For years Goodyear has produced one of the most sought-after off-road tires on the market. The Goodyear MT/R found scads of fans with its durable construction and aggressive tread design-attributes that led to its use on many military vehicle applications and even more civilian 4x4s. Jeep further solidified the MT/R's capability when it chose this tire to compliment the launch of its ever-able 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Firmly established as a capable off-road mud terrain tire, one wouldn't think that the MT/R could get any better. However, the new Goodyear MT/R with Kevlar just did.
The asymmetric tread of the new MT/R with Kevlar is designed to benefit both off-road traction and on-road handling. Ramped tread blocks and traction blocks in the tread add multiple biting surfaces that increase traction and increase durability. Tread guards are also in place to further resist cuts. The tread features advanced silica rubber to enhance off-road and wet traction and special attention was also paid to how the new Wrangler MT/R self-cleaned in mud to provide continued traction. C and D load range MT/R tires use 2 polyester, 2 steel, and 1 nylon belts, while E load range tires feature an additional nylon ply. All of the tires feature 2 polyester and 1 Kevlar plies in the sidewalls.
The new Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar was subjected to multiple tests before earning its Wrangler MT/R namesake. Goodyear's independent testing compared to the original Wrangler MT/R tire revealed a 35-percent increase in sidewall toughness, an increase in sidewall tear resistance, an increase in sidewall traction and grip, an increase in off-road handling, and an increase in mud traction and steering ability. Dry handling tests were comparable to the MT/R.
The most impressive of the tests for us was the Goodyear Sidewall Penetration Energy test. The test was taken from Goodyear's agriculture division where tractor tire sidewalls had to withstand the force of a sheared corn stalk. For the test an LT285/70R17 load range D tire inflated to 65 psi was used. The tire was dropped on a chisel from varied heights to determine its puncture resistance. The new Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar showed a 35-percent increase in sidewall puncture resistance. We were astonished at this mainly for the amount of air that was used in the test. We typically run our 40-inch old school MT/Rs at about 8 to 10 psi on the trail and around 28 to 30 psi on the pavement. Knowing that the sidewalls will withstand punctures at 65 psi is very comforting.
Among Goodyear's Wrangler tire lineup is the Wrangler SilentArmor, which also employs use of Kevlar in its construction, and the Wrangler DuraTrac, which offers a hard-working, aggressive tread reminiscent of the original Wrangler MT/R design. The new model Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is available in 30 popular sizes. OE size fitments are available for Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Hummer H2 and H3, and most Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Dodge -, -, and 1-ton trucks.