Firestone unveils its most aggressive off-road tire – the Destination M/T2. The “M” and the “T” stand for either “Maximum Traction” or “Mud Terrain”. Either way, this tire is ready to compete against some of the best in the segment.
Firestone invited me to an Overland Experts facility near Orange, Virginia to try out the new tires and compare them directly against the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain (TA KM2). Overland Experts is a company that teaches off-road driving military, industry (utilities, forestry, etc), and civilians. This area offers a variety of off-road obstacles: creek crossings, mud holes, washed ravines, hill climbs and descents. It’s a heavily wooded area with lots of tight bends and turns.
Firestone chose the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as the platform to show off the new M/T2 tire and also compare against the BFG counterpart. The off-road experts set up the off-road routs, and we were off for a day of off-road fun.
Firestone engineers and designers seemingly considered all aspects and parameters of what an aggressive mud terrain tire should be and how it should perform in a variety of conditions. The M/T2 tires has a stronger three-ply sidewall, additional lugs on the “shoulder” of the tire, it has sipes for improved snow and ice performance, and small rock and mud rejectors that improve the tire’s self cleaning.
A couple of hours behind the wheel of a brand-new Wrangler on brand-new tires is great fun. The fastest speed I saw on these Virginia trails was around 11 MPH (mostly 5 MPH and below). The Rubicon and M/T3 combination proved unstoppable on the routes provides (nobody had to be winched or towed out). However, this is a first impression. There is simply not enough time to thoroughly evaluate the tire.
Let’s face reality. Many mud terrain tire consumers may not even take their truck or SUV off-road. This knobby tire will likely be used as a daily driver. In addition to its tough terrain performance -it needs to handle well at highway speeds, not be too noisy on the pavement, and provide sufficient traction in wet, snowy, and icy conditions. Yes, the M/T2 tire is focused on off-road performance, but it will likely see all sort of conditions.
While I did not get an opportunity to drive on pavement and at higher speeds, the Destination M/T2 tires handled everything that was thrown at it. We did not air down the tires for any of the obstacles, but the M/T2 was soft and tough enough to absorb impacts from large sharp rocks and climb out of deep mud holes.
Naturally, the tire is not invincible and much of the off-road vehicle performance depends on the driver. While I did notice that the Destination had excellent lateral grip of muddy side slopes (better than the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tire), I still could get the rear of the Jeep to slide sideways with a bit more throttle.
The Destination M/T2 tire will be available in more sizes, including a 37-inch application. It will available as an LT tire with E load rating. It means that you can equip your full-size half-ton or 3/4 truck with the M/T2.
The tire goes on sale in July of 2017 and pricing is not yet available.
We are editing the full video from this debut event. In the meantime, here is a Live recording of the M/T2 tire presentation.