Usually, you have to either pick between tire performance or all-season capabilities, but with the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ you get both attributes in one tire.
An evolution of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, the 3+ boasts an upgraded rubber compound that the manufacturer says provides more dry grip than some dedicated summer tires, as well as better grip in wet or cold environments than before.I was given a set I installed on a Lexus IS 350 to put through its paces to see whether or not the claims are justified. I went on a late summer drive in southern B.C. lasting 200 kilometres or so that involved congested city roads, stretches of highway, elevated twisties and even a light sprinkling of rain, and made the following observations.
Almost immediately, I was surprised at how quiet the ride was, considering the fairly aggressive 18-inch sizing. Particularly on long high-speed runs, there was never a consistent hum that you sometimes experience with other products. Rounding corners on dry pavement, the car kept a consistent line without any protest in the form of noise or slippage. The 3+ utilizes Variable Contact Patch 3.0 technology, originally developed for Formula 1 endurance racing, which distributes forces and temperature evenly over the area of the tread that actually touches the ground, also known as the contact patch.
A few dark clouds appeared during the halfway point of my route causing a drizzle that lubricated the roads slightly. I pushed the vehicle a little less hard while things were slick, but nevertheless I didn’t feel like I was losing significant traction when turning, performing lane changes or braking hard. Michelin credits this ability to using “extreme” amounts of silica in the recipe, as well as varying the siping thickness.
Since I evaluated the tires in warm weather, I can’t yet speak to the addition of unique “biting edges” within the tread grooves that are designed to improve stability in cold conditions.
The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tire is available in 90 sizes and joins a roster that also includes the Pilot Super Sport, Sport Cup 2 and Pilot Alpin PA4. Prices start at $155.
This post is sponsored by Michelin Canada.