A few months back (October 2013 issue) I brought up the new off-road radial tires that are starting to appear, fitting in somewhere between an all-terrain and mud-terrain tire.
As far as I'm aware, there is no official name for these types of tires yet, with most companies (that offer these types of tires) calling them "hybrid all-terrains" or "unique all-terrains," but nothing really catchy or universalized across the industry like "all-terrain" or "mud-terrain."
I don't think this new type of tires (like ATZ P3s, Xtreme All-Terrains, Wrangler Duratracs and Fun Countrys) really fit into the all-terrain category, as the difference between these new tires and some other all-terrains is vast. Therefore, I asked readers to suggest new names. (See the list below.)
We did have one name sent in that really struck our fancy: Mezzo Terrain. Paul Ronn wrote in and told us that he came up with "Mezzo-Terrain" based on the Latin word "medius" meaning half or middle.
While a number of excellent suggestions were emailed in, "mezzo-terrain" sticks out as a catchy name that conjures thoughts of a tire that works almost as well as a mud-terrain in the dirt and as well as an all-terrain on the highway.
We certainly cannot decree anything since Off-Road magazine doesn't rule the tire manufacturing world, but we can offer these suggestions as potential names for the new class of tire. In the end, it's up to the makers how they want to classify their new tires.
A sidenote: What effect do you think these new tires will have on the next-generation of mud-terrain tires? With a new tire (mezzo-terrain!) showing up in between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain, indecisive tire purchasers who were on the cusp will lean towards this new type of tire. That may take away from mud-terrain sales more than all-terrain sales. Does that mean we will see new, advanced, more-aggressive mud-terrain tires showing up? Only time will tell.
Suggested Names for New Type of Tire:
Crossover tires: J. Bowman, Anonymous via email
All Country tires: I. Valenta
Adverse-Terrain tires: M. Cullen
All-Terrain Hybrid tires: F. Pausch
All-Terrain Plus tires: H.Meehan
Break-Terrain tires: K. Sones
Dirt Performance tire: W. McNair
Every-Terrain tires: J. DeVasure
Hybrid-Terrain tires: K. Dunning, B. Sanchez, J. Noor
Mall-Terrain tires: D. McHenry
Max-Terrain tires: Raul via email
Mezzo-Terrain tires: Paul Ronn
Multi-Use Terrain tires (M.U.T.T.): P. Carrow
Off-Roadie tires: D. Johnson
Radical All-Terrain tires (R.A.T.T.): B. Pride
RoC-Terrain tires (Rock or City): J. Francis
Total-Terrain tires: K. Mogilevsky
Trail-Terrain tires: M. Hilliker, David (via email), N. Schumacher
Tri-Terrain tires: P. Vonderharr
Versa-Tread tires: W. Wood