The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is a UHP tire, designed for performance vehicles. But is it the right choice for your vehicle? This review has the answers.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport delivers outstanding handling, traction, and grip, combined with impressive cornering performance and steering response. It also delivers a quiet, smooth and comfortable ride, even at high speeds. Michelin has further backed it with an extended treadwear warranty.
In this Michelin Pilot Super Sport review, we will take an in-depth look at some of its key features and technologies, its performance in different conditions, its ride quality, as well as its warranties and guarantees. We will also look at its sizes and fitment, its price range, as well as pros and cons. And by the time you finish going through this review, you will have all the details you need to decide whether it’s the right UHP tire for your performance vehicle.
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About the Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Performance vehicles are equipped with above-average capabilities in acceleration, braking, cornering and top speed. They are also fun to drive.
However, you can only leverage your vehicle’s performance features to the maximum, if you equip it with the right set of tires. And this is where ultra-high performance tires come in.
Also known as maximum performance tires, ultra-high performance tires are built to give drivers of sports cars and other performance vehicles enhanced steering response and traction, in dry and wet conditions.
And the Michelin Pilot Super Sport falls in this category. It’s a performance summer tire, designed to help you push your sports car or sporty sedan to its performance limits.
Design Features and Technologies
According to Michelin, the Pilot Super Sport is engineered to deliver ultimate precision handling.
Also, Michelin has stated that the Pilot Super Sport is built to deliver enhanced braking performance, as well as long tread life.
To meet these objectives, Michelin has equipped this tire with several advanced features and technologies such as:
Racing-Inspired Tread Compound
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is an ultra-high performance tire. And ultra-high performance tires should deliver a spirited performance at the racing track.
To ensure this happens, Michelin has outfitted the Pilot Super Sport with a racing-inspired bi-carbon rubber compound.
It features a carbon-black reinforced elastomer, designed to help the tire endure stress and pressure during high-speed cornering.
Michelin has also provisioned this tire with its latest wet-oriented elastomers. These elastomers combined with the tire’s inboard shoulder and the notched center ribs, to deliver superior wet traction, handling and grip at higher speeds.
So, even if you push your vehicle to the limit, you can expect this tire to hold up well in wet conditions.
Michelin Acoustic Technology
Some models of this tire have been equipped with Michelin’s exclusive Acoustic Technology. This technology features custom-made polyurethane foam in the tire, which absorbs road noise while dampening interior noise.
According to Michelin, this technology can significantly reduce road noise and vibrations by up to 20%, compared to other tires on the market.
And as a result, everyone in your vehicle will enjoy a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride, which will come in handy, especially during those long road trips.
Solid Internal Construction
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport also comes with solid internal construction. It features two steel belts, which have been reinforced with a Twaron cord.
Twaron is a high-density fiber, which is mainly used in some of the latest equipment for sailing, tennis, protective military gear, mountain bikes as well as aeronautics.
It’s renowned for its superior strength and stability. It’s also much lighter, compared to other materials that are used to make this part of a tire.
The use of Twaron cord reinforcement is designed to enable this tire to withstand the forces of high-speed cornering, without adding excessive weight.
According to the manufacturer, the use of Twaron helped to reduce the tire’s overall weight by approximately 10%, resulting in better performance and handling.
Durable Tread Compound
Maximum performance summer tires are engineered to deliver top-notch speed and handling. To achieve this, most manufacturers tend to compromise on durability.
As a result, most of the tires in this category tend to wear out after only attaining approximately 15,000 to 20,000 miles.
However, this is not the case with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Michelin has equipped it with a durable tread compound, which can last for up to 30,000 miles.
Variable Contact Patch 2.0
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport also features Michelin’s Variable Contact Patch 2.0 technology.
This technology helps to distribute temperature and pressure uniformly across the tire’s contact patch, resulting in enhanced performance on the track.
Michelin has equipped the Pilot Super Sport with the standard tread wear indicators that you will find in all its tires. As their name suggests, tread wear indicators are designed to show the driver the tire’s level of wear.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport’s tread wear indicators are a series of narrow rubber bars, which have been placed deep inside the tire’s grooves. These rubber bars will then become increasingly visible as the tire wears down.
Once the tire wears down to its last 2/32-inch of tread, the rubber bars will flush completely with the tire’s tread surface. This is also the legal limit in all states around the country.
And when this happens, it’s time to replace your set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires right away.
