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Goodyear's New Off-Road Tire Wins Popular Mechanics Award

4 November 1999

Goodyear's New Off-Road Tire Wins Popular Mechanics Award
    LAS VEGAS, Nov. 3 -- Goodyear's most aggressive off-road tire
ever received Tuesday night one of Popular Mechanics Editor's Choice Awards
for New Products.
    Popular Mechanics editors selected the Wrangler MT/R off-road tire from
more than 9,000 displays and too many new products to count at the Automotive
Aftermarket Industry Week here.  The ultra-durable off-road tire took top
billing at the Goodyear display, a first for a Wrangler tire.
    Wrangler MT/R will be available at retailers in the spring; however, the
tire's already gaining rave reviews.
    Legendary off-road racer Walker Evans used Wrangler MT/R off-road tires
last weekend to clinch the Championship Off Road Racing championship in his
final CORR race in Las Vegas.
    Evans raced this season on 17-inch Wrangler MT/R off-road tires, which he
called "the toughest tires I've ever raced on."  The 60-year-old racer notched
two wins this season at Joliet, Ill., and Crandon, Wis.
    The tires also are winning at a slower pace.  Two Arizona off-road drivers
used the Goodyear tire in late September to climb atop the Goodyear Extreme
Rock Crawling Championship in Farmington, N.M.
    Only five of the 12 vehicles in the finals were equipped with the new
Wrangler, yet it was on four of the top five finishers.
    The secret to the tire's winning ways?  Try a new Durawall puncture
resistant technology that uses high-tech silica compounds, three polyester
plies and tread elements that extend down the sidewall to resist tire sidewall
punctures, a common problem in off-road travel.
    Ron Wells, marketing manager for Goodyear light-truck tires, said the
tiremaker has employed state-of-the-art technology in a normally low-tech
segment -- in tires designed to travel through mud and over rocks.
    Wells said the biggest test for the Wrangler MT/R will come in the
marketplace this spring.  If early reactions are any indication, the tire
should be a winner.  Wells accepted Popular Mechanics' award from publisher
Jay McGill and Joe Oldham, editor-in-chief.
    First impressions are vital in the tire industry, and Wells already is
predicting that reactions to the Wrangler MT/R tire will rival the popular
Aquatred II passenger car tire.
    "Everyone who has seen it has gone 'ga-ga' over it," Wells said.  By the
way, Webster's defines "ga-ga" as wildly enthusiastic.
    "Wrangler MT/R's aggressive tread design and notched sidewalls convey
unbridled traction.  Performance notwithstanding, people will be attracted to
this tire based solely on its raw, brute looks.
    "I've had people clamoring for this tire, even before it won the rock-
crawling championship. They like the tire's looks. I believe Wrangler MT/R
strikes a responsive chord among consumers with a radically different
appearance and its ability to maneuver on slippery surfaces," he said.
    The tire initially will be available in early 2000 in nine sizes,
including: 30x9.50R15, 31x10.50R15, 32x11.50R15, 33x12.50R15, 35x12.50R15,
LT235/75R15, LT245/75R16 E, LT285/75R16 D and LT235/85R16 E.