Joe croser

Total 911 - - Living The Legend – 911 Owner Reports -

Northamp­ton­shire, UK @jcx911

Model 997.2 turbo

Year 2010

Ac­quired De­cem­ber 2015

About 230 to 295cm² is all that con­nects each cor­ner of our cars to the road, so it’s crit­i­cal that these pocket-diary-sized con­tact patches per­form.

Since new my car has rid­den on Bridge­stone RE050A Potenza tyres, and they’ve done the job. They’ve never let me down in the dry or the wet, and they’ve en­dured a cou­ple of track days – although they did look a bit worse for wear af­ter the LTL Track Lim­its day (is­sue 153), but I just don’t love them. The Bridge­stone RE050A tyres are hard, noisy and they just don’t com­mu­ni­cate limpet-like grip like some tyres do, and that’s not good enough for a 911 Turbo.

To be fair, they are N-rated, which means that they have been tested by Porsche for use in my size, so they are a safe bet if I want to main­tain my used-car war­ranty.

How­ever, I want tyres that make my car bet­ter, grip­pier; tyres that give me con­fi­dence to ac­cess all of its prodi­gious power. And I want less road noise so that I can hear my en­gine above all else, mak­ing my Turbo a true grand tourer. Too much? Not so! I have op­tions from Miche­lin.

Miche­lin of­fer two N-rated tyres in my sizes: the time-tested Pi­lot Sport 2 and the road-le­gal track mon­ster Pi­lot Sport Cup 2 – stan­dard fit on the GT3. Both will out­per­form the Bridge­stone in some cat­e­gories. Cup 2s pro­vide un­matched dry grip along­side a very com­pli­ant and quiet ride, but their wet and cold weather per­for­mance re­ally means it’s not the ideal tyre for year­round use. Mean­while, the Sport 2s pro­vide ac­cept­able lev­els of com­fort along­side strong abil­ity in wet and dry con­di­tions. They are an aging tyre now though, and I fear not be­ing able to get a match should I need to re­place a tyre or two – which could mean I need to buy four new tyres to deal with a punc­ture in just one.

So that leaves the new Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport 4S tyres… the dar­lings of tyre-re­view shootouts across var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions. These tyres ap­pear to blend the best of the best into a sin­gle tyre. They pro­vide (al­most) Cup 2-like grip in the dry, but sav­age the Cup 2s in the wet. They are sup­ple enough and quiet enough to play sec­ond fid­dle to the sonorous howl of my Shark­w­erks ex­haust, and they of­fer an eye-wa­ter­ing life­span with su­perb wear rates. What’s not to like? Well, they are not N-rated in my sizes, but does that re­ally mat­ter? It might if I want to re­new my ex­tended war­ranty with Porsche. Park that thought – there are still op­tions.

Miche­lin PS 4S tyres are N-rated for 20-inch wheels, so it’s not like Porsche hasn’t spent any time with Miche­lin mak­ing sure that their tyres are up to spec, and they are ho­molo­gated by AMG and Fer­rari for fac­tory fit to cer­tain mod­els, so again these tyres have clearly been tested to sat­is­fac­tory lev­els.

De­ci­sion made then. I selected Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport 4 S tyres and had them fit­ted at my lo­cal tyre spe­cial­ist. I’ll share my find­ings as the year un­folds, but early signs are great af­ter a few hun­dred miles of rain, snow and cold dry roads. Oh, what will they be like on sticky sum­mer tar­mac?

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