At this point, the tires cannot supply adequate traction and grip, regardless of whether you are driving in wet or dry conditions. For instance, you may find it hard to bring your vehicle to a stop, since the tires have already lost braking grip.
While you can still use them on the track for casual racing, using them on the streets is legal. So, you not only risk getting involved in a car accident but you may also end with a heavy fine.
The good news is, this is not going to happen any time soon, considering the tire’s sturdy construction.
Furthermore, Michelin has backed this tire with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty. So, in case the tread wears out prematurely, you can always claim a replacement.
Performance in Different Conditions
Maximum performance tires are built for sports cars and other high-performance vehicles.
They are designed to deliver enhanced driving responses, especially in dry conditions. These tires will allow your vehicle to react fast to driving inputs.
And considering that these tires are made with softer rubber than their all-season counterparts, they will enable your vehicle to grip the surface tightly.
As a result, they will deliver enhanced cornering performance and a smoother driving experience.
Considering that the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is marketed as a summer performance tire, it should provide this level of performance. So, does it match up to expectations?
I fitted a set of this tire on a Ford Mustang GT to evaluate its performance in different road conditions. And this is how it performed:
As much as the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is more than 10 years old, it performs like any other modern UHP tire.
And immediately I hit the tarmac, I immediately felt the difference between using this tire and a standard all-season tire.
It delivered outstanding levels of grip, especially after it attained its optimal temperature. Also, its high-speed stability is one of the best in the class. In fact, it performs better than the majority of the modern ultra-high performance tires.
Another impressive feature of this tire is its powerful braking. The braking distances were among the shortest I’ve recorded in the class, even when I was bringing the vehicle to a stop at high speeds.
I also loved how easy it is to control your vehicle when you have a set of these tires. Overall, their dry performance is phenomenal.
In fact, you may be tempted to play with your vehicle the entire day, especially when you come across one of those less-tarmacked straight roads.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is a premium ultra-high performance tire. And for such a tire, you expect it to perform reliably well on wet surfaces. The question is, does it live up to expectations?
Without a doubt, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is one of the best performers when it comes to wet and slippery conditions.
During my test ride, I didn’t experience any issues with this tire. Traction and grip were outstanding, even when I encountered extremely wet surfaces.
The braking was reliable, the cornering grip was sufficient and its overall handling was great.
So, in case it rains when you are heading somewhere, you can rely on this tire to get you through safely.
Performance in Snow and Ice
I didn’t see the need for testing this tire on snow and icy roads, since it’s not designed for such conditions.
But according to drivers who have used it on snow and ice, it provides some traction, which may be sufficient to get you through without getting stuck. However, you will need to be extra cautious with your driving.
Simply put, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is not a winter tire. It’s specifically engineered to be used in dry conditions. Its tread compound will become extremely hard in freezing conditions, leading to considerable loss of traction.
While it may deliver some usable traction, you are not guaranteed a safe driving experience in such conditions.
So, if you own a performance vehicle and your area experiences severe wintry conditions running for several months, you should just use a dedicated UHP winter tire.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is not suitable for off-road driving. It lacks adequate tread depth to handle muddy conditions, loose gravel, sand and slippery surfaces.
Furthermore, its sticky rubber may pick lots of debris whenever you are driving with it in off-road terrains, and this may lead to stone drilling.
While it may be a durable tire, it’s not enough to withstand the rugged and aggressive elements found in off-roading terrains such as rocks and tree stumps. And these materials may lead to premature damage and shortened tread life.
Also, there’s a high chance you will void its warranty by using it for off-road driving. Simply put, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is only engineered for on-road driving.
So, if you have an upcoming activity where you may encounter off-road terrains it will be highly advisable to use a tire engineered for such conditions.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport also delivered a smooth and refined ride. I didn’t experience any excessive vibrations in the cabin or road noise when using this tire.
While the version I was using doesn’t have Acoustic Technology, it rolled smoothly and quietly all through, even when I was driving at higher than average speeds.
However, I should also mention that the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tends to fall behind some of the other tires in its category when it comes to ride quality.
But considering that this tire is more than 10 years old, this can be expected, since modern UHP tires have been equipped with newer features and technologies.
Warranties and Guarantees
Tires don’t come cheap. And when you buy a set of tires, you expect to last as long as their advertised life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes they may wear out prematurely, meaning you may not get value for your money.
