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- Excellent cornering adhesion even on dry roads.
- Traction that is just unmatched in both stopping and accelerating
- Doesn’t need a lot of pre-game stretching to get a decent grasp on it.
- The tire has an exceptional wet grip; it just flat-out refuses to give up.
- Exceptional stopping power in wet conditions
- It is quite simple to maneuver the vehicle through the curves because the steering is so accurate and direct.
- When you reach your grip limit, it’s easy to maintain control.
- Whenever there is a lack of traction, the tires are quite good at letting the driver know about it.
- Extremely comfy for a tire designed for maximum performance.
- Surprisingly silent for a tire that focuses so heavily on performance.
- Available in a wide variety of standard dimensions for sports cars
- When contrasted with the responsiveness of other maximum-performance tires, the steering feels like it has a bit more dead weight on it.
- When it rains very hard, a vehicle with circumferential grooves that are narrower has a little reduced resistance to hydroplaning.
- Expensive, especially for a tire designed for maximum performance
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On this website, we focus mostly on testing tires for passenger cars. When we do that, we frequently discuss how certain tires have “excellent” or “outstanding” performance when it comes to how they handle themselves on the road.
But when we talk about performance like that, we’re talking about how it compares to the performance of other tires in the same category. There is no one touring tire on the market that can offer enthusiast drivers the best potential cornering grip, traction, or braking performance possible. It is not conceivable because the longevity and comfort of the ride are the primary goals in the design of these tires.
Tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S come in handy in situations like these. Michelin’s max-performance summer tire offers significantly improved traction and handling on the road in comparison to the performance offered by regular touring all-season tires. This tire was developed specifically for performance car enthusiasts and owners. Because the difference is so significant, you will be able to perceive its effects even when traveling at slower speeds.
The primary focus in the development of max-performance tires was on the tires’ ability to deliver maximum performance. Because of this, every single product in this category is solely outfitted with a summer tread compound as standard equipment. Sure, these tires obviously have some (glaring) downsides, but passionate drivers already know what they are getting themselves into when they choose these tires.
The question that needs to be answered is how well does the Pilot Sport 4S perform in comparison to its rivals. You might not be aware of this, but the maximum performance category is one in which many tire makers compete. In addition, each of these companies sells the tires at a distinct pricing range for their particular brand.
As is the case with practically all of their products, Michelin set a high price point for the Pilot Sport 4S. In point of fact, this is one of the most expensive maximum-performance tires available. However, the vast majority of the time, Michelin is able to supply us with excellent tires that fulfill every requirement that a buyer may possibly have.
In addition, no one else in the industry, including Michelin’s competitors, offers the Pilot Sport 4S in such a mind-bogglingly extensive range of sizes as Michelin does. This tire is available with a wheel diameter of 17 inches all the way up to a wheel diameter of 22 inches.
There is a wide range of vehicles that can be accommodated by the sizes. Compact “hot-hatch” sports cars like the VW Golf GTI and the Ford Fiesta STI, as well as higher-performance variants of compact automobiles like the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, are suitable candidates for the installation of the Pilot Sport 4S. In addition, muscle automobiles like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger look fantastic when they are outfitted with larger proportions.
In the meanwhile, performance coupes like the BMW M4 and the Lexus RC-F, performance sedans like the BMW M3 and the Audi S4, and even sports cars like the Porsche 911 and the Toyota Supra are all suitable candidates for wheel sizes of 19 inches or greater. To summarize, if you own a sports car, you will most likely be able to discover a size within the Pilot Sport 4S family that is compatible with your particular automobile.
Before we get into the specifics of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S review, let’s take a look at what Michelin has to say about its top road-performance tire and see what they have to say about it.
What are the features of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S?
Michelin claims that the Pilot Sport 4S is a tire that was developed from endurance racing and has “benchmark dry traction” as well as “ultimate wet traction.”
In addition, in response to the question of why you should think about purchasing this tire, Michelin provides the following response on its website: “Genuine Passion. Exceptional Forces at Work. There is a new #1 in max performance summer tires, and it is derived from the illustrious MICHELIN® PILOT® Super Sport.
The French company continues to extol the virtues of its product, claiming that it is capable of achieving the greatest dry lap time, the shortest dry braking distances, as well as the best wet lap time and the shortest wet braking lengths in its respective category. That is a pretty high bar to meet, and in all honesty, it is difficult to believe. Nevertheless, I admire the self-assurance shown by Michelin.
Michelin collaborated with some of the most demanding automakers and their sports car models to design the tire in order to attain all of those superlatives. These automakers and models included Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. While this was going on, the engineers at Michelin used the data they gathered during the 24 Hours of Le Mans to design a tire that not only has great performance but also has a long lifespan.
In point of fact, the tread compound was generated in a straightforward manner from the well-known endurance race. When compared to its predecessor, the Pilot Super Sport, it has improved handling and braking capabilities thanks to a redesigned tread rubber that is optimized for usage in dry conditions.
