Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S: Better than the Super Sport

A Bmw M2 in drifting is presented during the EICMA, the International fair for cycles and motocycles, on November 13, 2016 in Milan. (Photo by Roberto Silvino/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A Bmw M2 in drifting is presented during the EICMA, the International fair for cycles and motocycles, on November 13, 2016 in Milan. (Photo by Roberto Silvino/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Let’s take a look at the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S, or Michelin PS4S for short. If you follow any automotive social media, odds are you’ve seen this new tire pop up in your feed.

That’s because Michelin has flown dozens of car enthusiasts out to their Michelin Pilot Experience at the Thermal Club Raceway in Palm Springs California. Of course, they brought in the usual car journalists with dedicated followings. But they also brought in YouTubers that cover car content in a variety of ways, which is a little unusual. They all came to see and experience this tire first hand.

So what is this new Michelin PS4S tire and why is there so much hype about it? The Michelin PS4S has big shoes to fill.  It replaces the highly popular and highly rated Michelin Pilot Super Sport, released back in 2011. Car enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their car in both wet and dry conditions have made the Pilot Super Sport their top choice.

How has Michelin made it better?

The first improvement is tread life. Michelin claims this new PS4S tire has a 9% longer tread life than the outgoing Pilot Super Sport. For a 30,000-mile tire, that’s 2,700 more miles of enjoyable driving.   The PS4S starts at $233.

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If you’re in the market for this kind of tire you probably have a sporty car with a decent amount of rubber around the rims. Which means you’ll be hard pressed to get one of these tires for under $300.  With that kind of investment, longer tread life is a big plus.

The second and most important enhancement for a tire in this category is performance. Michelin claims that not only does this tire perform better than the outgoing Pilot Super Sport – it also performs better than the competition.

They’ve achieved this by taking what they learned from the Pilot Super Sport and refining its features.

Michelin developed new enhancements for the PS4S through multiple motorsports competitions such as the WEC (World Endurance Championship), the World Rally Cross Championship, Formula-E, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  This development process appears to be a success.

A third-party company known as TÜV SÜD conducted three tests at their facility in Germany to measure the tire’s performance. The tests included a dry lap, a dry braking test from 62-0 mph, and a wet braking test from 50-0 mph. The Michelin PS4S pulled out on top. It had the best lap time and shortest braking distances (both wet and dry) when compared to its direct competitors from Bridgestone, Continental, Good Year, and Pirelli.

How does this all add up?

It adds up to a tire that not only lasts longer than its predecessor but performs better in every measurable way.  Plus, put up against the competition of other brands, it outperforms them as well.  This tire’s sure to be a winner.

You can tell Michelin has lots of confidence in this tire by the way they’re marketing it. It’s risky to bring in knowledgeable individuals who will then share their opinions with their followers. But Michelin is confident it’ll pay off.  The company is launching 35 size variants in the 19-inch rim size in March 2017, and 20 size variants in the 18-inch rim size in March 2018.

It’s safe to assume that Michelin has pulled off one of the hardest feats for a manufacturer of consumer goods in the automotive world — making something that’s already great, even better.

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Find available tire sizes and specific prices here:  http://www.michelinman.com/US/en/tires/products/pilot-sport-4s.html#