A tire for all seasons

Jan. 25, 2013

Michelin North America Inc. (MNA) recently unveiled the latest in its Pilot family of tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, at the NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans, La.

“As an all-weather, all-season tire, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 marries performance and practicality,” says Doug Brown, ultra-high performance category manager at MNA. “This tire is ideal for someone who wants to optimize the performance of his or her vehicle and drive with confidence year-round.”

Technology benefits of the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 include:

• Variable Contact Patch 2.0 (VPO 2.0), which focuses on evenly spreading contact patch pressures and temperatures regardless of the driving situation. It is combined with an aggressive asymmetric tread pattern inspired by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport (introduced last March) to deliver “breakthrough levels of dry grip,” the company says. The tire also exhibits low noise levels as it wears. More rubber and rigid blocks on the outside shoulder provide high levels of lateral grip.

• Extreme amounts of silica in the tread compound combined with variable thickness sipes and large circumferential grooves offer wet grip and resistance to hydroplaning regardless of the road surface. The tire compound was proven in endurance racing, Michelin notes, and achieves maximum wet traction.

• Michelin’s Helio Compound technology engineered into the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 allows it to withstand colder temperatures, meaning consumers benefit from extra grip at low temperatures while extending their vehicles’ driving season.

3-D Variable Thickness Sipe Technology (VTS) allows the use of more sipes for adverse road conditions (wet and snow) without giving up handling and wear performance. The self-supporting construction provides biting edges when traction is needed most and locks together under stress for greater tread block rigidity. This is the first application of the technology in an all-season Michelin UHP tire, the company notes.

Jamie Fisk, MNA’s director of consumer experience marketing, says the ultra-high performance market, including the all-season UHP segment, is expected to grow by 30% in the next nine years, from 34 million units to 76 million tires sold per year.

“During the development of this tire, we were intensely focused on providing a total performance package that would deliver superior handling and wet/dry braking in all seasons,” notes Steve Calder, MNA’s ultra-high performance technical manager.

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tire is designed, engineered and manufactured in North America.

It will be available this summer in 65 sizes ranging from 175/65R15 to 285/35ZR20. The tire is backed by the Michelin Promise Plan tire service package.    ■