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Federal Shakes Up its LT Lineup With the Xplora R/T

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Federal Shakes Up its LT Lineup With the Xplora R/T

Jamie Ma, chairman and CEO of Federal Tire North America LLC, has shaken up his light truck tire lineup. The results are something a little... different.

He is in the process of replacing the entire Couragia LT line with next generation tires under a new name, Xplora. The company also recently introduced its first rugged terrain tire, the Xplora R/T, to its U.S. and Canadian distributors in Big Bear, Calif.

The latest member of Federal’s light truck tire family fits between the traditional all-terrain tire (some off-road limitations) and the mud-terrain tire (less on-road comfort), said Ma.

The Xplora R/T is available in five 10-ply, Q-rated sizes: 35x12.50R17LT 125Q; 37x12.50R17LT 129Q; 35x12.50R18LT 123Q; 33x12.50R20LT 114Q; and  35x12.50R20LT 121Q.

“In a year, we are going to have 22-inch sizes in the Xplora R/T line,” said Ma. “If our competitors are doing it, we will move on it as well.” That includes possible 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification.

Vehicle applications include the Chevrolet Silverado/Colorado Series; Ford F-Series; GMC Canyon/Sierra Series; Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee/Wrangler; Nissan Frontier/Titan; Ram Pickup; and Toyota Tacoma/Tundra.More for Xplora

Ma said Federal will introduce another light truck tire, the Xplora A/T, in 12 months. That will give the company an eight-tire lineup — without a highway terrain, or H/T, tire.

“In this lineup, we don’t need it because we have an Xplora XUV cross-utility and SUV tire. The Xplora FX is basically our high performance truck tire, and then the MTS is our ultra-high performance truck tire.”

MTS is an unconventional mud-terrain sport tire, although Ma also refers to MTS as “motor truck sport.” Federal invented both terms, he said.

 Federal also has more conventional Xplora M/T and X/T (extreme mud-terrain) tires. That leaves the all-purpose terrain Xplora A/P, “a mix between the A/T and a highway terrain.”    ■

Vacay in Big Bear: Dealers Found it Hard to Consider This Ride-and-Drive Work

 Federal tire dealers were given the chance to drive on the new Xplora R/T tire in Big Bear, Calif., near Big Bear Lake. The company said the on- and off-road features of the tire’s tread design include the following:

 Technologically advanced computer modeling for optimized tread pitch variation; perfectly placed tread sipes; and tread block alignment that greatly reduces noise, providing a more “civilized,” comfortable, smooth, and quiet ride.

  • Stone ejectors and an enhanced fatigue resistant compound that protect the tire from chips/cuts/rocks/other debris, “ensuring long life of the tire by preventing early failure due to off-road use.”
  • Open shoulder grooves engineered “to keep the tire self-cleaning, evacuating water/mud/dirt/off-road debris.” They also provide “confident traction in any condition.”
  • Linear center tread blocks that enhance on-road straight line stability for “more predictable handling with easy ride comfort.”

In addition, Federal says the tire’s aggressive sidewall design “provides superior off-road traction.”

“The looks of a sidewall on an R/T tire are important to people,” said Tom Fisher, a salesman for North Gateway Tire Co. Inc., a wholesale tire dealership based in Seville, Ohio. “So is performance, but not all the time. Not too many of the customers of the dealers we sell to go off-road.”

This was Fisher’s first ride-and-drive.

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