Behind the scenes with German tuner Wiesmann
Michelin invited Rezulteo to visit the workshops of German tuner Wiesmann whose roadsters keep fans of stylish GT’s dreaming. The reason of our visit? The German tuner is part of a small circle of manufacturers involved in developing Michelin’s ultra high performance tyres. Today, almost all Weismann models are equipped with the famous Pilot Super Sport. A guided tour and a breathtaking test of the Weismann roadster, MF5 555 HP.
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For a tyre manufacturer, a brand like Wiesmann is somewhat special. The brand does not generate enough sales to merit the respect that manufacturers like Porsche enjoy, with the development of specific markings. But nor can it be considered as a high performance “tuner”. On this basis, Michelin has created a department dedicated to niche manufacturers like Wiesmann or Koenigsegg. Its objective: Enter into a constructive discussion with these manufacturers to respond to their needs as closely as possible.
Visit of the manufacturing plant
Wiesmann is no ordinary manufacturer. Located at Dülmen, near Munster, this performance driven craftsman maintains a certain idea of the automobile, halfway between modernism and conservatism. Visiting its manufacturing plant is a rare opportunity. Here, workers have not been replaced by robots: They are present at every stage of production. Monocoque chassis, running gear, interior, engine, body and upholstery: All cars are made to measure, based on their future owner’s desires.
A fruitful partnership with Michelin
In this context, the involvement of various providers has proved essential in delivering technically consistent products. If BMW has provided engine-gear box assemblies from the start, the suspension is developed with Bilstein. The same goes for tyres. The first models (MF3) were fitted with Pirelli tyres. But over time, Wiesmann has grown closer to Michelin, now its almost exclusive supplier with the Pilot Super Sport tyre.
This close relationship is the fruit of the tyre manufacturer’s choice to develop its ultra high performance tyres with prestigious manufacturers such as Ferrari or Porsche but also with tuners such as AMG, Koenigsegg or Wiesmann.
In the tuning phase, Wiesmann has conducted several test sessions with prototype tyres on its sports cars. The benefits of this partnership are equally shared: Michelin has developed a high performance product suitable for several vehicles; and Wiesmann has upgraded its running gear, a particularly sensitive point on vehicles meeting its production requirements: Lower vehicle weight, significant power, rear wheel drive.
Test of a Wiesmann MF5 Roadster
We had the privilege of driving a Wiesmann, and by no means the smallest: a MF5 Roadster ! Mechanically, the Beast has an engine block derived from the BMW X6 M and M5 F10, i.e. a V8 twin-turbo producing 555 HP, with a 6 speed sequential transmission. This amount of horsepower commands respect, especially when compared to the vehicle’s weight of 1 410 kg.
Even if the scope of the test was limited to avoid any risk of uncontrolled manoeuvres, we were able to get a good idea of the power behind the MF5 and whether the Michelin Pilot Super Sport suited its characteristics. Extreme acceleration, hair-raising sounds: Lots of power just raring to go. The roadster however, quickly gives a good feeling of security. Despite the lack of grip on the airport runway which we used as a test track and the light rain falling that day, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport sticks to the road with an efficiency that is difficult to fault.
> A few pictures to illustrate our first experience
Michelin Pilot Super Sport: Tyres for Wiesmann
All Wiesmann ranges will be fitted with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
Front: 235/35 ZR19
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