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Michelin Pilot Super Sport: rezulteo test on the Dubai circuit

Manufacturers Published the 03/12/2010

Hot tarmac, a reputedly slippery track, no passing room, decidedly Michelin did not take the easy option in presenting the Pilot Super Sport at the Dubai autodrome. Mind you, we did have a thoroughbred fleet. We tried it, and we liked it.

To enable us to get to grips with the Pilot Super Sport, Michelin had organised various workshops to highlight its major sporting potential. And what's more, to compare it with the products of competitor manufacturers. But we'll come back to these aspects when we speak of the technical characteristics of the Pilot Super Sport in a forthcoming issue.

Let's focus on the free drive session, as this is what enables a tyre's level of performance to be truly appreciated. To test it, we had quite an exceptional choice of mounts: Audi R8 V10, Lamborghini Murcielago LP560-4, Porsche 997 Turbo phase 2, Porsche 997 Carrera 4S, and Porsche 997 Carrera S. We chose the last one.

A curious choice some might say, given that this was the least powerful car in the bunch (385 horsepower all the same), but dictated by a very simple reason: The 997 Carrera S is the only one not with 4 wheel drive! An architecture that is perhaps less accessible to the average motorist, but which offers a unique drive.

The Porsche 911 and its backpack engine handles in a way that requires a bit of experience. Although it is more academic than previous versions, it nevertheless needs gentle handling and clear movements, without hesitating to work the front end on entering a bend to master its slight tendency to understeer. And with a minimum of respect, it reveals exceptional balance and faultless traction.

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers the 997 the sharpness of a razor blade, and the regularity of a metronome. The level of grip is easy to get, and getting out of tight corners is just a formality. The laps follow in quick succession, the pace quickens, confidence too, and despite the heat on the track, the tyres remain constant, without saturating and maintain quite an impressive level of effectiveness.

A very positive result which does not, however, take account of the life span, difficult to assess during this type of test.