Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, July 21, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.25
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
July 02, 2014

I bought these off a recommendation from fellow BMWCCA members as well as the other Tire Rack reviews. Let me start off by saying that these made it a completely different car! I'd had the Bridgestone RE050A Pole Positions on my stock 19" wheels, and combining those with my Hawk Blue brake pads at the track, I was constantly outbraking my tires. Now that I've changed to square sizes, as well as switched to the Michelin, I'm getting faster lap times, and finding a lot more grip into the corners. I've got one track weekend and about 2500 miles on these so far, and I'm super impressed!

Marketer Becomes Tire Tester

Monday, July 14, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

After three-and-a-half years on the job, I finally got the call I was waiting for: a chance to be a Tire Rack tire tester! Along with other members of the Tire Rack marketing team, this was OUR opportunity to get behind the wheel of our test BMWs and develop our own opinions on tire performance and truly understand what it takes to get our findings out to our customers.

Having already experienced the Real World Road Ride portion of our tests, I was prepared to look for a tires’ ride, noise and light handling qualities across a variety of conditions. The second part of testing, the Performance Test Track Drives, occurs on our track, and was what I had been waiting all these years to do.

We can see the track from our offices in marketing, we thought we knew what to expect, we were both nervous and excited. As one of our designers said, “I see our testers driving faster than I would want to go. The unfamiliarity of driving another’s car with someone else riding alongside me makes me uncomfortable.”

No worries. We weren't going to be competitive. (The photo at right proves we did take it pretty seriously though)

We got into the cars, we were told to drive at a level that made us comfortable. What made ALL of us comfortable was driving on the set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The tire allowed us to feel like we were in control of the car and have some fun behind the wheel as we slalomed a few cones, took some turns at speed and navigated the skid pad (And did I mention this was all done while our track's sprinkler system kept the course covered in water?). When it came to the Sumitomo Touring LS T tires we also tested, it was a completely different story. We were able to feel the vast difference in performance and gain a deeper respect for the testers out there all season doing what they do while listening to the car and the tires so they can accurately report on performances wins and losses.

Here's my rookie review of the two tires.

When driving on the Pilot Super Sports, I felt as if I could driver faster and take turns at speeds I typically don’t, as the tire gave me that much confidence. Now on the Sumitomo, I was braking much sooner to prepare for a turn. If I didn’t I would end up in the grass (even though I didn’t end up in the grass, I can’t say the same for some of my co-workers).

We didn't do a full test on the wet and dry course. And we're by no means expert testers like our sales specialists (who are our test drivers). But rest assured, you're in good hands when you're relying on the test results you read on the tires we offer. Our testers do this all season long and they've got my respect. And trust.

Here are our expert test results and more about our testing program.

The Continental ContiForceContact Now Available in United States

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

This year, we've added another Streetable Track & Competition tire to our line-up and are pleased to introduce the Continental ContiForceContact. Designed to compete with popular tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and Toyo Proxes R888, the ContiForceContact (80 treadwear) has a compound that's soft enough to be competitive in a track environment, yet suitable for light street use.

Unlike extremely soft race-only applications, such as the Hoosier R6, the ContiForceContact is less likely to pick up road debris and comes up to temperature slightly slower, allowing it to be driven to and from the track. The tire's tread void areas also allow it to be used in the wet. However, while designed to resist hydroplaning, ContiForceContact tires are not recommended for high-speed driving on extremely wet roads with standing water where there is the risk of hydroplaning. This is especially true of shaved or worn tires. Drivers should drive cautiously at reduced speeds in these conditions.

We had an opportunity to test the tire back in March and determined the tire delivers an impressive blend of dry track performance and wet traction. It can also thrill drivers during hot laps with its precise handling and confidence-inspiring demeanor. For a complete recap of our test, read "Continental ContiForceContact: Track Day Magic."

Which Hankook R-S3 Should You Get for Your Porsche 911 Turbo (997)?

Friday, June 20, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

When it comes to forgetting your worries, some meditate, some play racquetball and some drive all out on a closed race course. 

