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Torture Testing Mickey Thompson’s Latest Mud Terrain Tire

Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3

Scott Thompson
Dec 1, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
Mickey Thompson’s latest mud terrain tire offering, the Baja MTZ P3, offers a new take on a classic design and features improvements in many key areas. Included is a unique silica-reinforced tread compound that provides longer wear, enhanced wet weather capability, and superior cut and chip resistance. Variable draft angles on the tread lugs provide increased traction and rock ejection. Angled shoulder scallops have mud pocket scoops to aid with traction in mud and loose soil. And sidewalls are built using Mickey Thompson’s 3-Ply PowerPly technology and allow for use at low pressures with enhanced durability and an aggressive appearance.
Photo 2/6   |   002 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Test
We turned to the crew at the local America’s Tire Company (known as Discount Tire outside of California) and had them mount up a 265/70R17 set to Mickey Thompson’s new Deegan 38 Pro 2 wheels. This 82-pound combination provided a very aggressive and edgy look to our test vehicle. Once they were mounted and balanced, we headed out to the dirt for some real world thrashing. It’s no secret that the majority of the mud-terrain tires sold live mostly on the road with only occasional off-road adventures. With this in mind, our initial on-road driving impressions were positive, with minimal road noise for such an aggressive tread pattern. There was a hint of tread deflection when accelerating from a stop, but this is a common characteristic of aggressive tires on the road. Our original tire pressure for these E-rated tires on our 1-ton rig was set to 60 psi, but after a short time, we dropped the pressure to 45 psi to maintain comfort. The heavy-duty sidewalls are the most likely reason the tires feel stiffer at lower pressures compared to others.
Photo 3/6   |   003 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Test
Photo 4/6   |   004 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Test
When we arrived at the trailhead, the tires were promptly aired down to 27 psi and we set out to let their true potential shine. At this relatively high pressure they provided a smooth and confident ride thanks to the very durable sidewall and tread compound. The pressure could have been dropped further, but with the weight of our rig and the terrain we navigated, it seemed to be on-point for comfort and traction. A key feature for any tire in this genre is its capabilities in mud and loose terrain. The MTZ P3s never let us down and shed mud extremely well allowing for plenty of forward motion in some very nasty conditions. Their performance in deep sand was also commendable as they provided constant and predictable traction that allowed us the freedom to worry about line choice and speed rather than getting stuck. They also performed flawlessly on high-speed rocky roads that could shred a tire that wasn’t well made and durable. Inspection of the tread after this route showed very few abrasions and cuts and no unexpected tread wear.
Photo 5/6   |   005 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Test
Overall impressions after the initial 600-mile mixed terrain drive were very positive. The Deegan 38 Pro 2 wheels made it through without a scratch and remained true and smooth on the road. This impressive duo follows through on their promises to deliver and make a very durable combination.
Photo 6/6   |   006 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Test
Size Tested: 265/70R17
Type: Radial
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (lb @ psi): 3,195 @ 80
Sidewall Plies: 3 polyester w/ PowerPly technology
Approved Rim Width (in): 7-8.5
Tread Depth (in): 18.5/32
Section Width (in): 10.7
Overall Diameter (in): 31.9
Revolutions Per Mile: 651
Weight (lb): 54
Test Vehicle: ’02 Ford E-350

Sources

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels
Stow, OH 44224
330-928-9092
www.mickeythompsontires.com

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