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Goodyear continues to pursue high-tech vehicle niches

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has developed an "e-metric" concept passenger tire for fuel cell cars.

The 22-inch tire comes with a "tree leaf-inspired" tread pattern and operates at higher inflation pressures for lowered rolling resistance, according to Goodyear officials.

"A narrower rim width and rounder sidewalls make the tire more shock-absorbent," says Bill Egan, Goodyear's chief engineer of advanced tire technology.

In addition, Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 EMT run-flat tires are now available as "summer-only" original equipment on model year 2003 Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S sports cars.

The cars, made by BMW, will be available in the United States this March. Originally manufactured in Great Britain, they haven't been sold in the U.S. since the early 1960s.

Goodyear says all-season run-flat tires are being developed at its plants in Fulda, Germany, and Lawton, Okla.

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