Even though I live in San Diego my roots are from the blizzard capital of the world, Buffalo, New York.

So 001 KNOWS winter driving.

Drifting to me was learned in big box store parking lots late night after a heavy snowfall in freezing weather.

And as long as I can remember, there was ONE tire that's held the holy grail of winter driving lore.


Its reputation is almost magical among winter driving stories...

"I was in 80 ft. of slushy snow and my Blizzak's didn't even slip and they saved my life".

Those are the kind of tire tales you hear after many adult beverages in the local Buffalo taverns.

So I was very excited to get an invite to Quebec from Michelin to try out some of their new tires, specifically the all new X-ICE (No, that's NOT a new brand of beer from Molson although apres drive I did indulge in some fine Canadian brew) in severe winter and ice conditions.

I used to play hockey seriously, so spending time in the MECCA of hockey is always a great pleasure.

And to get to drive in these COOL conditions was a bonus!

I got to try all of my favorites from Montreal…La Poutine (french fries, cheese curds and gravy sometimes referred to as the national dish of Quebec), Montreal Smoked Meat, Fine Quebec Cheddar, Maple Sugar Pie, Canadian Oreos (Yes they are TOTALLY different than the ones in the USA. GREAT different!) and one or two 'Bleue's'.

We tested the new Michelin's along with the competitors offerings up in the mountains in Esteril, Quebec.

And after testing the new tire from Michelin I can honestly say that the hall of fame Blizzak has been bested by the new X-ICE.

And it especially showed on SOLID ice (see photos).

The stopping difference distances were significantly better and you just felt more in control.

And the other selling feature that is the deal closer is their 'Michelin Promise Plan' that no other tire manufactures offer.

MICHELIN PROMISE: North American consumers who purchase a set of four MICHELIN® tires will automatically receive the Michelin Promise PlanTM, the first offer of its kind in the tire industry. The Michelin Promise Plan offers a free 30-day satisfaction guarantee and three-year, flat-tire changing assistance. In addition, all standard Michelin passenger and light-truck tires (replacement and original equipment) are covered by a limited warranty for treadwear.

If you're in the market for a new set for next winter (tires will be available in fall 2012), 001 says 'X' marks the spot. The Michelin X-ICE.

BTW, about 13% of readership is Canadian so we'd like to send a shoutout and and thank you for your loyalty.

We always enjoy our visits in your beautiful country!


More info:


Third-Generation, Winter-Grip Technology Offers Maximum Protection and Endurance in All Winter Conditions

Michelin, the world’s leading tire manufacturer, continues its commitment to safety and performance with the launch of its new Michelin® X-Ice® Xi3 tire. Engineered with innovative Michelin technology, the X-Ice® Xi3 delivers the ultimate performance and protection in all winter conditions.

?We all want to feel safe when driving with our loved ones, no matter the weather or road conditions, and this tire does just that. It gives you peace of mind,? says Normand Latremouille, winter category manager for Michelin North America. ?The innovative technology in the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire not only offers complete confidence while driving in any winter condition, but also fuel-efficiency and long-lasting performance.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire uses third-generation, winter-grip technology, which provides better winter performance than its predecessor. On ice, the tire delivers 17 percent stronger grip and stops 7 percent shorter; and, on snow it provides 6 percent better traction and stops 3 percent shorter.

Michelin combines four key technologies in the tread block to make its X-Ice Xi3 a groundbreaking tire. The Cross Z sipe enables stable handling, Block Edge provides more grip on snow and ice and Micro-Pumps absorb water — all improving tread contact and FleX-IceTM, a rubber silica-based compound that offers unsurpassed braking. The unique tear-drop shape of the vertical sipes provides better grip during acceleration and braking, which helps high-speed handling. Its MaxTouch ConstructionTM features a unique contact-patch shape that evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering and maximizes wear life.

In addition, Michelin’s perennial performance ensures the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire will maintain quality performance and appearance through the life of the tire. The tire comes with a 40,000 mile limited tread wear warranty. With its Green X® marking, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire guarantees a level of energy efficiency among the highest in the market. It helps reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining all the advantages of long wear, safety and performance.

?When you buy winter tires, you want to feel confident that you are getting a premium product that will last and perform winter after winter,? adds Latremouille. ?The Michelin X-Ice Xi3’s revolutionary design and technology serves up safety and longevity. Quite simply, it is the best winter tire in the market. And that is why we back it up with our Michelin Promise Plan.

The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tire will be available in Fall 2012 in 33 dimensions — ranging from 14 to 18 inch rim diameters — and will cover more than 90 percent of the Canadian and American winter market for cars and mini-vans (with complementary dimensions still available in X-Ice Xi2 tires).

Has The LEGENDARY Blizzak Been Defeated By The New X-ICE Michelin? Spies Put It To The Test.

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