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

Jan. 24, 2020

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.

About the Author

Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000 and retired in January 2020. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and had been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993. He won numerous awards for editorial and feature writing, including five gold medals from the International Automotive Media Association. Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University and has a law degree from the University of Akron.

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