Firestone Destination M/T2

Firestone
The new Firestone Destination M/T tire, mounted on some fifteen Jeep Rubicons, was officially launched and tested by members of the media on OEX Overland Experts certified off-road trails down Virginia way. (Photos : Thomas Ethier)

Firestone couldn’t have chosen a better setting to launch its new Destination M/T2, an off-road tire that can tame even the most extreme off-road challenges.

A group of twenty-odd journalists and Web content creators were invited to Orange, Virginia, to try out the new Destination M/T2 off-road tires in the extreme conditions that they were specifically designed for. The tire’s grip, ride and handling characteristics were tested on trails engineered by international off-road driving instructors OEX Overland Experts, who count the American military among their list of prestigious clients.

The boulder-strewn, gnarly trails also included deep, sticky mud, river crossings and seemingly endless craters, which turned out to be the ideal setting to try out the new Destination M/T2, tires, which, for the occasion, were mounted on Jeep Rubicon SUVs. Everyone present had the opportunity to test the performance of this latest version of the Destination M/T, which was initially launched in 2002.

Latest Technology

The Destination M/T2 features a new compound created by Firestone engineers to increase its overall toughness while contributing to the tire’s ability to self-clean and avoid accumulating excess mud, stones and any other road debris that can seriously reduce traction.

The reinforced shoulder lugs, inspired by agricultural sector tires, feature a low, 23-degree attack angle to provide maximum traction in mud, sand, stones, as well as wet pavement and loose snow conditions. The three-ply sidewall offers increased tear and abrasion resistance that provides an extra layer of tread protection in off-road conditions.

“While its predecessor, the M/T, was already a leader in its category, the new Destination M/T2 has been vastly improved,” revealed Bridgestone Firestone engineer and chief designer of the new tire, Andrew Miklik. “While we lost 13 tread blocks while testing the Destination M/T, which is the previous generation tire, while the new Destination M/T2 finished the course virtually intact, with no loss of tread blocks.”

Off the Beaten Path

Firestone sent invitations to the great outdoors exactly 15 years after the initial launch of the Destination M/T. “The first M/T was already a leader in its category. With all of the technological breakthroughs that have occurred since 2002, Firestone decided that the time had come to reconquer this segment by offering a tire with attributes that will surpass competitive market offerings,” explained Bridgestone Americas Tire Product Manager, Light Truck, Crossover and SUVs, Justin Hayes.

Those lucky enough to get an invitation to the press launch had an opportunity to hit the trails with a competitive offering. According to the statements of those present, most notably OEX Overland Experts chief driving instructor Michael Morrison, the most distinguishing trait of the new Destination M/T2 is its capacity to shed mud and avoid loss of traction.

The Destination M/T2, which will be fully launched in the North-American market before July, will be offered in 29 sizes for 15 to22-inch wheels. They are particularly well suited for vehicles such as the Jeep Rubicon, Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Ram 2500.

Here are a few brief highlights of this most thrilling day:

Fifteen or so Jeep Rubicons formed a unique convoy on the OEX Overland Expert trails while testing the new Destination M/T2.
This is what the new Destination M/T2 looks like before heading off on its mission to tame the extreme elements.
Justin Hayes, Bridgestone Americas Tire Product Manager, Light truck, Crossover and SUVs , offered a detailed explanation of his new product before undergoing its ultimate test.
Jeep Rubicon, official event vehicle
The new Destination MT/2 before the trail testing.
The Destination MT/2 has many new features including innovative tire lugs and special tread surface that prevent the accumulation of mud and road debris.
First test: river crossing
This picture of the Jeep Rubicon suspension provides an idea of the off-road conditions that the Destination M/T2 was specifically designed for.
During a break between testing, the experts present answered questions from the media. In this image: Keith Willcome, Bridgestone Firestone; Andrew Miklik, Bridgestone Firestone engineer and chief designer of the new tire; Michael Morrison, OEX Overland Experts chief driving instructor and Justin Hayes, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Product Manager.
The rocky trail provided a great test of the Destination M/T2 traction and toughness.
This long, crater-pocked trail allowed participants to appreciate the superior traction of the tires as well as the capabilities and power of the Jeep Rubicon.
The new Destination M/T2 is an open invitation from Firestone to stray off the beaten path.
Inspired by tires from the agricultural industry, the reinforced shoulder lugs feature a low, 23-degree attack angle to provide maximum traction in all types of conditions.
Sixteen OEX Overland Experts driving instructors were dispersed throughout the trails to guide participants and offer valuable advice in conquering what at first appeared to be insurmountable obstacles.
Andrew Miklik, Bridgestone Firestone chief engineer and designer of the new Destination M/T2 presented the technical innovations used for the new tread design.
The Destination M/T2 three-ply sidewall is made from several different compounds for increased toughness and performance.

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