Taking performance to the masses

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Taking performance to the masses

Can one tire do it all? No; unless tire companies figure out how to make one “transform” at the touch of a button. Until then, a good summer tire will never equal a good winter tire.

Where the lines have blurred for a number of years is between the summer and the all-season tire. Here’s where the money’s at (especially in the performance all-seasons) and Michelin knows that.

In the recent past, upwards of 54 million performance all-season tires were sold. This number is expected to exceed 76 million over the next nine years, making (and confirming) it the fastest- growing tire segment.

The performance all-season tire is quite possibly the ideal tire (if well–engineered). It has the toughest job of all after winter tires as it must combine the highest possible doses of comfort, durability, handling, and braking.

In 2013, fuel efficiency is a must-have on a list of attributes. Therefore, the designed, engineered and made in North America Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 has it all; and they’re really friggin’ good.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is the newest member of the Pilot Sport family which was first launched in 2000, and is quite possibly the most accomplished of the lot.

Some, including myself, think the P/S A/S 3’s less-than-exotic tread could play against it since people regularly refer to tires having a “good-looking” tread pattern. It’s “boring,” but is very efficient. In fact, its make-up is capable of handling cooler temperatures and, at the same time, tackling the heat.

This is not wizardry; it’s technology.

After a day of explanations and testing, I came to the simple conclusion: The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is a deceptively simple-looking tire, but the amount of technology within is surprising. I would venture in saying that this tire offers total performance with the fewest number of compromises.

The most trick component in the make-up of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is its Variable Contact Patch (VCP) first introduced on the Pilot Sport 2. The tire’s contact patch varies with the car's weight and shoe size. When driving hard, the contact patches change, thus modifying the amount of rubber contacting with the road’s surface.

By Mathieu St-Pierre,

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