In a blog written at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, Car & Driver referred to the new ultra-high performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S as “the new king of all tires.” Hyperbole aside, the tire may be the king of all Michelin tires.
Groupe Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard officially introduced the tire in the U.S. at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The tire will replace the Pilot Super Sport, Michelin’s previous flagship tire.
“By sharing the best aspects of the Pilot Super Sport with key attributes of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 (the company’s street-legal UHP competition tire), the Pilot Sport 4 S solves the pleasure and safety equation for performance enthusiasts, offering unprecedented driving pleasure, exceptional steering precision and tremendous directional stability, while also providing maximum safety and grip on wet or dry roads, even in extreme use,” he said.
Michelin engineers designed the tire using construction methods and materials directly developed in competitions such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Although it was commercially available in Europe in January, and won’t be available in the U.S. until March, the tire already is original equipment on the 2016 Ferrari GTC4Lusso; the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 and E43 models; and the new Koenigsegg Regera. Senard said there are at least 66 global OE fitments under development.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S eventually will be available in 45 Y-rated extra-load sizes broken out as follows (with the number of sizes per rim diameter in parentheses).
18-inch (1): 245/40ZR18.
19-inch (19): from 225/45ZR19 to 325/30ZR19.
20-inch (25): from 235/45ZR20 to 345/30ZR20.
Some of the sizes were designed specifically for manufacturers of sports cars and high-performance vehicles, including Porsche Automobil Holding SE and Ferrari SpA. The suggested retail price of the tire in the U.S. is $233.
The Pilot Sport 4 S will be produced at Michelin plants in Greenville, S.C., and Clermont-Ferrand, France. ■