Part of the reason that Kenny (from the video above) is having so much fun is that he's not worried about his tires. He knows Tire Rack has him covered! When it comes to choosing the right tire for your Porsche 911 Turbo (997), which one is right for the track?

If you're a hardcore uber-competitive track fanatic running a heavily modified 911 Turbo, you'll want to choose a track tire like the Toyo Proxes R888. If you're more of casual track driver who just wants to have fun, the Extreme Performance Summer Hankook R-S3 offers an amazing combination of performance and value to go along with great dry grip and predictability. You could choose the model that's on closeout (2009 production) or the newer R-S3 "Version 2" (2014 production).

Closeout Extreme Performance Hankook RS3 $856**
Hankook R-S3
Extreme Performance Hankook RS3 (Version 2)$1174*
Hankook R-S3 "Version 2"


What's the difference between the two? Hankook's internal testing shows the R-S3 "Version 2's" new compound has better dry grip and much better wet grip. If your 911 Turbo (997) occasionally sees rain, then the Hankook R-S3 "Version 2" is the way to go. If you're in a dryer climate, the older model will offer a better combination of value and performance.

How can you tell the difference between the R-S3 and R-S3 "Version 2"? The tread design and sidewall are exactly the same, but look at the last two digits of the DOT Tire Identification Number, if it says "14", it's the R-S3 "Version 2".

Shop by vehicle to view all options available for your Porsche 911 Turbo.

Love is...Autocrossing. And Tire Rack.

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

A happy couple, fun with cars and Tire Rack. A perfect marriage in our book.

Angie and Woody Rogers, both Tire Rack employees, placed their first Tire Rack orders back in 1990 before even knowing each other.

Later they met and the rest is (autocross) history.

Woody, who began autocrossing in 1989, convinced Angie to come to an event for their first date. It wasn't long before Angie got behind the wheel and gave it a try herself. The motoring couple continued to compete in local, regional and national level autocross competitions around the country. And many sets of tires later, Angie eventually went on to win two SCCA National Autocross Championships!


Both joined the Tire Rack team on the same day in the summer of 1999. Woody has turned his love of tires and ample time behind the wheel into his role as one of Tire Rack's product information specialists and tire test program coordinator, while Angie has blended her graphic design training and management skills into her current role as print media buyer.

This time of year, you'll find them prepping their 2002 S2000 for yet another season of competition in the SCCA's STR class.


What's Installed? Woody Comments.

Dunlop245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza ZII Tires

"Chosen because it's an all-around performance leader. This tire is well suited to the task, and inspires confidence to push hard and place the car very exactly, both of which are critical to going fast."

TRMotorsports17x9.0 TRMotorsports C3 Light Grey Wheels

"These wheels have the correct fit plus light weight and economical pricing. It costs nearly twice as much to save just two pounds per wheel."

KW KW Clubsport Coil-Over Kit

"We've used KW Coil-Overs before, and they proved to deliver excellent damping control and a wide range of adjustability."

Eibach SpringsFront Anti-Roll Bar

"The Eibach Front Anti-Roll Bar is hollow for reduced weight and the two-way adjustability on the S2000 fitment helps tune handling as needed."

Intercomp 4" Deluxe Air Pressure Gauge

"Big enough to see from the moon, and always spot on accurate."

AquapelGlass Treatment

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

"The combination of Aquapel and PIAA Super Silicone wipers makes a great pair to assure visibility during even the heaviest downpour."

Braille Auto Lightweight Racing Battery (Carbon Wrap w/Mount) 6 lbs.

"Saving weight is an important part of this project, and this should shave nearly 40 lbs. from the car while still having plenty of cranking power."

SPCSPC Adjustable Ball Joint

"Installed in the front upper control arms, the SPC ball joints add additional adjustment range to the OEM suspension so we can get sufficient negative camber to optimize tire performance."

Top-Rated Highway All-Season Truck and SUV Tires

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

In the United States, the truck and SUV market is extremely popular with drivers. It should come as no surprise that the tire market for this growing market share has become increasingly competitive. In total, 33 tires in the Highway All-Season performance category are examined by our customers, and two of the most popular are the Michelin LTX M/S2 and Firestone Destination LE 2.

