It’s fair to say Michelin knows something about tyres, given the company’s 139 years of developing and producing them. Michelin also has a long-standing global history with motorsport in every discipline, and the advances made to tyres for the everyday consumer are many-fold as a result.
You’ll see some of these in our video review of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV, a tyre which draws on Michelin’s expertise in general, but specifically and more recently from the realm of electric vehicle racing, where tyres are subjected to intense grip requirements. OK, we didn’t exactly go racing with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres, but we did put them onto a performance Audi SQ5 and gave them a pretty good workout!
What was impressive was the incredible lack of body roll we encountered with the new Michelins. Oh yes, we were expecting this, having read up on the new tread compound and construction which adapts the variable contact patch between a large bodied SUV and some challenging roads and corners, but it was considerably more impressive when you experience it yourself – as we did.
The Pilot Sport 4 SUV is one of Michelin’s Total Performance Tyres, which sounded initially like marketing hype to us. What it means is that the tyre has been designed to do far more than offer great value for money and longevity (what most of us look for in a tyre). A Total Performance Tyre focuses on things like grip, ride quality, cornering performance in wet and dry conditions, braking effectiveness, low noise vibration and harshness and fuel efficiency.
All of which sounds like a brochure, but with the exception of fuel economy (which is difficult to check when you are doing what we were doing), we found the Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres ticked all the boxes, just as Michelin promised they would.
The SQ5 is an impressive machine in every respect and the Michelins just made it feel so much more confident and capable with dramatic road holding and incredibly controlled stopping power. Quiet too.
Did you know Michelin was lobbying globally for whole of life tyre tests as an industry standard? Neither did we, until we heard about the “safe when new, safe when worn” campaign that test a tyre at the start of its useful life, right through to when it has done all the miles it can possibly do – without compromising its safety credentials.
Based on what we did with them, the Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyres are going to be excellent examples of this new campaign, and once you’ve seen the video, we’re confident you’ll agree.