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New Tire Rack Test Confirms Low Rolling Resistance Tires Equal Increased Fuel Efficiency, Reduced Emissions


Round and Black Becomes Lean and Green

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 22, 2009; Following a recent test at its South Bend, IN test track, Tire Rack, America's largest independent tire tester, today published a comprehensive report analyzing the effectiveness of eco-friendly, low rolling resistance (LRR) tires. In its published report, Tire Rack confirms that using LRR tires is an effective way for consumers to save money while reducing carbon emissions through increased fuel efficiency.

As manufacturers continue to release more and more eco-friendly tire models, Tire Rack conducted a Real World Road Ride Economy Run to determine whether lower rolling resistance tires are effective at increasing fuel efficiency. The test, which used a small fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids outfitted with the Goodyear Integrity all-season radial tires as a baseline, compared its fuel efficiency and traction to other eco-friendly and standard tire models. Each tire was driven over 550 miles of a 6.6-mile loop of expressways, highways and side roads. The Prius outfitted with the baseline tire achieved 51.4 miles per gallon.

  Tire Line                       Test MPG*        % vs. Baseline
  ---------                       --------         --------------
  Michelin Energy Saver A/S         53.8                +4.74%
  Bridgestone Ecopia EP100          53.5                +4.12%
  Yokohama dB Super E-Spec          52.8                +2.81%
  Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max       51.6                +0.37%
  Goodyear Integrity                51.4                  ---
  Michelin HydroEdge with Green X   51.1                -0.59%
  Goodyear Assurance ComforTred     50.0                -2.64%

  *Calculated based on GPS distances and ScanGage II recorded consumption
           (offset 6% for Prius Summer E10 regular grade fuel).

In the case of the Prius, the difference between the lowest and highest recorded miles per gallon would result in an annual difference of about 21 gallons of regular gasoline consumed at a cost of about $52.50 (at $2.50/gallon) for drivers traveling 15,000 miles a year. The fuel economy recorded for each tire and its relative position compared to the Integrity tire's average is available at

"Low rolling resistance tires represent the most environmentally-focused development in tire technology today," said John Rastetter, director of tire information, Tire Rack. "Every gallon of gasoline saved not only reduces each driver's personal fuel costs and America's dependence on foreign oil, but it also releases 20 fewer pounds of CO2 gas into the atmosphere from the tailpipe. Our tests proved that vehicles equipped with these tires can achieve better fuel economy."

While the low-tech ways of achieving lower tire rolling resistance has usually traded off wet traction and/or treadwear, further controlled testing at Tire Rack's test track has also shown that the newest high-tech, fuel-efficient tires have achieved it without compromising traction thanks to the introduction of new tread compounds, tire designs and weight optimizing manufacturing processes.

According to newly passed governmental Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, new vehicles will need to achieve 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. As automakers reevaluate every aspect of their vehicles in order to increase fuel efficiency, fitting their vehicles with LRR tires is an easy first step.

"While tires have always played an important role for all types of drivers, our test results show tire manufacturers have successfully added some green to the traditional round and black," added Rastetter.

About Tire Rack

Tire Rack, family-owned and headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, is America's largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories. Their team of 90-plus test drivers (their sales team) tests tires from every major tire manufacturer on the company's state-of-the-art, 10-acre test facility. The findings are then posted on the company's website,, where consumers can make an educated decision on a tire, wheel or performance accessory purchase. Tire Rack has also collected results from more than 150,000 consumer surveys representing over 2.5 billion miles of real-world tire data, the largest known cache of such information anywhere. In addition various testing and informational videos are available online in their Video Center at

Since 1979, Tire Rack has grown from a single-point retail store in Indianapolis to encompass over 1.8 million square feet of space in six distribution centers across the country. A diverse and broad in-stock inventory from 18 major tire and 47 wheel brands can be delivered anywhere in the country in two days or less. A national network of more than 5,000 independent Recommended Installers are available to service customers' local installation needs.