With the Sepang International Circuit set as the backdrop for the newly launched tyre for small to mid-sized passenger cars, the XM2+ (from RM200) was touted to have been developed to outperform not only the previous generation tyre in the wet but also the competition.
The new tyre, although seen with the same tread pattern, boasts of a new full-silica rubber compound that will help to shorten wet braking distances by as much as 1.5m when new and 2.6m when worn (down to the tread-wear indicator) when compared to the competition.
In terms of durability, it is also touted to endure 25% more mileage than the competition, even though its compound is significantly softer, thus able to conform to the micro-grooves of road surfaces better.
Much like the Primacy 4 that was tested in Thailand, the degradation of grip level between new and worn was significantly smaller against other tyre brands.
The '+' sign on the new sidewall of the new tyre denotes the new rubber compound used and the still maintains the Green 'X' marking that signifies optimised fuel-saving properties.
For Malaysia, the Energy XM2+ tyre can be had at Tyreplus and all Michelin authorised dealers nationwide with its 32 sizes ranging from 14 to 16 inches.
For 14-inch wheels, sizes include 175/65, 185/60, 185/65, 185/70 and 195/60 series tyres.
As for 15-inch wheels, it can be fitted with 175/65, 185/55, 185/60, 185/65, 195/55 series tyres.
Larger 16-inch wheels get 185/55, 195/50, 195/60, 205/55 and 205/60.
Following the launch of the tyre, members of the media were given the opportunity to perform brake tests as well as navigate through a tight gymkhana-like circuit.
A Honda City fitted with standard 15-inch wheels and 175/65 series tyres was used as a test vehicle.
Both tests were performed against two of the XM2+'s direct competitors, which proved to have shorter braking distances and better overall grip performance.
The XM2+ was able to provide better consistency and surprisingly better grip feedback in both new and worn conditions.
When new, both competitor tyres managed to grip the wetted surface admirably but were unable to stop shorter than the XM2+.
While on worn competitor tyres, jamming the brakes resulted in a 'smooth sailing' effect before they began to claw at the wet surface.
By that time, both competitor tyre brands had travelled a significant distance before coming to a full stop compared to the XM2+.
As for the XM2+ in both new and worn states, there was significant feedback coming back to the driver as it gripped at the surface to bring the City to a full-stop.
During the tight circuit test, the worn competitor tyre was, unfortunately, unable to hint at the onset of understeer from the City resulting in a time of more than 28 seconds to complete a single lap of the wet course.
With the XM2+, the City's understeering characteristics were detected and corrected earlier - allowing for a faster lap of 27.3 seconds (worn tyres) and 27.1-seconds (new tyres).
"The Michelin Energy XM2+ improves on its predecessor (Energy XM2), which has been a leading mass-market tyre for eight consecutive years - in various aspects," said Michelin Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei managing director Pascal Nouvellon.
All Michelin tyres have a Standard Manufacturer's Limited Warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials for the life of the original usable tread, or for six years from the date of purchase (whichever comes first).