The new MICHELIN Alpin 6 tire: the winter tire with long-lasting performance
Michelin presented the new MICHELIN Alpin 6 tire at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018: the latest-generation winter tire for passenger cars. This long-lasting performance tire is destined for the European market.
The MICHELIN Alpin 6 provides excellent grip during acceleration and braking on snow, both when new and when worn, with a 20% longer lifespan than other top-of-the-range tires.
It is aimed at customers who are regularly confronted with snowfall and who need to stay mobile in all weather and road conditions. The MICHELIN Alpin 6 tire offers unequalled performance in these situations, but its performance is even more impressive when it is worn. Tests performed by TÜV SÜD, the German product certification and testing body, have shown that, at these levels of wear, the new MICHELIN tire stops the vehicle within a distance 5.9 meters shorter than that of its closest rivals, and provides better grip on slopes.
The tire’s capabilities when worn stem from the introduction of a new sculpture with a high density of grooves, which evolves as the tire is used.
This is due to a combination of three innovative technologies:
- Teardrop sipes, which allows the tread to evolve as the tire travels along the road. Wear reveals wider grooves that improve water flow and increase grip
- A “snow chamber” at the base of the grooves retains snow and improves grip and braking
- Multi-layer tread Our "Traction Booster Compound" technology improves grip on snow as the tire becomes worn, regardless of tread depth
New wear indicator
The new Alpin 6 tire does not have the usual winter wear indicator at 4mm, as its performance remains strong with tread depths down to 1.6 mm. It now has a new wear indicator that provides a clearly legible reading of remaining tread at:
The MICHELIN Alpin 6 is a logical next step for MICHELIN products with “long-lasting performance”, tires that are “safe when new and safe when worn”.
The history of the MICHELIN Alpin tire
Anti-ice chains and studs in the 1910s, the first siped snow tire in the 1930s, the Michelin X M+S in the 1960s... Michelin has always taken a strong interest in tires for use in winter.Always on the lookout for safety innovations.
1994: the MICHELIN Alpin tire
Launch of the Y-siped MICHELIN Alpin tire. The density of the sipes doubles at the end of its life. Grip on winter roads remains excellent throughout the life of the tire.
2000s: 3D siping
A technological innovation, with the arrival of 3D sipes. Designed in three dimensions, they provided excellent handling on winter roads. They enable the tread blocks to remain rigid.
2007: sunflower oil-based plasticizer
The introduction of a new plasticizer based on sunflower oil (Helio compound) into the rubber enables the blend to keep its flexibility, even at low temperatures. Grip is maintained on winter roads and in cold weather. This innovation is implemented in the MICHELIN Primacy Alpin tire in 2007.
2014: functional elastomers
New types of functional elastomers start to appear in rubber blends. Their role is to make the latter more homogeneous, with higher silica filler rates. The result is a better grip on wet and snowy roads, while providing fuel savings for drivers. This technology was launched with the MICHELIN Alpin 5 tire.
Are the winter tires soon mandatory in mountain areas?
After Finland, Austria, Estonia, Germany and Italy, France would be the next country to make winter tires mandatory in some mountainous areas by 2019-2020. There remain a certain number of unknowns, starting with the issue of the equipment itself: removable (snow chains, snow socks) or not (snow tires, winter tires). The same is true for deployment and fines that may be imposed. However, this measure will have little impact on the market. It will only come into effect in areas in which motorists are already well aware of the issues and are often well equipped to handle them. It will probably therefore affect tourists the most; they are sometimes a bit absent minded.