The first step to getting the ‘Lux offroad and road-trippin’ ready was sourcing a proper set of tyres…
I was after something chunky and aggressive that would provide a bit of extra clearance and would be capable enough to tackle just about any sort of terrain.
They needed to be up to the task up crawling along steep, rocky ascents and descents, ploughing through deep, sticky mud and over the top of soft, shifty sand and chewed up beach entries.
Additionally, I needed something that would stick to the road like glue in slippery, rainy conditions and perform comfortably for tens of thousands of highway miles.
Long stretches of corrugated outback track will certainly be in this rig’s future, so inherent sturdiness was a prerequisite.
I’ve been caught out with blown tyres when hurtling along the endless ruts of tracks like the Gibb River Road and Cape Leveque Road and was looking to avoid a repeat of those misadventures at all costs.
On top of all that, I was hoping for a set of rubber that would be relatively quiet when patrolling the blacktop at highway speed, which is a rare trait in any mud terrain pattern, due to their inherent wide tread design.
And lastly, due to the fact that the ‘Lux will be spending plenty of time in front of the camera as the build shapes up and it earns its touring stripes, I needed a set of tyres that looked the part.
So, a set of chunky muddies with a supremely durable build that would be up to the task in any offroad conditions, yet still retain a modicum of highway manners… and look great while doing so?
Sounded like a tall order to fill, but fortunately, offroad tyre design has come a long way.
FIRESTONE DESTINATION M/T2
Launched in Australia just over a year ago, they’ve been steadily earning a rep for robust durability and reliable performance amongst early adopters.
The M/T2s are a reimagining of Firestone’s OG Destination MT, with all the 21st Century tech bells and whistles built in from the ground up.
Learning of their puncture resistant three-ply sidewalls and twin high tensile steel belts with nylon reinforcement was music to my ears. High speed blow-outs, be gone!
A set of 265/70 R17 LT M/T2s were fitted up at Bridgestone’s Service Centre in Silverwater, and in the process we did away with the ‘Lux’s stock rims and wrapped the new rubber around a set of schmick CSA Ranger MT D rims.
The new tyres look tough, and absolutely fill in any excess space under the wheel arches.
They’re constructed from a next-gen cut and chip resistant compound to boost longevity and feature fat tread blocks at a 23-degree angle to attack the terrain.
They’ve also got more aggressive tread lugs built into the upper sidewall and the smart tread design ejects muck and rubble from between the blocks and helps to prevent stone drilling (the sneaky demise of many an offroad tyre).
A big selling point of the Destination M/T2s is that although they’re big and mean and can hang with the big boys in offroad conditions, their smart design vastly improves their onroad performance when compared with other options in their class.
The engineers at Firestone have added 20% more biting edges around the tread, which dramatically enhances their traction on wet surfaces, leaving you confident behind the wheel when hurtling along the tarmac in everything from misty drizzle to torrential flood conditions.
And somehow, they really make minimal noise, even when chasing the sunset at high revs.
When I first hit the highway after fitment, I was keeping an ear out and noticed a bit of a dull whir as the speed approached 100km/h. Surprisingly, this diminished significantly after the first couple of drives as the tread blocks seemingly ‘settled’ under the weight of the rig.
They’re not ‘silent’ at 110km/h on the freeway, but they’re close enough, and a far cry from the constant wail emitted by some old school muddies at full blast.
If first impressions are most important, then the Firestone Destination M/T2s are already a winner.
Thus far, I’ve only had the chance to break them in on a couple of highway runs up the coast, some cruisy dirt tracks and a quick beach run into camp, and they’ve lapped it all up.
Keep an eye out for a full review once they’ve got another few thousand miles on ‘em.