The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Pax System From Michelin Gains Momentum

11 January 2000

Pax System From Michelin Gains Momentum
                    Biggest Breakthrough Since Radial Tire

    DETROIT, Jan. 10 -- One year after its debut at the North
American International Auto Show (NAIAS) here, Pax System by Michelin is
poised to become a new standard in tire technology for the 21st century.
Visitors to NAIAS 2000 will see that Pax System is more than a tire -- it is
an integrated system offering improved performance, mobility, security and
major options in vehicle design.
    Since its introduction, Pax System has:

    *  gained Pirelli as a technology partner.
    *  been tested on a variety of platforms, from economy cars to sport
utility vehicles.  In the latter case, Pax System is unique in its ability to
provide run-flat support for popular SUVs.
    *  had a car built from the ground up around its unique design features
(Pininfarina's Metrocubo, on display in the Michelin booth).
    *  been universally hailed by the automotive press as a breakthrough

    Pax System features "vertical anchoring," a revolutionary technique for
attaching the tire to the wheel.  The bead area anchors the tire to the wheel
and eliminates the transitional zone between wheel and sidewall.
Additionally, the tire is dynamically locked against the wheel to make losing
the tire during a loss of air pressure impossible.
    "Pax System will significantly impact both the tire and automotive
industries," said Bob Carroll, vice president, marketing, Michelin Automotive
Industry Division.  "Pax System is the ultimate in the next generation of
tires.  It offers vehicle designers options never before dreamed of, while
providing drivers the handling of a high-performance tire, security of a
zero-pressure tire and reduced fuel consumption of our 'green' tires."
    Pax System translates into lower tire temperatures, fewer energy losses,
less casing fatigue and, unlike traditional tires which use air pressure to
secure the tire to the wheel, elimination of bead unseating, even at zero
pressure.  The tire also provides lower rolling resistance for improved fuel
economy while offering improved handling, security and mobility at zero
pressure without affecting other tire qualities.
    For improved security, Pax System includes a sensor that warns the driver
of air-pressure loss in the tire.  At zero pressure, the tire rests against a
support ring that allows the tire to turn freely and the vehicle to travel at
55 mph (88 km/hr) for 125 miles (200 km).
    Pax System also impacts vehicle design.  Because the transitional zone --
the space between the sidewall and wheel on traditional tires -- is
eliminated, smaller tires can be utilized for vehicle design.  Combined with
the elimination of the spare tire, this means added wheel-well space for trunk
room, engine components or additional wheel technologies.
    "Pax System offers enormous benefits to the automotive industry," said
Carroll.  "Pax System enhances fuel economy, handling and performance, as well
as vehicle design and security."
    Pax System is fitted on several concept vehicles displayed at the NAIAS,
including Honda's Sprocket, Johnson Controls' Vios and Pininfarina's Metrocubo
(in the Michelin booth).  Futuristic concept designs also are featured at the
Michelin booth, where winning entries of the Michelin Design Competition,
conducted at the Center for Creative Studies, can be seen.
    Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including
airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty
trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle.  Headquartered in Greenville, S.C.,
Michelin North America employs 27,000 and operates 23 plants in 21 locations.