Fortunately, Michelin stands behind its tires with solid warranties and guarantees, offered under the Michelin Promise Plan. These warranties and guarantees are designed to provide its tire buyers with some relief, in case the tire wears out or fails prematurely. And the Pilot Super Sport is no exception.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport comes with two key warranties. These are a manufacturer’s warranty and a mileage warranty. It also comes with a customer satisfaction guarantee as well as a roadside assistance service. Let’s take a closer look at what is covered under each warranty and guarantee.
Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty
As its name suggests, the manufacturer’s limited warranty is a materials and workmanship warranty, designed to protect you from defects or issues within Michelin’s control.
Such issues may include things like tread separation, irregular wear, as well as broken belts in the tire, among others. So, if your Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire is removed from service due to such defects, Michelin will replace it with a comparable new tire.
Michelin may replace the tire with a comparable new one or replace it on a pro-rated adjustment depending on when it’s removed from service.
If your Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire becomes unserviceable due to workmanship or materials defects during its first 2/32-inch of the original usable tread or within 12 months from the purchase date, Michelin will replace it with a comparable new one free of charge.
Michelin will also cover the tire’s mounting and balancing charges while you will be responsible for applicable taxes and miscellaneous service charges.
And if your tire is removed from service due to workmanship or materials defects when more than 2/32-inch of its original usable tread has been worn or after 12 months from the purchase date, Michelin will do the replacement on a pro-rated adjustment.
Therefore, you will cover a portion of the tire’s replacement cost. An authorized Michelin tire dealer will determine your replacement charge by multiplying the percentage of the original usable tread worn off the tire by the tire’s current selling price.
You also be responsible for the tire’s mounting and balancing charges, as well as applicable taxes and other service charges.
Coverage under the manufacturer’s limited warranty extends for 6 years from the tire’s date of purchase or until it's worn down to its treadwear maintenance indicators, whichever occurs first.
Warranty Conditions and Exclusions
Michelin’s materials and workmanship warranty doesn’t cover tires removed from service due to abuse, misuse or accidents. These may include things like damage caused by:
- Incorrect tire mounting
- Road hazards like snags, cuts, bruises, punctures and impact damages
- Improper maintenance and misapplication
- Chemical corrosion, fire, vandalism or accidents
- Rapid or uneven tire wear
- Improper storage
- Weather cracking
- Cosmetic modifications
Also known as mileage warranted, this warranty will protect you from loss if your Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire wears out before it attains the warranted mileage. In this case, Michelin has backed this tire with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty.
So, if your Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire wears out uniformly across the surface of its tread without attaining 30,000 miles, Michelin will replace it.
Replacement under this warranty will also be done on a pro-rated adjustment, where you will contribute some of the tire’s replacement costs.
Your replacement cost will be obtained by multiplying the mileage percentage your Michelin Pilot Super Sport tire has delivered with the dealer’s current selling price.
Also, you will cover the tire’s mounting and balancing charges, applicable taxes and other service charges that may be incurred during its replacement.
Michelin will only replace your tire under the mileage warranty if you adhere to certain conditions.
First, you need to be the original buyer of the tire. Also, you will need to be the owner of the vehicle on which the tires were originally installed. Furthermore, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport should only have been used in that vehicle.
Second, your Michelin Pilot Super Sport set of tires should have been rotated and inspected for at least every 6,000 miles to 8,000 miles or as indicated in the vehicle’s maintenance manual.
Third, you will be required to provide an authorized Michelin tire dealer with a completed service record form, its original invoice, as well as the original installation information form.
Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport also comes with a 60-day customer satisfaction guarantee.
Under this guarantee, Michelin gives you up to 60 days after buying a set of this tire, to decide whether you should keep them or not.
If you are not completely satisfied with their performance and you opt not to keep them, you can return them to their original place of purchase.
After returning them, the dealer will exchange them with a new set of comparable tires. The replacement tires offered will be of similar or lesser value to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
Roadside Assistance Service
Michelin is among the few companies in the industry whose tires come with roadside assistance service. And the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is also eligible for this service.
As its name suggests, this service is designed to help you get back on the road in case you encounter an issue while driving. Some of the services offered under this service include:
- Flat tire change
- Battery jump start
- Gas, water, and oil delivery
- Lockout service
- Free towing for up to 150 miles
This service is available to all eligible customers round the clock. Coverage is provided for a maximum of 3 years from the tire’s purchase date.
You will need to have an inflated spare for the flat tire change. In case you don’t have one, towing will be provided to the nearest auto repair shop free of charge. But as mentioned earlier, free towing is only provided for up to 150 miles.
