REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Federal Corp. has launched what it’s calling a “revolutionary” tire, a hybrid product that is a cross between a mud-terrain tire and a directional, ultra-high-performance tire.
The Xplora MTS was designed for the “urban cowboy,” according to company executives who rolled out the new tire during a business meeting and ride-and-drive event held at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach.
The tire launches in 20-, 22- and 24-inch rim diameters, with 17- and 18-inch versions due out in the fourth quarter. Production began in January and initial orders are due to arrive in late March or early April.
“The Xplora MTS tread design has a brave, out-of-this-world kind of look,” said Federal Tire Chairman Jamie Ma, who was one of several company executives on hand for the rollout.
“It reminds most people of some fearless futuristic product from Star Wars or Transformers lore.
“We had private showings at SEMA and received such positive feedback that we decided to bring the prototype MTS to market without any changes,” Mr. Ma said.
The Xplora MTS has received design awards from Red Dot, the international product design awarded by the design Zenturnm Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. It also has received design awards from Good Design, an industrial design program organized annually by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies.
Federal said the tire features:
V-shaped grooves that improve rigidity and protect against chips and cuts;
An armor appearance tread design with massive tire blocks, providing enhanced steering and traction for stability, safety and performance;
Wide directional grooves that reduce aquaplaning on wet roads while providing comfort and reduced noise; and
Linear shoulder blocks that improve steering control.
Federal is targeting light truck enthusiasts who care more about the styling of their truck and likely have added accessories such as steps, a lift kit, custom paint or aftermarket bumpers.
“They tend to see their truck as an extension of their own personality … rugged yet trendy, tough yet urban, finished with great detail,” Steve Hutchinson, adviser to the chairman, said.
Among the vehicles Federal is targeting with the new product are the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee; Ford F-Series and Ranger; Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado and GMC Sierrra; Toyota Tundra and Tacoma; and Nissan Frontier and Titan.
Federal said the tires will be produced at its factory in Taiwan and be priced between $289 (20-inch) and $669 (24-inch).