It is time for some spring cleaning around the AutoTalk garage. We did a full test of the Continental WinterContact SI this winter, and now that spring is the air, it’s time to switch to some more appropriate rubber. At the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Michelin introduced an update to one of its best-selling tires with the new Pilot Sport A/S 3+, so it seemed like the perfect candidate for a good long-term test. The magic sauce behind that little “plus” designation on the new A/S 3+ comes courtesy of a new tread design and a new compound.
The biggest draw for me is that Michelin claims this is an all-season tire that is actually good for all four seasons. According to Michelin this new tire has better dry grip than a summer performance tire, it has better wet braking than any “leading competitive tires in the ultra-high performance A/S category,” and craziest of all, it has 28-percent better snow traction than the old A/S 3. SO that is dry performance, wet weather safety and snow all wrapped up into one neat little package.
Now that summer is rolling in, I won’t have much of a chance to test out those snow claims, but I can certainly push this tire to limit for the rest of Michelin’s claims. After all, they are saying this 500 treadwear all-season has better grip than a 340 treadwear summer performance tire from Continental, so those are some big claims to validate.
I’ll be checking back in periodically to provide updates to how the tires are behaving, any impacts the NVH, and if there are any strange wear problems. Keep it locked to AutoTalk.com to make sure you don’t miss any of the story.
Currently, I only have about 50 miles on the tires, but they are already making some big impressions. I headed to the local Discount Tire store in Alcoa, TN to have them mounted. The store is not too far from the Tail of the Dragon, so I took the scenic and winding way home. Even with potential issues with release compounds and so forth, the tire is already performing above my expectations. The car rides a little nicer, is a touch quieter, and the initial grip seems pretty phenomenal. It will be interesting to see how they do as I get used the new dynamics and push the tires ever harder in the future.