Michelin Pilot Super Sport Review

04/19/2014

Upon receiving the car back last November, it was pretty apparent that the tires had not been rotated. The back tires had some decent treat left, but the front were pretty worn. It was quite a difference. Considering you really want to have consistent tread with an AWD vehicle, and the fact I was never overly impressed wit the BF Goodrich Sport Comp 2 that I originally had put on, I decided it was time for a new pair of shoes.

After doing a lot of reading and comparisons, there were quite a few tires I was looking at. Bridgestone had a few tires that sounded pretty awesome, including the RE760, S-04 Pole Position, and the RE970 Pole Position, the last getting the best reviews for dry performance. Durezza has a decent offering with the DZ101, and the Hankook Ventus RS3 also had great reviews. Having had the Hankook Ventus EVO12 on the Forester, which performed very well especially for the cost, these were also on my list. The last on my short list were the always revered and acclaimed Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

The Michelin tires are OEM tires for many venerable cars, including the Ferrari 458 Italia, and many other true super cars. It didn’t get the BEST ratings when pitted against a few of the named above, but it was always in a close second. Importantly though, it took high marks in both wet traction as well as dry traction. Seeing how wet traction isn’t a big deal in Arizona, this wasn’t a huge deal. However, comfort and ride noise were always praised as well. With overall positive treadware reports, I decided to bite the bullet and go with the Michelins and overall, I’m very pleased so far. I’ve only put about 100 miles on these tires, so take it for what it’s worth.

Appearance
I think these are great looking tires, both in the tread pattern as well as sidewall design. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to appearance, and these had no problem passing my eye test. I like the fact that they don’t look like a ‘ricer’ tire, and I’ve always been a fan of assymetrical design. The Bridgestone RE760 have a great pattern to them, but overall were a tad too obvious when it came to looking like a sporty tire. The Michelin’s are subtle, but to any auto enthusiast, appear to mean business.

Ride Comfort
I was quite pleased in my first few miles to notice that they were definitely comfortable. I never really had considered how tires could affect ride comfort, but they was a slight difference when comparing the BFG Sport Comp 2.

Ride Noise
These tires are quiet. I can’t even really notice them. The BFG Sport Comp 2 did well in this regard, but this is another step in the right direction. Welcome addition!

Dry Traction
Wow. These things grip like no ones business. I have yet to break the tires loose on some sharp turns, and for me this is impressive. The Hankooks and BFG gripped well, but push it hard enough and I could break them loose. Not in a bad way, but there was a limit. I don’t think I’ve quite hit the limit on these Pilot Super Sports, they almost feel like slicks (not really, but you get the picture).

Response
This is the only area where I thought it was somewhat of a downgrade. The BFG Sport Comp 2s were quite responsive. Any subtle twist of the steering wheel was met with an immediate response. The Michelins do not respond nearly as quick, but they are still very precise and very predictable. During a spirited drive up the canyons these tires were very predictable throughout the entire turn.

Overall
4.7 out of 5 stars! The only knock is the steering response, and this might be personal preference on my part. However every other aspect is top notch. To date, these are the best tires I’ve owned!

PS – You can also see the new JDM STi R205 side badges, a nice upgrade!