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One piece of news that we missed from the recent 2016 Paris Motor Show – Michelin is replacing its Pilot Super Sport performance flagship with a new tyre, along with a new name which places it firmly in the Pilot Sport 4 family. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S will go on sale in Europe from January 2017 and in the United States from early March, in 34 sizes covering 19-inch and 20-inch diameters.

Like its predecessor, the ultra-high performance tyre is designed for use on sports cars and high-performance sports sedans from the likes of BMW M, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Designed to increase steering precision and directional stability, the Pilot Sport 4 S is said to provide maximum performance and safety on all surfaces thanks to an optimised tread footprint.

Braking performance in both dry and wet conditions is also improved through the use of bi-compound technology. A new hybrid compound on the outer tread increases grip in the dry, while a new inner compound with silica and functional elastomers provides consistent grip on wet ground. The Pilot Sport 4 S is one of the first tyres to score an A rating on the European labelling scale in wet weather braking.

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Testing by the independent organisation TÜV SÜD in Germany has put the Pilot Sport 4 S ahead of rivals Continental SportContact 6, Bridgestone Potenza S001, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 and Pirelli P Zero Nero GT in four key areas, including dry and wet braking, lap times and longevity. In terms of the latter, the Michelin was the only one to pass 50,000 km at the Dekra Test Centre.

As with other flagship Michelin tyres, the Pilot Sport 4 S benefits from the company’s Premium Touch Technology, with a velvet-like sidewall finish. There’s also a rim protector that helps protect the large diameter wheels the tyre will be fitted on from kerb damage.