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- Excellent adhesion in the corners even on dry roads.
- Outstanding traction that enables lightning-fast acceleration
- On dry terrain, extremely small stopping distances are possible.
- A very quick and direct response from the steering
- Even when the tire is driven to its absolute limit, it still offers exceptional feedback from the road.
- At the limit, capable of being easily controlled
- When it comes to performance summer tires, the treadwear warranty of 30,000 miles is fairly incredible.
- Wet grip is worse than more modern competitors
- Harsh ride quality and a lot of vibrations when driving over uneven roads
- Noisy on most roads
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There aren’t many things in life that can compare to the feeling of being behind the wheel of a high-performance car and tearing through your favorite winding road or racetrack. It is difficult to express the connection that one feels with a vehicle that is capable of achieving mind-boggling performance; nonetheless, this relationship is so charming and alluring.
A set of superb performance tires is the only thing that you need in addition to a fantastic sports car in order to enjoy the experience of driving. Tires are the single most critical element for a better driving experience, but this is something that the vast majority of drivers forget about, which is why I make it a point to remind them as often as I can. Forget about making adjustments to your engine in order to increase its power; the difference that really matters is the tires.
And for more than a decade, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport was one of the performance tire options that owners of expensive sports vehicles selected as one of their most popular choices. Even though this tire’s successor, the Pilot Sport 4S, is already available, Michelin continues to produce this tire in a wide variety of popular sizes.
What is the cause? The Pilot Super Sport tires were used in the production of a great number of sports automobiles over the past ten years. Therefore, if you want to get the most out of your vehicle, you will need to keep driving on these tires for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, the price of the Pilot Super Sport has been reduced slightly from its previous iteration, which may entice some customers who are looking to cut costs. This model has a price that is around 10–20% lower than its successor, the Pilot Sport 4S, on sizes with a wheel diameter that is larger than 19 inches.
To be fair, one would anticipate something like this from a product that was introduced more than a decade ago. However, I want to bring to your attention the fact that the primary reason Michelin produced the Pilot Super Sport was for the Ferrari 599 GTO, which was one of the most powerful and fastest supercars available on the market at the time.
In addition, many manufacturers of high-performance automobiles, including as Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, amongst others, chose to install the Pilot Super Sport in the highest-performing versions of their vehicles.
In addition to that, the tire is constructed using a technique that was adapted from motorsport. To be more precise, the tire was developed as a result of long-distance racing, and in particular the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michelin was able to learn how to make the tire perform at the top level while still offering a lengthy treadlife as a result of that race.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is still available in a wide range of popular tire sizes, beginning with a wheel diameter of 17 inches and going all the way up to a diameter of 22 inches. These measurements are applicable to the vast majority of today’s most popular sports cars, such as hot hatchbacks, sports coupes, supercars, and even some performance SUVs.
In light of the aforementioned, how does the Pilot Super Sport stack up against its more contemporary rivals? Unfortunately, I won’t be able to provide you an immediate response to that question because you still need to finish reading the Michelin Pilot Super Sport review in its entirety. In the following paragraphs, I will describe how the tire behaves on both the street and the track, as well as how it stacks up against other high-performance tires.
But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the innovations that Michelin incorporated into the Pilot Super Sport to make it a suitable choice for drivers of some of the most impressive automobiles in the world.
What are the features of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport?
Michelin claims that endurance racing was the inspiration behind the creation of the Pilot Super Sport tire, which can be found on the company’s website. Following that, the marketing pitch continues with claims such as “ultimate precision handling” and “long street & track treadlife.”
In addition, because Michelin has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past 13 years in a row, the French manufacturer claims that the Pilot Super Sport has handling that is 12 percentage points higher than that of the other models. On the other hand, those assertions pertain to tires from the preceding decade rather than the more contemporary counterparts.
In addition, Michelin claims that the Pilot Super Sport has a treadlife that is twice as long as that of the competition and provides superior braking capability compared to the majority of high-performance tires.
Michelin utilized the Bi-Compound tread rubber in order to accomplish all of these goals. This tread rubber has a dry compound that was inspired by the Le Mans race on the outer shoulders, and a wet compound that was used on the inboard shoulders.
To be more specific, the low-void outboard shoulders make use of a track-ready compound, which gives the driver exceptional traction when turning corners. On the other hand, the compound used for the notched center ribs and the inboard shoulders is one that increases traction and decreases the likelihood of hydroplaning on wet roads.