In the meantime, the center ribs and inboard shoulders really contain a wet compound that has silica incorporated into it for improved braking and handling in wet conditions. To put it another way, the tire is constructed with dry and wet rubber compounds so that it may perform very well in a variety of environments.
The tread design incorporates a computer-modeled Variable Contact Patch 3.0. This enhances the wear performance of the tread by optimizing the pressure distribution over the contact patch.
It is interesting to note that Michelin even used its Acoustic Technology on some of its models. This technology incorporates a sound-absorbing foam inside the tire to make the vehicle operate more quietly when it is traveling along the road. In addition, certain sizes are offered with a Limited Edition Premium Touch sidewall, which has a checkered velvet feel for a more attractive overall look. This sidewall is available for various sizes.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The Pilot Sport 4S has regular tread wear indicators (TWIs) incorporated into the circumferential grooves of the tire. These grooves are located around the tire’s circumference. The driver will know when it is time to replace the tires thanks to these indications.
To be more specific, the indications are made up of thin rubber bars that, when the tire is new, remain depressed within the grooves. Rubber bars become more noticeable as the tire wears down, and when the tread depth is reduced to 2/32 of an inch, they will be flush with the surface of the surface of the tire.
When this occurs, the tire will no longer be able to provide the driver with consistent traction on roads that are wet. You should change the tires as soon as possible for reasons related to safety. Naturally, I strongly advise starting even earlier than that.
To our good fortune, the Pilot Sport 4S is the only maximum-performance summer tire on the market that comes with a warranty that covers treadwear for 30,000 miles. In addition, previous purchasers of the tire have remarked favorably on its exceptional treadlife.
Nevertheless, much like with the vast majority of summer tires designed for maximum performance, the sticky rubber will collect debris from the road, including pointed items. To ensure that you don’t void the guarantee, you need to keep the tread free of dirt and debris at all times.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
To sum it up in a one word: extraordinary. Michelin has a long history of producing exceptional maximum-performance tires, but the Pilot Sport 4S pushes the envelope even farther in this regard.
To begin, I have to state that my initial impression is that the tire is somewhat more pliable than I had anticipated it to be. It is reasonable to assume that Michelin made that choice in order to improve the overall experience for the customers, and there is nothing wrong with it.
On the other hand, as soon as you put some serious pressure on these tires, they show their true colors. Because the steering is so direct and accurate in the Pilot Sport 4S, you will have no trouble keeping the vehicle under control as you turn.
In addition to that, the degrees of grip are absolutely incredible. You can take any high-performance sports car to its breaking point with a set of these tires and still maintain your grip, even on the racetrack.
In addition, the traction for acceleration is exceptional, and the same can be stated about the vehicle’s stability at high speeds. The braking system is top-notch as well.
The fact that the Honda Pilot Sport 4S does not need to be warmed up before it can perform well on dry roads is the aspect of this vehicle that I enjoyed the most. Additionally, the tire is quite easy to handle at the limit, which is fantastic news for all of you out there who are into drifting.
In general, with the exception of its slightly more forgiving sidewalls, the Pilot Sport 4S has established itself as the new standard bearer in the maximum-performance summer category. That’s how good it is.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
On wet and damp roads, the Pilot Sport 4S continues to demonstrate its superior performance thanks to the super-sticky tread wet compound.
Everything I wrote about the performance in dry conditions also applies here. The levels of grip in the corners are just fantastic, there is ample traction even for some really strong automobiles, and the stopping distances are extremely short.
However, there is one area in which the Pilot Sport 4 S is not quite as good as it may be, and that is its resistance to hydroplaning. In conditions of intense precipitation, the tire does not have the capacity to expel a great deal of water, most likely because the circumferential grooves are so shallow. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not very remarkable.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Because it is a maximum performance summer tire, the Pilot Sport 4S should not be used when the temperature is below freezing, and especially not when there is snow or ice on the road.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Off-roading is the best activity to choose if you want to swiftly destroy your high-priced Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The choice made by Michelin to make the sidewalls a little bit softer actually makes driving on roads significantly more comfortable. The ride quality of the Pilot Sport 4S is possibly the finest in the category, and despite being a performance tire, it is surprisingly not too loud. Even though enthusiasts aren’t very interested in this topic, it’s still a nice contribution.
Should I buy the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S?
If you currently own a sports car and are interested in coaxing the maximum amount of performance out of it, you should definitely give some thought to purchasing a Pilot Sport 4S.
The flagship performance tire from Michelin feels the most evolved and mature compared to other products in its category, and it delivers exceptional performance in practically every quantifiable aspect.
The Continental SportContact 6 is the first tire that springs to mind when thinking of other premium brands that provide great maximum-performance tires; however, there are other premium brands as well.
Despite the greater price, the Pilot Sport 4S has the most well-rounded set of benefits, including a treadwear warranty that is good for 30,000 miles, which, in my opinion, makes it the best option.