Michelin Pilot Performance - from track to street
The Michelin Pilot Sport range has always represented no a compromise tyre, and with Michelin spending over £1 million a day on research the Pilot Sport almost defines the adage "you get what you pay for."
Recently the Pilot Sport range has gone through a number of updates, with the Pilot Super Sport replacing the Pilot Sport 2, the Pilot Sport 3 replacing the Pilot Exalto and the Pilot Sport Cup+ replacing the Pilot Sport Cup. To help illustrate the changes, Michelin invited us to take part in a Pilot Sport event at Estoril race circuit, Portugal.
The current Pilot Sport range comprises of 3 different tyres:
"The Pilot Sport almost defines the adage you get what you pay for."
Pilot Sport 3
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
- The Pilot Sport 3 has a little more safety and comfort bias than the Pilot Sport 2 had, and actually replaces the Pilot Exalto 2. The Pilot Sport 3 stops 3 metres shorter than the outgoing PS2, and combines outstanding dynamic feedback with increased ride comfort, longer tread life and greater fuel efficiency. The Pilot Sport 3 is available in 15” - 19” rim sizes.
Pilot Super Sport
- As the true replacement for the Pilot Sport 2, the Pilot Super Sport carves a new niche between an ultra high performance road tyre and a track day tyre, offering unrivalled dry performance yet still stopping up to 3 metres shorter than the PS2 in the wet.
Pilot Sport Cup+
- The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ is the hardcore trackday tyre, as fitted to the Porsche GT3 RS, BMW M3 and Corvette ZR1.
The Pilot Super Sport Experience
During the event we concentrated on the performance of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, fitted to Audi R8s, Ferrari 458s, an SLS and even a Gumpert Apollo. Suffice to say, if you were a fan of the Pilot Sport 2 (which we were), the Pilot Super Sport is going to blow your mind.
Born from racing, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport takes the lessons learnt on the track to the street. During endurance races, the less times you have to stop, the greater your chance of victory so Michelin have worked extremely hard to add longevity to their tyres without sacrificing performance. To achieve this Michelin developed a new version of their variable contact patch technology which keeps the tyres footprint, the only part of the car in contact with the road, optimum during hard acceleration, braking and cornering. They also used a new Twaron belting construction to keep the carcass stable and help with tread life.
"it turns hard... almost has hard as the track focused Pilot Sport Cup+, and leaves the Pilot Sport 2 feeling a little soft"
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
The result? The Pilot Super Sport turns hard... almost has hard as the track focused Pilot Sport Cup+, and leaves the Pilot Sport 2 feeling a little soft. Mid corner the tyre grips and grips, with only a hint of understeer where the Cup+ tyre would still be holding the road.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this tyre, and one important factor people often overlook when using road tyres on the track, was the amount of abuse the tyre could take. On a hot Estoril circuit the tyre took lap after lap of on-the-limit abuse without overheating. In fact, Michelins' own tests show the Pilot Super Sport will acheive 50% more tread life than the Pilot Sport 2, which was already one of the hardest wearing tyres in its segment.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport has already won 2 high profile group tests thanks to dominating the dry tests, and our own experience validate their findings - for the ultimate dry weather road performance, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is the tyre to buy.
Further Pilot Super Sport Reading
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport reviews
- Featured Review: Michelin Pilot Super Sport
- The Michelin Pilot Super Sport has arrived