The new Ford Focus RS equipped by Michelin
Tyre manufacturer Michelin, as part of its partnership with Ford Performance, has developed the two tyres, the Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2, to exclusively equip the brand new Ford Focus RS.
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The new Ford Focus RS will soon be available on the market. The opportunity to reconsider the exceptional tyre equipment of a sporty car, which is announced as the next standard of its range.
It may well be one of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers for low rolling resistance tyres, Michelin still has a competitive streak. As part of its partnership with Ford Performance, the sports department of the American brand, Michelin has developed the two tyres, the Pilot Super Sport (fitted as standard) and the Pilot Sport Cup 2 (optional) to exclusively equip the brand new Focus RS whose production is set to start.
To adapt the Pilot Sport Cup 2 to the Ford Focus RS, Michelin only needed 2000 km of tests on various tracks. A total that seems low at first, but which was confirmed by the tyre manufacturer who explains: “all type approval work previously carried out with other manufacturers has enabled us to be very efficient in the development of tyres for the Ford Focus RS. The relationship and dialogue with Ford helped us quickly understand what they expected from tyres. Our relationship is strong, enabling us to quickly take up the challenge”. A timely manner to point out that the Pilot Sport Cup 2, which notably set two records at Nurburgring in 2014 with the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, is not exactly a newcomer. And in rain, the Pilot Sport Cup 2 is rated A for wet braking distance.
To produce its tyres, Michelin has opted for a rubber compound based on Bi-Compound technology that distinguishes between the interior and exterior parts of the tread with, on the exterior, a “High Molecular Chain” elastomer that promotes grip in tight bends, and on the interior, a more rigid elastomer whose role is to ensure precise steering. Another common point, the tyre manufacture has decided to equip them with an aramid belt which, at equivalent weight is five times stronger than steel, allowing the profile of the tyre to remain constant at high speeds and also ensure maximum grip.
Concerning each tyre’s specific features, the Pilot Sport Cup 2 uses version 3 (version 2 for the Pilot Super Sport) of the Track Variable Contact Patch technology which, by optimising pressure in the contact surface area, keeps the same amount of rubber in contact with the road in all situations.
The Pilot Sport Cup 2 also has a new low area (+10 %) and increased rigidity to improve driving precision, as well as sidewalls with the “velvet” Premium Touch technology that create shades of black.
Both tyres will be available in the dimension 234/35 R19, and are aimed at complementary uses. The Pilot Super Sport is fitted at standard and is designed for a sporty but versatile use, whereas the Pilot Sport Cup 2 is geared towards a more radical use, potentially on race tracks.
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