Goodyear shows its own PAX tire in North America

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is introducing a PAX run-flat tire at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Mich., this week.

The 22-inch concept tire, in size 295/770R560 (measurements are in millimeters), features Groupe Michelin's PAX run-flat technology. It appears on the Audi Pikes Peak, a new sport-utility vehicle concept design introduced at the NAIAS.

This is the first time Goodyear has introduced a PAX tire in North America. Goodyear, Pirelli SpA and Sumitomo Rubber Industries are licensees of the PAX run-flat tire/wheel system.

Goodyear says it was asked by Audi to design a tire that wouldn't go flat if it lost air pressure, yet had a "flat design."

"Audi officials asked that our tire design not be too organic -- round and flowing. Instead, they wanted the tread design theme and elements to be planer -- plane as in relation to flat surfaces," says Bill Ratliff, an advanced

design engineer at Goodyear.

"They felt a flat plane design would match the styling cues of the vehicle, so that's where we concentrated. The look of this Goodyear PAX

tire is plane-like and very faceted. All of the little details, angles and surfaces catch and reflect a great amount of light and shadows in a way that is unique compared to other tread designs."

Goodyear's engineers at the company's Akron, Ohio, and Luxembourg technical centers helped develop the tire.

The PAX System is made up of four elements: an unseatable tire, a wheel, a flexible support ring and a tire pressure monitoring device.

In addition to its run-flat capabilities, the system improves handling, traction and fuel economy, according to Michelin.

Goodyear says it also is working on its exclusive EMT (Extended Mobility Technology) run-flat tires, which have been commercially

available since the mid-1990s. Goodyear estimates more than one million Goodyear EMT tires have been used on vehicles worldwide.

Goodyear says it also has more than 100 run-flat projects going on globally with auto makers.

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