Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP OE on Corvette Stingray
Michelin has announced that it will fit its specially developed Pilot Super Sport ZP as original equipment on the full 2014 range of Chevrolet Corvette Stingray models. Michelin reveals that the deal has come about as a result of its relationship with Chevrolet at the American Le Mans Series. The French tyre giant previously gained fitments for the 2009 Corvette ZR1 and 2011 Corvette Z06.
Michelin worked closely with the Corvette vehicle development team in the design and engineering of the tyre. Spending more than 12,000 hours in tyre design and thousands of miles in subjective test driving during Chevrolet’s vehicle development process, Michelin will supply two Pilot Super Sport ZP tyres unique to the Corvette Stingray, one for the standard coupe and convertible, which use the same chassis, and another to be supplied with the Z51 Performance Package for either body style.
The Pilot Super Sport ZP includes features such as Michelin’s most advanced tread compound; a footprint shape designed by computer modelling and analytic tools usually used to predict the stresses acting on race tyres, utilised for the first time on a road-going tyre; a new aramid cap ply tuned for optimum contact patch control for high speed and performance handling and longevity; a specially adapted internal rubber compound to reduce rolling resistance; and asymmetric run-flat inserts and carcass configuration.
John Moloney, vice president of original equipment marketing at Michelin North America, said that “owners of the 2014 Corvette Stingray will enjoy a tyre that is tuned specifically for their vehicle and delivers the road-handling, grip, cornering ability and progressive feel they expect – on the track or touring top-down through the countryside.”
Lee Willard, lead Michelin technical engineer for the Corvette project, said the opportunity to “develop a tyre for the breakthrough next-generation Corvette” had led to Michelin making “a significant advancement in what is possible for an ultra-high performance tyre.”
Additional performance of Z51 package
The Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package is enhanced by Michelin’s additional tuning and development compared to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP found on the standard Corvette Stingray. The manufacturer says the design was derived from a combination of technologies found on the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup ZP tyre that helped the 2012 Corvette ZR1 post a 7:19.6 Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time, and from the gains made during the development of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyre.
The Pilot Super Sport ZP also features the next-generation of race-developed tread compounds found in the Pilot Sport Cup ZP of the C6 ZR1 and Z06. Unlike the Michelin tyres fitted to the standard 2014 Corvette Stingray, the Z51 tyre features a custom dual-tread compound and pattern that Michelin says achieves near-racing-slick grip and handling levels, while providing longer tread life and wet handling capabilities.
Like the tyres found on the standard Corvette Stingray, advanced computer-modelling techniques used to design American Le Mans Series racing slicks were applied to the Z51 Performance Package tyres. The process resulted in tyre structure and contact patches optimised specifically for racetrack-critical tyre performance levels.