weather is not very hot.
Thanks to the V-shaped and aggressive tread pattern, the X-Ice Snow has excellent hydroplaning resistance, even in very heavy rain. Moreover, traction in rainy conditions is excellent, and the braking distances are very short.

With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
In a word, the X-Ice Snow is exceptional in wintry conditions. However, I still feel the need to elaborate on why.
First of all, the X-Ice Snow provides the driver with the best possible traction on packed and unpacked snow. With this tire, you will never get stranded anywhere. Moreover, the handling feels completely sure-footed, and the braking distances are record-breaking short.
The X-Ice Snow continues to impress on icy surfaces. I couldn’t believe myself the first time I tried this tire on ice. The vehicle immediately accelerates, and brakes without a lot of fuss. Sure, you will still need to be careful, but you will at least feel safe.

Is it comfortable and refined?
The X-Ice Snow rides very comfortably over bumps, even in freezing weather, when the rubber usually becomes harder. Noise is also not a big issue, but you can still hear the tires at highway speeds.
 
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Just have to say I love BITOG for all the info. I did the VikingContact 7 on my son's Kia Forte last year. Not a bad winter around here to really test. He was happy in the snow/ice he experienced and when he picked up his friend whose Forester was stuck in the lot (it was on real worn all seasons).

Fast forward to now. My daughter has a new to her '08 CRV and I already have 4 extra factory rims for the snows ($120 for all 4 on Craigslist but no TPMS sensors). Costco and TireRack have deals going. I really want to try the X-ice Snow. With the Costco special through 9-29-20, her size 225-65-17 would be $156 each installed plus tax which is much better than ship/install same tire from TR. The VikingContact 7 from TR is $127 each plus an $80 Mastercard that would cover most of install or 4 new TPMS.

I think I'm going to have to go with 4 VikingContact 7's with new TPMS. My 17yo daughter, I'd rather have the TPMS working. I'll need to wait for the WinterContact Si's to wear on the Pilot and Sonata and then maybe I can try the Michelin.

Keep up the great info! Thank You!.
 

SubLGT

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I don't like they do this. Buffing off tread is FAR different then actually worn down to 4/32" as the rubber tends to harden and round off etc over time...

What is the correct real world protocol for aging a tire before testing?
Is testing of new tires informative about their real world performance? After all, tires are only new for a tiny percentage of their lifetime.
 
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Adding to edyvw and SubLGT.
What do you propose? Age tires for 5 years before testing? Run them for 3 years?

I think shaving/buffing is as fair as it gets to measure worn tires performance.

5 years in the sun will be different than 10 years in the sun. It will be hard to age tires identically for a test.

Krzyś
 
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Yes true, though I wonder if there's a better way to get them down in tread then buffing, as it doesn't age the tire any as I mentioned....
 

SubLGT

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Winter tire test results for 2020/2021 are beginning to appear online.

The Michelin X-Ice Snow was surprisingly unimpressive, coming in 6th place overall in testing by the Norwegian magazine MOTOR. But Michelin's studded tire did rank #1 among the studded tires.

Continental VikingContact 7 is ranked #1
Nokian R3 is ranked #2
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice2 is ranked #3


Translation of above link


...We have tested eight studded tires and eight studless tires in the dimension 205/60 R16 on snow and ice - and on dry and wet asphalt.

Among the studless , there are some exciting newcomers, but Continental wins for the third time with its VikingContact 7.

Among the studded tires is a new variant of last year's winning tire Continental IceContact3, the tire that was simply too good to be true. In this year's test, it is among the top three, but not the best.

Michelin goes to the top with its X-Ice North 4, a tire with as many as 255 studs, ahead of Conti and winter specialist Nokian...


Michelin X-Ice Snow:
Lacks the grip of the very best
The new X-Ice Snow is, just like the outgoing X-Ice 3, a rigid tire classified for speeds above 200 km / h - with good stability and a firm driving feeling on bare ground.
The rolling resistance is also the lowest in the entire test.
On the other hand, the braking distance is long on wet asphalt.
Snow and ice have covered good grip when going straight ahead - whether it is acceleration or braking.
But in the turns, the grip is weaker than on the best competitors.
It is also more difficult to know exactly where the border goes. Therefore, the grip disappears more suddenly than for other, softer winter tires.
The same applies in the turns on wet asphalt.
Despite good stability on bare ground, low consumption and short braking distances: The slack turning performance ultimately gives only a sixth place.


Continental VikingContact7:

On both ice and snow, it clearly communicates with the driver where the grip limit goes, and it is logical and easy to handle with carefully undermined balance.
Although high attention is paid to winter surfaces, the VC7 also performs well on bare ground.
It is still easy to handle when we simulate a crisis situation.
In addition, it has short braking distances and provides good steering precision.
As with many other studless tires, it is the properties of aquaplaning that create the greatest concern.
The fact that the Continental tire is also the quietest only confirms a clear test winner - again!
 
Last edited:
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What's the value of the 4/32" test? It's already technically "illegal" in states that have snow tire laws with a minimum tread depth (3/16" or 6/32")

For Europe, the minimum tread depth is 4mm (5/32"), which is around the depth which the Nokian WSI (snowflake) indicator wears out.
Nope. In some european countries such as Austria - yes, the minimum depth for a tyre to yount as adequate winter tyre is 4mm. In other countries the legal limit can be as low as 1.6mmm (for example Germany).
 
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I recall reading that Michelin made new tire tread look more aggressive so it sells better (visually).
I wonder if there is Marketing vs Engineering infighting. Engineering developed a tire that Marketing wants but apparently it does not deliver the performance.
Easy for consumers in NA. Buy Viking Contact 7 until new competitor arrives.
Or so it seems.

Krzyś
 

NO2

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We just bought a house in the lake effect snow zone so we will be buying sets for our vehicles. Extra life will be welcome.
 
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I'm still burnt up about my bad set of Premier A/S that they wouldn't do anything about
And the WinterContact SI's I had were very good
I'll think about these, and see what promos are running and when
 
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What I really like about the Michelin X-Ice3 is the longevity. It blows away the Bridgestone winters on that. I wonder if the Continentals will last 50k like my X-Ices.
 
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Winter tire test results for 2020/2021 are beginning to appear online.

The Michelin X-Ice Snow was surprisingly unimpressive, coming in 6th place overall in testing by the Norwegian magazine MOTOR. But Michelin's studded tire did rank #1 among the studded tires.

Continental VikingContact 7 is ranked #1
Nokian R3 is ranked #2
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice2 is ranked #3


Translation of above link
I would say that comparo article was surprisingly unimpressive.
 
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What I really like about the Michelin X-Ice3 is the longevity. It blows away the Bridgestone winters on that. I wonder if the Continentals will last 50k like my X-Ices.
And their wet/dry behavior is excellent. Certainly better than the Bridgestones. The Conti's are an intriguing option, but Michelin still remains the only one in the segment offering a tread wear warranty.
 
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I would not call wet performance of Xi3 excellent. It is very good for studless tire but all seasons and winter performance tires beat them.
CR lists them red (two down arrows aka the lowest rating) for wet braking.

Krzyś
 
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I would not call wet performance of Xi3 excellent. It is very good for studless tire but all seasons and winter performance tires beat them.
CR lists them red (two down arrows aka the lowest rating) for wet braking.

Krzyś
Yes, I'm speaking about them relative to other premium studless snow tires.
 
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