GREENVILLE, S.C., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine the exhilaration of driving the best performing street tire in the world. Now, imagine that performance fitted on your vehicle. Today, Michelin brings that performance to the marketplace with the launch of the highly anticipated MICHELIN® Pilot® Super Sport ultra-high performance tire, delivering up to 12 percent better handling and lasting up to two times longer than leading competitors.
Designed for sports cars and performance sedans, the new Michelin tire uses a full range of expertise from the leading international endurance races, in particular the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and marries this with a 30,000 mile warranty.
The MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport is designed to accomplish one goal: to deliver the ultimate driving experience while enhancing safety, even in the most extreme conditions. This combination of driving enjoyment and safety performance proved decisive in the product-development phase conducted with Porsche, BMW M Series and Ferrari.
"We believe we have created a tire that will win over the most demanding performance enthusiasts," said Kip Newton, technical category manager for ultra-high performance products, Michelin North America. "The ability to couple safety in extreme conditions with driving pleasure and excellent mileage is the result of a research and development commitment unrivaled in the tire industry. Sales of ultra high-performance vehicles are on the rise and are expected to increase more than 25 percent worldwide over the next five years. Michelin has made a commitment to continue to lead the industry, exceeding the needs of the ultra-high-performance consumer."
Michelin engineers focused on improving performance in several different areas, including endurance, safety and handling. To ensure that its latest-generation tire met the highest standards of safety, Michelin applied the same safety margins as those used in the civil-aviation industry. During testing, MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tires covered more than 30,000 miles in low-grip conditions. Altogether, the tires were evaluated on more than 62,000 miles of some of the world's most demanding tracks. In joint development with automobile manufacturers, the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport was tested for a total of 1,000 hours at over 186 mph, proving its superior level of high-speed endurance.
The tire sets a new pace with the professionals. "I was able to preview the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport in Dubai, and from the moment I stepped on the brakes, I got it: This is the ultimate tire for any high-performance vehicle. With dry braking, the braking is instantly better, you turn the steering wheel and there is more response and better grip," says champion racecar driver Gunnar Jeannette. "With wet handling, there is a huge night-and-day difference between MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport and its competitors, in both grip and feel."
Michelin has uniquely combined three technologies, including two developed for tires at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: the Ceinture Twaron® fiber belt, as well as the Bi-Compound Tread and the Variable Contact Patch 2.0, both of which were derived from innovations proven in endurance racing.
- A high-density fiber used in cutting-edge equipment for sports such as tennis, sailing and mountain biking - as well as aeronautics, protective military gear and motorsports - Twaron provides the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport with superior high-speed stability.
- Due to its variable tension, the belt tightens the tread more than the shoulders, more effectively overcoming centrifugal force and distributing pressure evenly.
- Originally developed for racing tires, this technological innovation uses different rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread.
- On the outside, a unique, carbon black-reinforced elastomer (developed specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans) ensures exceptional endurance when corners are tight.
- On the inside, a latest-generation, high-grip elastomer enables the tire to break through a wet surface and adhere to even the slightest irregularity in the road.
Variable Contact Patch 2.0
- Due to the latest digital-simulation software used in the aeronautics and automobile industries, pressure and, consequently, temperatures are spread evenly across the tire's contact patch.
- Although the patch's shape changes when cornering, the amount of rubber in contact with the road remains the same.
The MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport outperformed its five leading competitors in handling, longevity, and dry braking in a test conducted in 2010 by TUV SUD, an independent testing organization. Continuing to improve on the benchmark-setting MICHELIN Pilot Sport PS2, the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport also outperforms its predecessor in six key categories:
- Grip on dry surfaces: Tests showed a 1.6-second gain on a 1.7 mile closed-circuit track.
- Braking on dry surfaces: When decelerating from over 60 mph to a full stop, braking distance was shortened by 5 feet.
- Grip on wet surfaces: Time was reduced by 2.5 seconds on a 2.5 mile closed-circuit track.
- Braking on wet roads: When decelerating from 50 to 6 mph, braking distance was shortened by ten feet.
- Total mileage on the track: 50 percent more laps.
- Total mileage on the road: 10 percent greater distance.
In 2010, the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport received the Ferrari Technology Award. The tires have already been approved by Ferrari for the 458 Italia and 599 GTO and by Alpina for the B5.
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 21,400 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.