We had the opportunity to take the test BMWs on the track this week to test some of the brake pad offerings from Hawk. There were a few options that offered braking bite and quietness for different applications.
But more on that later, because the unintended star of the day may have been the tires that were used for the test. For a stop-and-go performance test, one would assume a somewhat aggressive summer tire would have been the clear choice. Instead, we opted to use an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire; and while I think the choice was unorthodox, it turned out to be an impressive one: the all-new Michelin Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+.
All-season tires tend to focus on all-year performance without necessarily excelling at any particular weather condition. But just like anything else in life, there are trade-offs. In this case, Michelin had in the predecessor of the Pilot Sport AS 3+ a tire that provided category-leading levels of dry and wet grip but didn't quite match the prowess of the other tires in the light snow category. That's about to change if Michelin has their way!
The braking test was lots of fun driving the Bimmers in a spirited manner through a track configuration that simulated everyday situations we encountered as drivers, and the Michelins held their own really well. Lots of cornering grip, impressive at the limit and while I'm sure they won't match the grip of their summer counterparts, acceleration was truly superb. If the preliminary tests we performed this past winter are any indication, Michelin may have struck the perfect balance between dry and wet performance and winter capabilities.