Fitment and Compatibility
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport comes in several sizes, ranging from 17 inches to 22 inches.
And with such a wide range of sizes, it can fit the majority of sports cars and performance vehicles within this size range. Some of the vehicles that the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is compatible with include:
- Cadillac CTS, CT6, ELR, CT4, ATS and XTS
- Ford Mustang GT
- BMW Z4, X2, X6, X1, X3 and X4
- Acura TSX, TL, NSX, ILX and RSX
- Mini Cooper S
- Audi A3, A4, A5, A3 Quattro, A4 Quattro, A5 Quattro, A6, A5 Sportback, A7, A6 Quattro, A8, Q3, RS5, RS7, S5, S3, S4, S6 and S7
- Chevrolet Camaro, Malibu, Cruze, Impala, Cruze Limited, SS and Corvette
- Honda S2000, HR-V, Accord, CR-Z and Civic
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Kia Stinger, Forte5, Forte, Rio, Forte Koup, Optima, Niro and Soul
- Buick LaCrosse and Cascada
- Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper Paceman, Mini Cooper Countryman and Mini Cooper Clubman
- Lotus Evora GT, Evija and Evora
- Mazda MX-5, Mazda3 and RX-8
- Hyundai Sonata, Elantra, Veloster, Accent, Genesis, Veloster N and Elantra GT
- Infiniti M35, M56, Q60, M37, Q50, Q70 and G37
- Nissan 370Z, GT-R, Juke and 350Z
- Toyota Corolla, Avalon, Camry, GR Supra and C-HR
- Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, S65 AMG, C300 and SL500
- Volkswagen Tiguan, GTI, Golf, Jetta, Golf Alltrack, Golf SportWagen and Golf R
- Subaru Impreza WRX, Legacy and Impreza
- Lincoln Continental, MKZ and MKC
- Volvo XC40, S90, V60 Cross Country, and S80
- Pontiac GTO, G8 and Solstice
- Volkswagen GTi, Beetle and R32
- Porsche Boxter, Spyder, Taycan, Panamera 911 and Cayman
Michelin Pilot Super Sport Price Range
Prices for this tire are currently ranging from approximately $150 going up. The actual cost that you will pay for the tire will depend on your vehicle’s wheel size. Also, it will depend on where you are buying your set of tires.
For example, Discount Tire is currently selling this tire for approximately $150 to $600 while the tire is going for around $140 to $550 on Tire Buyer. And if you decide to shop at Tire Rack, you will spend around $150 to $500 per tire.
So, for a set of four tires, you will spend approximately $600 to $2400, depending on your vehicle’s wheel size.
Should You Buy the Michelin Pilot Super Sport?
As mentioned earlier, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is a summer performance tire. It’s designed to boost various aspects of your vehicle’s performance capabilities.
But should you buy this tire? Here are a few scenarios where you may want to equip your vehicle with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport:
You Participate in Racing Events
If you frequently participate in racing events or you are planning to participate in an upcoming driving event, then the Michelin Pilot Super Sport will be a perfect fit for your vehicle.
It’s specifically engineered to handle the stress a tire experiences in these driving conditions without compromising performance.
You Take Spirited Drives
While performance tires are designed for the racing track, you don’t need one to appreciate their incredible benefits.
So, if you frequently take spirited drives alone or with your friends on less-trafficked windy mountain roads, then this tire will be an ideal match for your vehicle.
You Want to Maximize Your Vehicle’s Performance
If you own a sports car or a performance vehicle, accomplishing your vehicle’s maximum performance will be impossible without a set of performance tires.
For instance, standard all-season tires will not bring out all the performance features that your vehicle has been equipped with. For instance, steering response and chassis feedback will be average.
So, if you want to maximize your vehicle’s performance capabilities, then you should consider equipping your vehicle with a set of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport Pros
- Exceptional dry and wet traction
- Smooth, comfortable and refined ride
- Extended treadwear warranty
- Top-notch handling and steering response
Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cons
- No winter traction
While the Michelin Pilot Super Sport may be more than a decade old, it remains one of the best performance tires on the market. It delivers outstanding wet and dry traction, decent steering response, great handling and stability, as well as a comfortable and refined ride. It also comes with one of the longest treadwear warranties in the category. Overall, if you own a sports car, sporty sedan, sports coupe or any other performance vehicle, then the Michelin Pilot Super Sport will be an ideal match. It’s specifically engineered to take your vehicle’s performance a notch higher.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding