DETROIT—Michelin North America Inc. is “upping the ante” in the all-season performance tire category with the Pilot Sport All-Season 3+, a tire that Michelin claims offers “breakthrough levels” of dry and wet grip as well as greatly enhanced snow traction.
The Pilot Sport All-Season 3+—introduced at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit—is a third generation all-season UHP tire. It will replace the Sport A/S 3, which launched in 2013 as the successor to the Pilot Sport All-Season Plus that rolled out in 2008.
Michelin claims the new tire has the shortest wet and dry braking of leading competitive tires in the UHP A/S category, more dry grip than the Continental ExtremeContact DW (in size 225/45ZR17 on a 2015 BMW 328i) and 28 percent better snow traction than the Pilot Sport A/S 3 it's replacing.
Among the tires Michelin tested against were the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Continental ExtremeContact DWS06, Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season, Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 and Yokohama Advan Sport A/S in size 225/45ZR17.
Michelin attributes the performance enhancements to a distinctive tread design mated with the company's proprietary “Helio+” tread compound, which incorporates “extreme” amounts of silica in the tread.
The asymmetric tread design has biting edges in the tread grooves that grab loose snow to help acceleration and braking in winter conditions and circumferential grooves and variable thickness sipes for effective water evacuation.
The tire also uses Variable Contact Patch 3.0, originally developed for world-class endurance racing, which distributes the forces and temperatures more evenly over the contact patch.