After teasing on their website for the past week, Michelin Malaysia has just introduced the replacement to their high performance Pilot Sport 3 (PS3) tyre, the Pilot Sport 4 (PS4). For those who have tried and tested the PS3, you will know that the PS4 has big shoes to fill.
Let’s dive straight into the technical aspects of the brand new PS4. The PS4 is engineered and developed with the aim to satisfy consumers who have a burning passion towards driving and a strong concern towards safety in both dry and wet surfaces. To further improve the already excellent PS3, Michelin engineers compiled the knowledge and experience they have in motorsports and ultra-high performance (UHP) tyres and applied them on the road-biased PS4.
Firstly, the new thread pattern on the PS4 is inspired by Michelin’s Formula E tyres. When placed side by side, one can hardly tell the difference between the two, claims Michelin. This gives the PS4 a very similar thread pattern to racing tyres that provide superb handling in the dry and wet.
Unlike in Formula One where the teams utilise unique sets of tyres specifically for either wet or dry conditions, Formula E employs one specific pattern for both conditions. Therefore, Michelin as Formula E’s official tyre supplier developed a unique pattern that is able to handle the immense instant torque from Formula E’s racing cars yet provide superb performance in the dry and wet.
As a result, the PS4, which closely resembles the Formula E racing tyres boasts 10 percent greater positive profile that gives more contact between the rubbers and the road surface as well as a more rigid thread that maintains a more consistent contact patch during high speed manoeuvres as compared to the outgoing PS3.
The trickled down technology does not stop there. The new PS4 is now made with an additional tyre carcass layer dubbed the Hybrid Aramid-nylon belt. First used in Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tyres, the hybrid compound combines the two materials to produce a robust yet lightweight belt to withstand centrifugal force and maintain contact patch at extreme speeds. This in return ensures a high level of traction and precise handling on the road.
To further enhance the tyres’ performance in the wet, Michelin has added a new-generation functional elastomers and silica hydrophobic into the tyre compound. These compounds work on a molecular level that repels water upon contact, allowing for the drainage system to begin even before the tyre grooves do their work.
Lastly, as seen in Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 S and other high performance tyres from the company, the PS4 gets Michelin Premium Touch Technology® treatment at the sidewalls. This technology gives a velvet-like finish to the tyre writing and acts as a cushion for the rim when it comes into contact with a kerb.
Unlike the PS3 which starts from 15-inch, the PS4 range starts from 16-inch all the way up to 19-inch in diameter. In total, Michelin Malaysia has 23 different sizes made available for the PS4, with retail prices starting from RM481. The tyres are produced in Thailand while some specific sizes are imported from Europe.
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For Thailand made tyres, Michelin explained that the compound is slightly harder than its European twin. This is due to the difference in manufacturing process but assures that both are identical in quality and performance. Besides that, Thai imported products have a “ST” marking to indicate that it is manufactured for the South East Asian market.
Still not convinced that this is the tyre for you? Stay tuned for our full review of the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4!