Mainstreaming a technology that began with bicycle tires
The 2020 Ford Explorer gets Michelin’s Selfseal tires as an option, making it the first SUV with the feature. The thinking is that families won’t have to interrupt that road trip to Disneyland with a tire change in case of a puncture.
Michelin Selfseals use a natural, “environmentally friendly” rubber sealant that instantly fills tread punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter, with no effect on rolling resistance. The tire manufacturer claims it maintains all other performance aspects, so you won’t have to tell the kids, “it won’t happen” when they ask “are we there yet?” after you’ve run over a nail.
While Ford says it’s the first manufacturer to apply the technology to an SUV, as an option, Michelin designed the tires “exclusively” for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The technology has been available for bicycles, starting in 1999 with mountain bike rims that can accept tubeless tires from various manufacturers.
The Michelin Selfseal tires will be standard on the 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum and on Limited hybrid trim models with four-wheel-drive, and optional on (non-hybrid) Limited rear- and 4WD models.