The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is a popular OEM tire utilized by various manufactures. The PSS is a great street tire that has excellent wear, dry grip, and wet grip. Since the Pilot Sport 4 S has been released, the PSS has lost some popularity, although it’s still a great tire choice for those that do not need the increased performance of the Pilot Sport 4 S.
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The Pilot Super Sport is Michelin’s Max Performance Summer tire initially introduced as Original Equipment on several of the world’s most sophisticated performance vehicles, including the exclusive, limited-edition Ferrari 599 GTO, Ferrari’s fastest road car ever. Developed for drivers who care about how tire technology enhances their vehicle’s performance and safety, Pilot Super Sport tires expand the Max Performance Summer tire performance envelope by delivering durability, handling and traction while increasing tread life.
Building on the development of racing tires designed to carry Prototype and GT class cars to endurance race victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring and Road Atlanta’s Petit Lemans, Pilot Super Sport tires are designed to deliver consistent performance and longevity by blending Max Performance driving characteristics with extended tread wear.
While the importance of tire treadwear in endurance racing may not be immediately apparent, Michelin tires set records during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010. One of the 2010 LMP Class leaders completed 46 consecutive laps on one set of tires with an average pace just 1% off of the pole position qualifying time. That’s almost 400 racing miles on one set of tires at an average speed of 150 mph.
Additionally, the overall winner used just 11 sets of tires to cover a record 3,362 miles, averaging nearly 140 mph and almost 300 racing miles per set of tires. That represented almost a 25% wear improvement compared to just one year earlier where the overall winner needed 14 sets of tires to cover 3,235 miles. By developing longer wearing racing tires without sacrificing performance, Michelin tires allowed the teams to run record race paces while converting some of the time previously spent changing tires in the pits into productive time covering more miles on the track.
While Pilot Super Sport tires are designed to allow sports cars, sporty coupes, performance sedans and supercars to achieve their full potential in dry and wet conditions, like all summer tires they are not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.
The Pilot Super Sport features an asymmetric design molded of Michelin’s Bi-Compound tread rubber featuring a Le Mans-inspired dry compound outboard side-by-side with their latest generation of wet compound inboard. The low-void outboard shoulder features a track-type compound to withstand the stresses of high performance cornering while the notched center ribs and inboard shoulder feature a compound designed for superior performance at very high speeds and in wet conditions.
The tire’s internal structure features twin steel belts reinforced by spirally wound Twaron cord. Twaron is a polyamide cord that offers a lightweight, high-strength reinforcement above the steel belts to enhance high-speed handling, wear and durability. Michelin FAZ Technology (Filament At Zero degrees) winds the Twaron cord around the tire circumference much the same way fishing line is wound onto fishing reels to allow Michelin engineers to tune tension and strength. The Pilot Super Sport features a polyester casing to promote a comfortable ride and responsive handling.
Pilot Super Sport tires are comparatively light, with weight savings of up to 10% compared to other tires of similar dimensions. This reduces unsprung weight to improve handling.
Limited sizes of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport are available with Michelin Acoustic Technology, which involves the manufacturer adhering a layer of sound-absorbing foam to the inner liner of the tire to reduce cabin noise in the vehicle.
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