If you’ve purchased yourself a BMW in the last ten years, it’s almost guaranteed to have had Michelins from the factory. In fact, if you’ve bought any performance car in the last ten years, you most likely have Michelin rubber. That’s because Michelin has been absolutely dominating the performance tire game for a decade now. More specifically, its Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S (PS4S) tire has been the go-to performance car tires for every brand for the past seven years. Now, though, there’s finally a replacement, the Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 (PSS5) and it could be BMW’s next generation of performance tire.
The Michelin PS4S is probably the most loved and well-known tire in the world. It’s the tire to get if you own anything even kind of sporty, as it simply dominates the market. The reasons for the PS4S’ dominance are many. It’s steering response and lateral grip are exceptional, thanks to its unique outer tread blocks, its wet handling has always been among the best in the performance category, thanks to its vertical groove channels, and its compound allows it to be sticky in most temperatures. It’s also a quiet tire and comfortable tire. So the new PSS5 has a lot to live up to.
According to Michelin, the new PSS5 is improved in ever way. Its outer tread blocks are slightly different, with longer lateral grooves, and they’re made from a new motorsport-derived rubber compound, so its steering response and lateral grip should be even better than before. It also features a new belt design that’s designed improve steering feel, something the PS4S was already the best at.
But it’s not just the physical nature of the tire that should make the PSS5 an upgrade. It also has new technology that the PS4S never had. For instance, it has new acoustic foam, available in more sizes, to keep tire noise down. There are new internal sensors with RFID chips that for larger cars, such as SUVs and EVs, allow owners to connect to the tire via smartphone to keep on eye on pressures and temperatures. While Michelin has had such tech already, the PSS5 expands it to far more sizes and models.
Nearly every excellent handling BMW and BMW M car has worn the Michelin PS4S since its debut (with the odd exception of the M5 CS, which used a bespoke Pirelli P Zero that aided its brilliance). Now, though, we could see a new era of tire with the Michelin PSS5 that could last another decade.