The interior construction of the Pilot Super Sport is likewise quite innovative for the historical period in question. In a tire designed for maximum performance, having twin steel belts is standard, but having a Twaron cord that is spirally wound is what sets this tire apart from others on the market.
Twaron is a material that provides reinforcing of high strength without contributing an excessive amount of weight to the tire. The FAZ Technology (Filament At Zero degrees) is then utilized to wind the cable around the rim of the tire circumference.
According to Michelin, the utilization of this material resulted in a 10% reduction in the overall weight of the tires. This resulted in a significant reduction in the unsprung weight, which resulted in improved maneuverability and performance.
The Michelin Acoustic Technology, which is a sound-absorbing foam that is affixed to the inner lining of the tire, is included with certain sizes of the Pilot Super Sport. The amount of noise from the road that is transmitted into the cabin is reduced thanks to this material.
What are the maintenance indicators?
On the Pilot Super Sport, Michelin incorporates the industry-standard tread wear indicators, often known as TWIs. These signs let the driver know when it is time to replace the tires, which is critical for maintaining adequate traction on slippery conditions in order to avoid accidents.
The TWIs are thin rubber bars that may be found recessed within the grooves of the tire. You can identify them by their acronym, TWI. These bars will become more noticeable when the tread on the tire goes down.
When the tread depth reaches the legal limit of 2/32 of an inch, the tread wear indicators will be entirely flush with the surface of the tread. This is the case when the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch.
When the rubber bars become visible, you will need to instantly get new tires, so keep an eye out for that. If you don’t do it, you run the danger of losing reliable wet traction and resistance to hydroplaning. It’s possible that the tires will continue to serve their purpose for racing on the track, but they won’t be legal for use on the road.
On the bright side, Michelin backs the Pilot Super Sport with a warranty that covers treadwear for 30,000 km. In addition, while drivers who are used to touring tires might not think this is a big deal, the warranty that comes with a max-performance summer tire is absolutely unmatched in its quality.
Because no other premium tire manufacturer currently offers treadwear warranties on their maximum-performance tires, the Pilot Super Sport and its successor, the Pilot Sport 4S, have a singular place in the industry.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
Even though the Pilot Super Sport has been around for more than a decade at this point, it is still capable of giving its driver a lot of excitement when they are behind the wheel.
The tire has a highly sensitive and direct feel right from the beginning, and this sensation continues to improve until the rubber reaches its operating temperature. The levels of grip are incredible as well, virtually on par with those offered by more contemporary competitors. While everything is going on, the high-speed stability is absolutely excellent, and the stopping distances are really small.
The fact that the Pilot Super Sport is easy to control at the limit is the aspect of this vehicle that appeals to me the most. You can have fun messing around with these tires all day long. Additionally, even when the tire is being driven to its absolute limit, it still gives granular feedback from the road.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
When it was first released, the Pilot Super Sport was able to compete favorably on slippery surfaces. On the other hand, there are many high-performance summer tires available now that perform far better in settings like these.
It’s not that the tire is unsafe; you’re still obtaining consistent traction and decent stopping power despite the damage. On the other hand, you won’t be able to test the limits of your car like you could on the Pilot Sport 4S or the Continental Sport Contact 6 because those models are the successors.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
The Pilot Super Sport is not designed to operate in cold weather, and it is not intended to be driven on snow or ice under any circumstances. In addition, the tread compound has a tendency to crack in extremely cold temperatures, even when it has been preserved over the winter.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Hell no! The tread depth of the Pilot Super Sport tires is insufficient for use on slippery off-road surfaces. Additionally, the sticky rubber is quite good at picking up debris, which will speed up the process of the tread wearing out.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Another area in which the Pilot Super Sport lags behind its more modern rivals is this one. The ride quality is undeniably poor, and it is especially so over terrain that is uneven and bumpy. Additionally, road noise is significantly heightened, particularly while traveling over bumpy pavement.
Should I buy the Michelin Pilot Super Sport?
If you are looking for the best possible maximum-performance tire that can be purchased right now, your best chance is either the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or the Continental Sport Contact 6. Both of these models come highly recommended. These tires have only a marginal improvement in dry performance, but they have a significant enhancement in their performance in the rain.
Despite this, you should go ahead and purchase the Pilot Super Sport if you find that you can get a decent bargain on it. On both the street and the racetrack, this tire continues to rank among the very best in terms of its participation and performance. In addition, the treadlife and treadwear warranty is excellent, particularly when compared to other options that are available at a lower cost.
More of our review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport may be found here: DIY instructional video produced by everythingdiy.com