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Thread: The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Decision

  1. #1
    Z8 Novice
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    The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Decision

    My Father and I spent some time researching before coming to a final decision… figured I’d share it here so other owners can debate, refine, apply it, etc. towards their own stock 18” tire replacement decisions (and get back on the open roads quicker)! Admittedly, just learning about the available tires to this unique car with my Dad is part of the fun we’re having together.

    Here we go-
    The Task: Replace all 4 oem Bridgestone RE040 RFT tires on a 2001 Z8 (silver/black).
    The Issue(s): Run Flat/ Non-Run Flat and what tire make/ model.
    The Decision: Michelin Pilot PS4S, 245/45 front and 265*/40 rear.
    Driving Impressions: TBD after installation

    Task: Taking ownership with under 11,600 miles on the clock, the Bridgestone RE040 run flats on the car were well overdue for replacement. The fronts were manufactured in 2000 (crazy to me this wasn’t brought to the prior owner’s attention), and the rears, 2008. Physically they still look good, but other than getting us home 100+ miles, they were ready for recycling. Given current Z8 values, I don’t think smoky drifts and donuts are in the cards, but being able to see how the car sat on the tires on delivery day was pretty neat. There is a healthy amount of sidewall width (girth?) to protect the rim from curb rash should the situation arise. The contour provides an older, racecar look- preferable to the sea of ultra-low profile, squared sidewalls one sees too often on the roads today.

    Issue #1: Our sights began with the newer Bridgestone RE050A RFTs, to replace the hockey pucks, figuring flat protection would provide peace of mind, while assuming the current generation of run flats would make the stiff original a distant memory. Since this post can easily get way too long (it will anyway), I’m gonna press the fast forward button here, and point you to the excellent thread I read in entirety, for a discussion of the tradeoffs opting for non-runflats, and particularly in support of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport:

    http://www.bmwz8.us/forum/tires-whee...riod-3564.html


    I was hoping to find defenses of contemporary run flats installed on Z8s, but “drew” mostly blanks. Satch has the Bridgestones and sounds happy, but they are turning below his Alpina suspension. The other run-flat options were Continental, Dunlop, and Pirelli, but I couldn’t find any reviews on those. Meanwhile, my personal experience with Michelins for the most part has been positive, across several daily drivers, but probably tinted most by the PS2 currently on my ’96 Viper (Pilot Sport before that). On the track, they are very predictable at the limit, while on the street, surprisingly compliant and quiet. We’re talking summer only 275/40 front and 335/35 rear steamrollers. They appear to have plenty of endurance as well, and look decent after 5,000+ miles, with 3 track days mixed in, some spent up at 145-150mph.

    After going back and forth on the pros and cons (whether perceived or measurable) without actually experiencing any, my Dad made the final call to pass on the run-flat security blanket. If the Pilot Super Sports are good enough for the owners who drive these cars the most, they’ll be great for him! One additional data point: the Bridgestone RE050A RFT was over $2k all-in (including warranty certificates).

    Issue #2: There is more… circuitously, I found out Michelin stopped producing the front 245/45ZR18 in December 2017. This info came directly from a representative at Michelin Consumer Care, 866-866-6605 (full disclosure, I’m purely relaying the rep’s words). I only reached this point because I was tired of conflicting answers from local tire stores, that ranged between zero availability across distributors (said with 100% confidence), to the “oh the PSS is an old tire design now.” Coming from what I do, why can't I get something transparent like “I am not positive on the answer at this moment, but allow me some time to get back to you on that.”

    While the 245/45 front is discontinued, there still IS inventory floating out there, predominantly at Tire Rack - customer service said their systems show 12 pairs remaining, and that’s it. For those that are on PSS currently, you might have a game time decision ahead. Plus they are on sale now at Tire Rack for $376/pair, free shipping, and no tax (CA).

    Meanwhile the 275/40 PSS rear remains in production, though eventually, per Michelin, it will be discontinued. Their plan is to replace more PSS tire sizes with the PS4S, but Consumer Care did not have anything concrete in terms of timeframes to offer, other than that PSS 275/40 won’t disappear without a PS4S taking it’s place.

    Out of curiosity, I asked what the discontinuation process looks like. Consumer Care said Michelin provides distributors with 1 year of notice from the day production will cease, but in some cases, production has stretched for 2 years.

    While I prefer to avoid mixing and tire models/patterns, the Consumer Care rep suggested that since the PS4S and PSS come from the same “family,” they are similar enough that they can be mixed if necessary, as long as the tires matched along each axle. Later I found an article stating that of the 3,000 compounds used in the PSS, only 2 made it into the PS4S. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Decision: After getting off the phone with Michelin, I was ready to let my Dad know that a PSS on every corner was the answer, and that by the time the rears were worn, the PS4S replacements would probably be out. If something were to occur to the PSS fronts, then the PS4S fronts would have to pinch hit. Regardless, a set of non run flats came out to about half the cost of the RE050A.

