Michelin // Pilot Super Sport – Pilot Alpine 4 – Pilot Sport Cup 2

 

There are different seasons each year and thanks to Michelin there is a perfect tire for each of them. Different rubber for different seasons! That´s what sports cars need to deliver their full potential, a win-win for all drivers!

In the past years of development and engineering with the various amazing car manufactures we have seen a lot of exciting progress but the biggest and by far most innovative features have happened with rubber. Tires such as the Pilot Sport Cup 2 have entirely changed the sport of racing!

I have been driving many various sports cars including  all-wheel, rear-wheel and front-wheel drive with tires from different companies.

My favourite, and also my personal choices are the Michelin Alpine PA4 for the winter, Pilot Super Sport for the midseason, and the Pilot Sport Cup 2 for summer and track seasons.

 

Michelin Pilot Super Sport

I find the Pilot Super Sport best for midseason or summer season for those drivers who do not need to go extreme with a semi slick tire like the Cup 2.

The PSP is an amazing compromise to the Cup 2 and is also a true sports tire with dynamic handling qualities and exemplary steering precision. With it’s light tire tread it allows the driver to ignore a small amount of rain on the street and short braking distances and agile maneuvres are consistent with a normal driving program. It would be difficult to compare the PSP to the Alpine as it is usually not as rainy in summer. Drivers must always be aware of driving a rear-wheel vehicle while in heavy rain due to aquaplaning on the street. Of course you can criticize tires like the PSP that they aren´t that good in wet conditions. Honestly show me one summer tire with facts like this one which keeps cars with more or less than 400 hp without breaking out in wet conditions on the street… that´s what I thought, a summer tires are not made for it. Even so it wouldn´t include the racing factor of the PSP. It has an excellent tread compound with elastomer ingredients for extreme durability under heavy use.

We tested the Michelin PSP with the C63 AMG and the AMG GTC.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Michelin Pilot Alpine PA4

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2

Michelin Pilot Alpine PA4

The Alpine PA4 tires deliver the rear wheel drive C63 AMGgreat winter qualities, especially their performance level on wet and cold streets. While driving summer tires in the midseason, as the weather changes to lower temperatures and brings on wet streets, you can actually feel how the hard rubber fails to find it’s connection to the asphalt. That means it is time to change the tires to the Alpine, that changes the issue immensely since they provide a softer rubber which reacts to rain and snow much better.

The Alpine allows you a precise and balanced handling experience under extreme conditions and brings a quick stop with any car possessing a lot of grip. Definitely my winter choice for cars like M´s & AMG´s.As you can see on the picture, the PA4 is edged with a strongly laminated profile. The profile is armed with a number of lug edges and lamellae which brings a better traction and better braking on snow and ice

We tested it under extreme conditions with a C63 AMG during snowfall, rain & black ice.

Fast, faster Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2

MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 – grip and performance on the road as well as the race track. The Cup 2 is a semi slick tire that not only hugs the road with strong performance qualities, but also provides an extremely awesome driving experience on the racetrack.

Responsible for this performance are the “bi-compound technology” and the “track longevity technology 2.0”.

“Bi-compound technology” – offers more grip on dry and wet roads using two different material blends that ideally complement each other. While the inside of the tire tread uses hard elastomers to improve the grip on wet surfaces, the more interlinked elastomers in the outer area of the tire provide better grip especially on dry roads and in curves .

“Track Longevity Technology 2.0” – brings the tire’s top performance over a very long period of time. This performance is ensured by the specially constructed outer tire shoulder which consists of a specific rubber compound which is characterised by a particularly pronounced abrasion resistance material.

I have never driven tires that “sticky” before. The tire steers very agile, precise and the grip is constant. Because of the hard elastometers built ino the outer areas of the Cup 2, you have even better grip in fast corners. Just unbelievable how extreme you can drive rear-wheel beasts without any traction lost. Best examples therefore are the BMW M3 CS, the AMG C63 and the AMG GTR. Horsepower beasts with a rear-wheel drive maneuver like they were pulled on a string on rails around the corner.

Like I said it before, you hear again and again how unsuitable the PS Cup 2 tire is for wetness , but I see that differently! I drove them with outside temperatures of 15 degrees or less on the GTR and the M3 CS, on wet roads with extreme turns due to continuous rain – the perfect place to test the semi-slick tire in wet conditions. Of corse the acceleration from standstill lets your tires spin because the rubber is too hard to stick when it is that cold, but the fact that the Cup 2 is not drivable when it is wet is not true in my opinion.

Back to the dry ride – when the tire is really on temperature, it sticks so extremely well on the asphalt. I would say it is the perfect tire for every petrolhead who likes pushing his car to its extreme.

We tested the Cup 2 with the Mercedes AMG GTR, C63 AMG and BMW M3 CS.