The Michelin Pilot Sport 4, which was released earlier this year, has won the 2016 Auto Express tyre test
Michelin’s new Pilot Sport 4 tyre has won the Auto Express Ultimate Tyre Test “by a clear margin” in the dry. The tyre performed well in virtually all of the test categories, which include dry handling, dry braking, wet handling, wet braking, wet cornering, straight aquaplaning, curved aquaplaning, rolling resistance and cabin noise.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 was up against eight competitor tyres including Pirelli P Zero; Continental ContiSportContact 5; Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT2; Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3; Hankook Ventus S1 evo2; Falken Azenis FK510; Yokohama Advan Sport V105 and Vredestein Ultrac Vorti.
Commenting on the victorious Michelin product, Auto Express’ testers said: “There’s a liveliness to the steering that makes most rivals seem soft and spongy”, adding: “It starred in the braking tests, making rivals look ordinary in the wet. There was also a clear margin in the dry.”
As well as winning overall, Michelin’s tyre topped the tables for dry braking and wet braking. However, it came joint bottom for cabin noise and was – at £102.30 each – the second most expensive tyre on test, albeit by just 20 pence.
Looking closer, in this case suggestions of a cost:performance continuum apparently didn’t hold up. The most expensive tyre tested (the Vredestein Ultrac Vorti – £102.50) actually came last overall.
However, the Vorti was also the oldest tyre design tested by Auto Express. Indeed, half the tyres tested came to market in 2016, meaning anything older was at a distinct disadvantage in this comparison test. It also goes to show just how rapidly new products are being developed and launch – car tyre product life cycles are as short as ever.
According to Michelin, many of the technologies incorporated in the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 were developed from the manufacturer’s involvement in Formula E – the world’s first electric single-seater race series.
Rebeca Nieto, Michelin’s Commercial Director for Car, Van and 4 x 4 in the UK and Ireland, said: “The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is testament to our track to street philosophy. We got involved with Formula E at its inception because we knew we would learn so much in a very short space of time. The series uses a tyre size that relates to on-the-road cars and it takes place on real roads with potholes, rough surfaces, grids, surface paint and everything else motorists are faced with every day.
“Not only that, the tyre has to be able to handle high performance in both the wet and the dry, it has to be extremely durable and it has to be very efficient to prolong battery life.
The responsive tread on the Michelin Pilot Pilot Sport 4 adapts to the road thanks to the interaction between architecture, tread pattern and compound. New Dynamic Response technology consists of a belt with hybrid aramid and nylon reinforcement that ensures optimal directional control.
Meanwhile a new homogeneous compound mix features functional elastomers to improve the distribution of fine silica, enhancing wet braking, while water evacuation is maximised with deep, wide longitudinal grooves. The new mixture is also said to improve the tyre’s longevity and fuel efficiency.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is available in 22 of the most popular tyre sizes.