New Goodyear Wrangler MT/R® with Kevlar® Tackles Off-Road Challenges

February 19, 2009

AKRON, Ohio, February 20, 2009 – When it comes to developing a tire that can take on tough terrain, such as exploring trails or crawling rocks, engineers at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company left no stone unturned.  The new Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is the company’s first off-road tire built with the rugged toughness of DuPont Kevlar® for enhanced sidewall puncture resistance.

The use of Kevlar, an innovative material that is, pound-for-pound, five times stronger than steel, brings superb sidewall cut- and puncture-resistance to an area of the tire that demands extra toughness when driving off-road.  It also helps reinforce the sidewall for when drivers return to the pavement for the drive home.

“The new Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar updates the legendary off-road performing namesake, which has had a great reputation among serious off-roaders,” said Melissa Montisano, Goodyear’s general manager for light-truck tires.  “This new tire will certainly get the attention of anyone who takes off-road traction seriously.”

The Kevlar-reinforced sidewalls in the new tire help increase sidewall puncture resistance by 35 percent, compared to the original Wrangler MT/R, a tire well-known for its toughness.

However, sidewall toughness is not the only feature of the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar.  It also includes a “wraparound” tread for enhanced sidewall traction in deep mud, sand and rocks; an innovative asymmetric tread design that offers aggressive off-road traction while maintaining handling on the road; and advanced rubber silica in the tread for superb off-road and wet traction.

Further, the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar offers these features:

• Tread Guards, to help resist cuts from stones.
• Advanced Mud-Flow Geometry, to help provide self-cleaning and traction in mud.
• Traction Blocks, to help provide additional biting edges on rocks, mud, dirt and sand.
• A Three-Ply Sidewall, with opposing cord angles for enhanced side wall cut- and puncture-resistance.
• Ramped Tread Blocks, for toughness in off-road driving.
• Staggered Sidewall Shoulder Blocks, to help provide enhanced traction on rocks and in deep mud.
• Durawall Rubber, a Goodyear exclusive, which offers rugged toughness and helps resist cuts and punctures in the sidewall.
• Rim Protector, to help protect wheels from accidental curb-like damage.
• Rim Lock, to help prevent wheel slip for minimal balancing throughout the life of the tire.

Each shoulder block of the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is stepped “in” and “out” to help give the tire continuous biting edges as it turns through thick mud.  Its self-cleaning asymmetric tread design also adds to the performance capability in mud.

Available in March, the new tire is offered in 30 sizes, fitting vehicles such as ½-, ¾- and 1-ton pickups, Hummer H2 and H3, Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser and more. According to Goodyear research, there are more than four million drivers in the light-truck tire segment who use their vehicles primarily for off-road travel.

The addition of the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar adds to Goodyear’s strong Wrangler family of tires, which also includes the Wrangler DuraTrac and Wrangler SilentArmor.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies.  The company employs about 70,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 60 facilities in 26 countries around the world. For more information about Goodyear consumer tires, go to www.goodyeartires.com.

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