The Michelin LTX M/S2's symmetric tread design of stable independent tread blocks featuring high-density 3-D Active Sipes delivers all-season traction on dry roads and in inclement weather. Four wide circumferential channels, multiple lateral grooves and open shoulder slots promote lateral water evacuation to enhance wet traction and stopping performance.

Firestone's Destination LE 2 is designed to combine long wear, a comfortable ride and all-season traction, even in light snow. It features twin steel belts reinforced with spirally wrapped nylon to provide strength, uniformity and durability on top of a polyester cord body that helps cushion the ride for truck and sport utility vehicle drivers.


Firestone Destination LE 2

Michelin LTX M/S2


Michelin LTX M/S2:

  • Highest-rated tire in the category
  • Available in a large number of sizes
  • 70,000-mile treadlife warranty
  • Large number of D/E load range options

Firestone Destination LE 2:

  • Outstanding value
  • 60,000-mile treadlife warranty
  • Highest score in category for light snow traction
  • Outstanding ride quality

To view all options available for your truck or SUV, shop by vehicle.

How to Choose the Correct Track Tires

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Are you heading to your first driving school or lapping day? Or are you already a track veteran who's looking to go even faster? Whenever you go to the track, having the right set of tires is essential to going fast, being safe and having fun.

What type of tires do you need to bring for a track event? Depends on the type of event, the expected conditions and the resources available to you.

Take a look at your available options:

Street Tires 

Some people run their cars on the track with the same tires they use on the street. If you're already driving high performance tires, that set may work for you on the track. This scenario works best when you're attending beginner driving schools, casual lapping days or other events where the focus is more on polishing your skills rather than setting fast lap times. Street tires are not recommended for track use, and driving them in a track environment will most likely void their warranty. Keep in mind that if you overdrive them into corners, you could easily render them useless after only one day at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Pros of Running Street Tires:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Can drive to the track safely.
  • Most street tires perform well in the rain.

Cons of Running Street Tires:

  • Performance - These tires aren't as fast in dry conditions as track tires.
  • Longevity
  • Getting home - What happens if you lose a tire on the track? Do you have an option for getting home?

Extreme Performance Tires

These options are really a subset of street tires, but they're designed to take the abuse of occasional track days. They have more focus on dry traction and responsive handling. Extreme performance tires can be used on an enthusiast oriented daily driver, or mounted on separate wheels for track use. An example of this tire is the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.

Pros of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Grip - Better performance than regular street tires.
  • Durability
  • Value - Last longer at the track than normal street tires.
  • Convenience
  • Versatility

Cons of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Competition - Drivers are at a disadvantage compared to drivers who use dedicated track tires.

Streetable Track Tires 

There are some tires that are essentially track tires, but can be driven to and from the track. They would wear out very quickly if driven daily on the street. These tires will generally have enough tread pattern to handle damp pavement, but will be very prone to hydroplaning. An example of this type of tire is the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.

Pros of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Grip - These tires will outgrip extreme performance tires.
  • Convenient - If you can swap wheels at home, but your car won't carry a second set of wheels to the track, this can be the perfect solution.
  • Versatility - Some of these tires can work as an intermediate tire for damp or drying track conditions.

Cons of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Give up a little grip compared to the most specialized options.
  • Few miles of use as a street tire.
  • Hydroplaning can be an issue if caught in the rain.

Specialized Track Tires

Track tires provide the ultimate in grip. They discard most streetability characteristics in order to deliver the very best lap times. With lots of grip and shoulders that are generally more square, these tires can be more challenging to drive at their limits. They should be mounted on separate wheels and installed at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Hoosier A7.

Pros of Track Tires:

  • Performance - If you are racing to win, track tires are the way to go.
  • Easiest way to turn faster lap times.

Cons of Track Tires:

  • Track tires won't work in the rain. You need a separate set if rain is a possibility.
  • More challenging to drive at the limit.
  • Often requires suspension modification or a specialized set-up.