    With the decision made, my Dad stopped by the tire store to have them coordinate the order for the full PSS set and also to schedule an appointment for installation. While there, one manager suggested possibly going down a width on the rear, as the PS4S is available in a 265/40ZR18. The manager explained they have been selling alot of PS4S, and in most cases, they consistently run wider than an identical aspect PSS tire. This was of course difficult to believe for my Dad (retired engineer), so I got put on the phone with the manager. My initial reaction was the same, plus the thought to look narrower never crossed my mind, as I only searched for wider sizes. We agreed it couldn't hurt for the store to order the 265/40 PS4S, as long as we could take at them before making a final decision (I’m still concerned with curb rash prevention). At least if the PS4S 265/40 was truly wider than the oem Bridgestone, we could live with that. Now you’re thinking, the PS4S fronts probably gained some width too, but if forced to alter the factory stagger, I’ll take more front and turn-in please.

    Last Friday, armed with a tape measure, and a reason to take the car out, we confirmed that the PS4S is indeed is wider. In fact, at 265/40, it was wider than the oem Bridgestone 275/40 to the naked eye. The tape measure showed additional width of about 1/4th of an inch! Unfortunately there was no PSS 275/40 in stock to directly compare it against.

    The front PS4S was also wider by about the same amount, although it was a 245/45 being compared to 245/45. In the end, I’m not sure how much this PSS vs PS4S exercise moves the needle, but I didn’t expect all of this to come up after the decision to skip the run-flats.

    So… it's too late to turn back now, installation day is today, but I’m curious BMWZ8.US, what say you? Can’t wait to get some driving impressions, but our calendars will dictate!

    Cheers,
    Michael

    P.S. Where is the best place to get Schweinshaxe in SoCal!?!


  2. #2
    RHD Z88 Peter Koh's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Hi Michael, I have recently replaced 4 of my Alpina Z8 tyres to Michelin PS4S. (Rear 285/30 ZR20 and Front 255/35 ZR20). Loved it!

  3. #3
    Team Z8 Satch's Avatar
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    ... you DO know that Michelin makes run-flats ("zero pressure") for OEM applications, don't you? But they're hard to track down; Michelin doesn't like to talk about them. Somewhere I have a list of available sizes....

  4. #4
    Z8 Novice
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    Apparently $70 Michelin rebate just started today thru 09/20/18 on a set of 4, but check out the fine print.

    https://www.tirerack.com/images/tire...ichelin_TR.pdf

  5. #5
    Z8 Novice
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    I did, but all I found were 245/40 (shorter) in PS2 ZP or PSS ZP, while the PS2 ZP 275/40 rears seem to be completely out of stock. Didn't dig into it further than that. How does the ZP stack up against the Bridgestone RE050A?

    Quote Originally Posted by Satch View Post
    ... you DO know that Michelin makes run-flats ("zero pressure") for OEM applications, don't you? But they're hard to track down; Michelin doesn't like to talk about them. Somewhere I have a list of available sizes....

  6. #6
    Z8 Novice
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    Hi Peter, your RHD is amazing! What state in Australia are you located? Took my family to Queensland this summer and got the opportunity to sit on the other side of the car and drive on the other side of the road. The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest were pretty cool too

    Question: what tires/size did you have on the car before the PS4S? If they were the same size, any chance you noticed if the width was different?

    If the PS4S is consistently wider than the PSS throughout the line, I can't help but wonder if that's partially responsible for the performance gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Koh View Post
    Hi Michael, I have recently replaced 4 of my Alpina Z8 tyres to Michelin PS4S. (Rear 285/30 ZR20 and Front 255/35 ZR20). Loved it!

  7. #7
    RHD Z88 Peter Koh's Avatar
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    Hi Michael, Yes, it is really amazing to own and drive a RHD Alpina Z8. Andrew did an excellent article on this vehicle background, it is under the Historic section. I am in Melbourne, the world most liveable city and our Spring is just round the corner and my Z8 is all set to go topless again. Glad you and your family had a great time up Queensland .. so much to see up especially the Great Barrier reef / Daintree forest .. lots of crocs though. As for the PS4S, sorry I was not aware the tire width could be different, I have it replaced matching the previous tire size numbers. Hope this helps. Cheers PKoh

  8. #8
    Great thread Michael, look forward to hearing your impressions, Michelin are hard to beat!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

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