What every best Tires has:
- A good warranty.
- Good road manners.
- Good grip.
Track favorite. Car and Driver names the Michelin Pilot Super Sport the best maximum-performance tire in its review, saying it has "the best balance of wet and dry performance we've ever experienced in testing." On the track, pro driver Woody Rogers with Hot Rod magazine says the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is "awesome at the front turn-in and under straight-line braking and acceleration." Owners agree, giving it tap marks for cornering stability, dry traction and steering response. Overall, experts and owners say the only tire that approaches it in terms of balanced performance on all roads and driving conditions, is the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (Est. $190 and up), a slightly upgraded version that will be replacing the Super Sport in the coming years.
Comfortable for its class. According to TireRack.com, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport's ride is better than comparable tires from Bridgestone, Goodyear and Toyo, though the Michelin lets "through a little more edge to the sharper and larger impacts." The one aspect the editors would change is a small improvement in ride comfort. The Pilot Super Sport demonstrates "less finesse and feedback" than a similar tire from Continental, says Car and Driver. Editors at TireRack.com describe tread and road noise as moderate, but owner reviews at the same site say Michelin's ride comfort is the best among tires that sit in the maximum performance class.
Excellent life span and warranty. Summer tires are constructed out of softer materials to maximize grip under all conditions except ice and snow, though this also leads to shorter life spans. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport wears well for a summer/performance tire, with many owners getting 30,000 miles or more on one set. Michelin covers the Pilot Super Sport with a six-year, 30,000-mile tread warranty. In terms of fuel efficiency, TireRack.com notes that tires in this class are generally not designed with low rolling resistance as a "high priority." In the site's comparison tests among other summer tires, the Super Sport finishes just a smidge behind the top performer in fuel consumption in two separate trials. However, ConsumerReports.org, which does not grade on a curve, rates rolling resistance to be poor.
As part of their extensive tests on passenger tires, ConsumerReports.org evaluates a number of ultra-high-performance summer tires, including the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. The editors score each tire on a series of handling, performance and comfort factors.
Race car driver Randy Pobst uses a Ford Mustang to test out three sets of tires: the car's OE tires, along with Pirelli Nero All-Season, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The Pilot Super Sport has the most grip, with handling and performance that Pobst calls impressive.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport places fifth (out of seven) in its lap times, with editors saying its steering takes a little more work and patience. On straight sections of the track, the test driver says acceleration and braking are outstanding.
Editors test nine summer-performance tires for this review, searching for a set with the ultimate grip. They name the Michelin Pilot Super Sport as the best, above the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 and Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08. Its wet and dry handling is especially outstanding, they note. Though this is an older review, the conclusions are still relevant and the tested tires are still popular and available.
Editors test the Michelin Pilot Super Sport alongside three other sets of maximum-performance tires -- Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position, Dunlop Sport Maxx RT and Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105. With high scores for handling, low tread noise and overall traction, the Michelin is called "Still king of the hill in the Max Performance Summer category."
In an earlier test of maximum-performance summer tire test, TireRack.com puts four different models through an extensive evaluation. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport ranks first overall, followed by the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 and Toyo Proxes 1.
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 1,200 customer reviews representing more than 7.8 million driving miles. It pulls down top grades of Excellent across all handling, comfort, and durability criteria. It's currently rated by users as the second (out of 32) best tire in the site's Maximum Performance Summer category, outdone only by its eventual successor, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, though that tire's rating is based on far fewer reviews and driving miles.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are tested over hundreds of hours and "about 8,000 miles" on several different models of BMW cars to see how they handled on different roads and tracks, as well as suspensions and power outputs. The resulting overall score was 9.6 out of 10. The author notes that, like all summer tires, the Super Sport is not intended to be driven in freezing conditions.