Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for the New Ferrari 488 Pista

The new Ferrari 488 Pista runs on specially co-developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 K2 tyres

Michelin has developed a new Pilot Sport Cup 2 K2 ultra-high performance tyre for Ferrari’s new 488 Pista supercar. The new model will run on 245/35 ZR20 (front) and 305/30 ZR20 (rear) sizes, with the tyre manufacturer’s latest generation road-legal track tyre co-developed specially with Ferrari.

Compared to the Pilot Sport Cup 2 K1-marked tyre, designed for the Ferrari 458 Speciale, the K2 model offers improved lap times by providing more grip and sportier handling, Michelin states. The tyre is also designed to balance safety with the performance characteristics, making it suitable for everyday road use.

The co-development of these tyres took 14 months, fine-tuned in dynamic simulation sessions with Ferrari to ensure the tyres achieved the characteristics demanded by Ferrari engineers for the new 488 Pista. This extensive development process led to the production and testing of more than 1,100 prototype tyres and included intensive track testing, with 1,800km driven at Michelin’s Ladoux test centre in France and Fiorano and Nardo tracks in Italy.

Michelin states that the tyre contains a range of new technologies developed from motorsport, including multi-compound technology, where different rubber compounds are used on the inner and outer sections of the tread. A “special grip” compound helps to provide consistent high levels of grip in varied weather conditions. The tyre also has an adapted tread design, with increased sidewall stiffness to absorb transverse forces and allow faster cornering; and a bespoke aramid belt – optimising the ease of control.

Pierre Chaput, tyre designer for the Ferrari 488 Pista, states: “Ferrari’s ambitions pushed us to develop very high-tech tyres for the 488 Pista, where the grip limits are significantly increased compared to the 458 Speciale. The goal of improving lap times was all the more challenging as the Pilot Sport Cup 2 needed to remain easy to control so the 488 Pista driver could fully enjoy the driving experience, whatever his skill level. With the help of simulation tools, widely used on this project, we have been able to develop a tyre whose contact patch is maximised under all circumstances, while guaranteeing safety performance, such as aquaplaning, at the same level as those of the 458 Speciale.”

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