When it comes to performance street tires, it’s pretty hard for the consumer to try it before you buy it. Unless you’ve owned them before, you plunk your money down and get them installed before you really know what they are like. This leaves word of mouth, Tire Rack ratings, your friends’ cars and tire manufactures own words. Consider this though when it comes to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport – BMW M has chosen to install on every new M3 and M4.
Michelin is the also provider of all racing tires to BMW Team RLL Z4 GTLM and has had a formal relationship with BMW for over thirty years. For BMW M Division to get the right tire for the new M3 and M4, BMW M engineers tested 3,800 prototype tires as well as doing track time on five different tracks to get the right balance of track and street for the M3 and M4. Clearly there is no substitute for Michelin Pilot Sport Cups or Hoosier racing slicks when it comes to rigorous track duty. However, Michelin Pilot Super Sports provide that maximum performance that you can put on your M3 and drive it from home to the track and back.
Car and Driver did a nine tire shoot out with performance tires and the Michelin Pilot Super Sport came out on top. “The PSS has the best balance of wet and dry performance we’ve ever experienced in testing,” says the magazine. As far as surveys go, tirerack.com shows 718 of 805 owners of Michelin Super Sports rated them 5/5, and 65 gave it 4/5 stars.
Trying The Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires On A BMW E92 M3
When it comes to performance driving, grip is everything. If you cannot get the power down, handle the corners or cope with the rain, you can’t exploit driving a great car. The new M cars put so much power down now, that even with these sticky tires, it’s easy to light up and smoke’m in a huge drift.
I love Michelin Pilot Super Sports and I’ve purchased them two different ways. First through, Tire Rack who can ship them to your house our your installer. Second, my local BMW dealer will match Tire Rack’s prices and so I bought my last set from them.
So what are Michelin PSS like?
They are hands down my favorite performance street tire. They handle great in the dry and yet still provide excellent grip in the wet. I’ve auto crossed them, driven on them over 130 mph on a race track as well as highway speeds through huge downpours.
What are their limitations?
As with any tire, when they’re worn, especially on the rear they loose their grip which is especially noticeable in the wet with BMW M torque. I’ve spun our 2011 M3 on an autocross course in just such a circumstance. Pilot Super Sports are not meant for winter weather and loose grip when they are cold – like driving in the freezing weather but on a dry road.
Michelin provides a pretty stout mileage warranty for the Super Sports. If your front and back are non-staggered, i.e., the same size, you have a 6 year or 30,000 mile tread wear guarantee down to 2/32 of an inch (1.6 mm) and have to be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If they are staggered like the wheels on the current M3 and M4, then the warranty is cut in half to 15,000 miles. If you don’t make the full 15,000 miles, it’s not like you get a new tire for nothing, you have to pay for the prorated portion of the tire you used up to get a new one.
Tire sizes on the new M3 and M4 are: 255/40/18 front; 275/40/18 rear and the optional 19 inch wheels have 255/35/19 and 275/35/19’s. Prices and availability vary, so check tirerack.com to see what’s in stock.
And here is how you can drift on them:
- Michelin Pilot Super Sport
- Reviewed by Chuck Vossler on
- Best performance tires you can buy
- They are hands down my favorite performance street tire. They handle great in the dry and yet still provide excellent grip in the wet
- Rating: 5.0