In the hot sun of southern Spain tires can come into question, especially in a performance sedan. The M5 was shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sports and they did an admirable job keeping the car connected to the tarmac both on the street and track. Wear was even and they didn ‘t get as greasy as we expected. All in all they were an impressive tire and there is some interesting technology behind them. Full release after the jump.
MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport fitted on the new BMW M5 (Press Release)
To equip its new BMW M5 high performance sedan, the Munich-based carmaker has certified the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport, the world’s fastest street tire on the racetrack (1). The MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport delivers all the motorsports experience acquired by Michelin, notably in the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
All of the new BMW M5 models will leverage the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport’s leading-edge technology, featuring a unique combination of three components: the Twaron®-reinforced belt, the Bi-Compound tread band and the Variable Contact Patch 2.0.
– The Twaron® belt is a high-density fiber primarily used in aeronautics and protective military gear, whose key feature is its high traction resistance. Strong and light at the same time, Twaron® is five times more resistant than steel at equivalent weight. Thanks to its variable tension, the belt tightens the tread more than the shoulders, so that centrifugal force is more effectively overcome and pressure is more evenly distributed.
– Originally developed for racing tires, Bi-Compound technology uses different rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread. On the outside, an elastomer ensures exceptional endurance in tight cornering, while on the inside, a different elastomer combines with a special tread design to enable the tire, on wet pavement, to break through the water’s surface and adhere to even the slightest irregularities in the road.
– The innovative feature of the Variable Contact Patch 2.0 is that the patch changes shape depending on actual driving conditions, thereby guaranteeing total vehicle control. In this way, even as the patch’s shape changes when cornering, the amount of rubber in contact with the road remains the same.
The combination of these three technologies delivers the exciting drive that BMW M was looking for, particularly in terms of precision steering, sportiness and safety, on both street and track. What’s more, the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport offers superior mileage, one of the brand’s traditional hallmarks.
This performance balance reflects the successful transfer of technology from track to street, as well as the two years of close cooperation with the carmaker on the BMW M5 project. All together, nearly 1,200 prototype tires and 1,000 pre-series tires have been produced, measured and tested in extreme conditions. From the Nordschleife circuit in Germany to the Ladoux test tracks in France, the tires underwent extensive track and street testing. These road trials are critically important to both BMW M and Michelin, as a reflection of their shared commitment to high performance.
(1)The tire recorded the fastest lap time in a dry-circuit test conducted against its five leading competitors in 2010 by TÜV SÜD Automotive, an independent organization, using 245/40 ZR 18 Y and 235/35 ZR 19 Y tires.