Michelin Declares 2004 Year of Performance for North American Drivers

Michelin Declares 2004 'Year of Performance' for North American Drivers

West McLaren Mercedes Formula One Racer Kimi Raikkonen Rolls Out New
Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport PS2(TM) tire

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- American drivers and motorcyclists can
thank the likes of West McLaren Mercedes Formula One race car driver Kimi
Raikkonen and Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi for helping to prove some of the
technologies in five new ultra-high-performance Michelin(R) tires that will go
on sale next year.
Raikkonen, West McLaren Mercedes driver of car #6, joined Michelin North
America, Inc. to preview the new tires at a press briefing during the SEMA
show. The 24-year-old Finnish racer amassed an outstanding record this year,
riding on Michelin Pilot racing tires. He won the Formula One Grand Prix of
Malaysia, the pole at the U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
and finished on the podium ten times. Overall, Raikkonen was the runner-up in
the 2003 Formula One World driver championship.
Winning performances will come to passenger car drivers in 2004 when
Michelin's four new car tires and one new motorcycle tire go on sale. First
among the car tires is the Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport PS2(TM) ultra-high-
performance summer tire that goes on sale in March. The Michelin Pilot Sport
PS2 shares a distinctly Formula One-inspired, four-groove tread design, which
draws upon the company's technology and learnings from Formula One.
When tested against the original Michelin Pilot Sport tire, the new
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 scored an outright victory in all respects.
"Driving enthusiasts will come out ahead with the new ultra-high-
performance Michelin Pilot Sport PS2-and the three other ultra-high-
performance tires we will introduce next year," said Sheryl Henderson,
Michelin brand director. "The one common thread running through all of these
products is the technology Michelin has developed at motorsports events around
the world, from Formula One, to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to World Rally
Championship, to MotoGP."
The new Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 is currently available on some of the
most exotic and coveted new sports cars sold in North America and around the
globe -- Bugatti Veyron, Porsche Carrera GT, GT2, GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLR
McLaren and BMW Alpina Z8.
Two passenger car tires will debut in June, the Michelin(R) Pilot(R)
Exalto PE2(TM), a summer ultra-high-performance tire, and the all-season
ultra-high-performance Michelin(R) Pilot(R) XGT Z4(TM). Going on sale in
September, just in time for colder weather, will be the Michelin(R) Pilot(R)
Alpin(R) PA2(TM) high-performance winter tire for passenger cars.
In January, the Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Power goes on sale for sport
motorcycles. It has already been approved as original equipment on the major
new bike for 2004, the Yamaha YZF 1000 R1.
Michelin's new ultra-high-performance passenger car and motorcycle tires
that will be introduced next year are:

Available Rim Speed
in '04 diameter rating
Michelin(R) Pilot(R)
Power (sport
motorcycles) January 17 inches W
Michelin(R) Pilot(R) 17 to 22
Sport PS2(TM) March inches Y, (Y)
Michelin(R) Pilot(R) 15 to 17
Exalto PE2(TM) June inches V, W
Michelin(R) Pilot(R) 16 to 18
XGT Z4(TM) June inches W
Michelin(R) Pilot(R) 15 to 18
Alpin(R) PA2(TM) September inches H, V

McLaren International, the company behind the West McLaren Mercedes team,
was formed in September 1980 as a result of a merger between Team McLaren and
Project Four, a British company owned by Ron Dennis, now Chairman and CEO of
the TAG McLaren Group. McLaren has won 11 Formula One Drivers' Championships
and eight Formula One Constructors' Championships including the 1998 and 1999
Drivers' World Championship. McLaren has competed in Formula One since 1966
and has proven to be one of the most successful Formula One teams of all time
with 137 Grands Prix wins. To date, McLaren has raced in 559 Grands Prix.
http://www.mclaren.com
Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including
airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty
trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel
guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America
(http://www.michelinman.com) employs 24,640 and operates 22 plants in 18
locations.

SOURCE Michelin North America, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.michelinman.com

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