Now entering its fourth generation this summer, the popular Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season (PSAS) is a well-proven model under the brand’s extensive portfolio. So what’s new and just how does this latest entry hold up against its predecessors? We were given a set to try out and here’s what we found.
High-performance and all-season are usually mutually exclusive, but Michelin engineers have found a way to make the two co-exist. Looking at the tread pattern, it’s evident the outer shoulders are chunkier, the extra rubber helping with lateral grip on dry roads. Mounting and evaluating these on a Lexus IS sports sedan, in primarily favourable weather, the car devoured high-speed corners with little audible protest.
“We built this tire for passionate drivers who need their vehicles to perform in wet, dry or even cold, snowy conditions,” said Michelin brand director Matthew Cabe in a news release. “This tire covers 85% of the market, and the new generation includes sizes for the most popular high-performance vehicles being sold today.”
Speaking of the wet stuff, when the rain falls – as it often does in Metro Vancouver – additional silica injected into the race-inspired tread compound, combined with proprietary 360-Degree Variable Sipe Technology (deep interlocking slits cut across the tire’s surface), cause the Pilot Sport All-Season 4s to bite into slick pavement. In addition, the large rain grooves running down the centre rapidly evacuate water to mitigate hydroplaning.
For a product designed to be used everyday, stopping distances are better than expected in most conditions. Overall, the company reports improvements of four per cent (dry braking), five per cent (wet braking) and 10 per cent (snow traction), although I personally can’t attest to the last claim since the review took place in hottest month of the year.
Possessing a Z rating, the PSAS 4s are capable of operating at speeds in excess of 240 km/h (where permitted), reflected in Chevrolet’s choice of including them as standard equipment on the all-new C8 Corvette. A total of 105 sizes from 16 to 22 inches will available by July 2021, including 31 aimed at crossovers and SUVs, which covers everything from a Volkswagen GTI to a Range Rover Sport.
The Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is available now, with prices starting under $200 each.
Benjamin Yong is a freelance writer from Vancouver, B.C. and a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Follow him on Twitter @b_yong.