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Geneva Motor Show: the Michelin-Pirelli supercar race

Sport Published the 18/03/2011

Reputed for its fondness for sports cars, the Geneva Motor Show is an opportunity for the two tyre makers to position themselves in the very high-performance segment and promote their technical partnerships with prestige manufacturers and tuners.

Michelin and Pirelli are competing to fit sport cars at Geneva Copyright © : All Rights Reserved

Here's a paradox: the more speed cameras installed at the road-edge, the more powerful cars become! This was obvious at the Geneva Motor Show, which has always attracted hot cars. 2011 was no exception highlighting the incredible rise in power in the supercar segment: The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 SuperSport proudly showing off its… 1200 horsepower, a figure symbolically dethroning its show neighbour, the Koenigsegg Agera with 1185 hp, running on E85 biofuel.

Faced with this orgy of horsepower, two tyre brands stand out: Michelin and Pirelli. In Geneva, the two tyre makers have battled it out to fit the most prestigious manufacturers and tuners. A quick tour of the stands.

Pirelli runs for Italian brands

Logically, Pirelli gets the lion's share of Italian production, including all the Maseratis (GranTurismo MC Stradale, GranTurismo, GranCabrio, Quattroporte), the Lamborghini Aventador lp700-4, the very charismatic Pagani Huayra and the insolent Alfa Romeo 4C. But the Italian maker also steps off its home turf to fit the Mercedes SLS Brabus 700 Biturbo or the Aston Martin Virage.

Michelin woos the tuners

More eclectic, Michelin goes down well with the tuners, namely with the Sportec range, including the highly efficient SPR1FL of 858 hp. But also the Porsche 997 BTR-II 580 Speedart, the Cayenne SpeedArt Titan Evo-XL 580, the BMW 535i Kelleners Sport, not forgetting the Koenigsegg Agera R, the Bugatti Veyron and all models on the Porsche stand.

On the finishing line: almost a dead heat

Let it be said: competition is tough. While Michelin equips the most powerful cars in the show, Pirelli is operating in an elitist world where exigency rivals with elegance. Not much between the two competitors. Proof? On its stand, Ferrari was exhibiting two models of its newest arrival, the TT: one gray, fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, and one yellow fitted with Pirelli Pzero tyres.

More:

> The manufacturer's podium at the Geneva Motor Show