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Michelin believes in sunflower power

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What do common light cooking recipes and the new Michelin Primacy MXM4 luxury performance tire have in common? They both include sunflower oil.

In the case of the tire, sunflower oil is an ingredient in Michelin North America Inc.'s patented Helio Compound technology. Specifically, the oil not only helps increase traction at low temperatures for braking and handling in wet conditions, but also results in better overall performance in the snow -- all while delivering the all-weather handling, ride quality and comfort that the company says luxury consumers demand.

“Sometimes you don’t have to look further than your own kitchen to find a viable, technical solution,” says Dominique Josson, product category manager. “Sunflower oil is particularly useful in high-performance, all-season tires because it allows the tire to maintain winter performance that might otherwise be sacrificed to gain handling and wet grip.”

The Primacy MXM4 also was designed with 3-D Variable Thickness Sipes for precision handling, and MaxTouch Construction for long life. It also meets the Michelin Green X standard, "guaranteeing a level of energy efficiency among the highest in the market and reduced CO2 emissions," according to Michelin.

Michelin says the Primacy MXM4 eventually will replace the Michelin Pilot MXM4, a tire that has been successful with original equipment manufacturers (425 model-year fitments over the last 10 years). The new Michelin Primacy MXM4 has seven OE fitments to date:

1. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan,

2. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Sedan,

3. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe,

4. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe,

5. 2011 Infiniti M37,

6. 2011 Infiniti M56, and

7. 2009 Buick Lacrosse.

The tire will be offered in 13 replacement sizes, with rim diameters ranging from 16 through 19 inches. (For more information on specific sizing, please visit It will be available to consumers in North America July 1, 2010.

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