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Michelin launches its first all-season tyre. Image by Michelin.

Michelin launches its first all-season tyre
New CrossClimate is the first summer tyre to be fully winter registered.
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Chilly out, isn't it?

Yes, it's been more than a little snowy around my way recently, and that raises an awkward question.

Is it the one about yellow snow?

Er, no. Not that one. I meant the one about summer and winter tyres and whether it's worth getting your tyres changed for the few weeks every year when it actually does snow.

Michelin might have the answer to that one. It's just launched a new tyre called CrossClimate, which is its first summer tyre that can be legally used in the winter in countries that have winter tyre regulations. Germany, for instance.

Michelin claims that it's a tyre that can cope with any condition - it has an 'A' rating for wet braking, has a special compound under the tread that prevents excess heat build-up when using it in warm weather yet it also has the coveted 3PMSF (3-Peak Mountain Snow Flake) marking on sidewall, so even if a friendly German policeman inspects it in mid-December, you'll still be nice and legal.

The tread area has been designed to be soft and supple, to better help the tyre grip on wet or slippery surfaces, while a series of interlocking sipes gives it real ability in snow. The tread blocks are designed to interlock under pressure though, creating a tyre that's stiffer and more precise in the dry.

Michelin reckons that 65 per cent of car drivers across Europe just leave summer tyres on the car all year round, while four in ten view the annual change over as a major hassle. There's even a significant percentage of drivers in France and Germany that just leave winter tyres on their cars all year round.

The CrossClimate will launch in May with sizes ranging from 15 inches to 17 inches.

Neil Briscoe - 3 Mar 2015

    - Michelin news
- CrossClimate images

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