Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV vs Michelin e.Primacy

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Whether it’s the performance-focused Pilot Sport 4 SUV or the eco-friendly e.Primacy, Michelin has a tire for every driver’s need. In this article, we’ll analyze the crucial factors that set these two tires apart, providing clarity and guidance in your tire selection process.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV

Performance on Wet Surfaces

To perform well on wet surfaces, a tire needs a tread design that offers a strong grip on wet pavement and also prevents hydroplaning. And achieving this requires effective water removal from the tread.

In this aspect, the Michelin E Primacy stands out, with its greater lateral voids along all its ribs that efficiently push out water, providing slightly better (if not equal), resistant to hydroplaning.

But that’s not the point. The point is, these lateral voids, also act as biters and sipes, simultaneously, biting down on relatively dried up road and providing better overall traction.

And since it goes on, in both central area, as well as shoulders, you get a superior combination of lateral and longitudinal wet traction on this tire.

The Pilot Sport SUV on the other side, offers decent hydroplaning, especially when it comes to straight aqua tests.

Though overall wet traction is still better on Primacy.

Dry Performance Analysis

To gauge the performance of these tires in dry conditions, one must consider factors such as braking ability, acceleration, and the tires’ proficiency in maneuvering around corners. Let’s delve into these aspects.

Straight-line Traction

The commonly used up “dry grip” is actually a term in common with straight line traction, which is also referred to as directional grip.

And since its a directional metric, it makes sense why its calculated by the tire’s stopping efficacy.

In this context, the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV is taking the lead, where the tire showcases 4 feet shorter braking distances on average (as seen on tests, conducted by me and my team).

So why is that? Well, let’s get in to the basics of it.

Now as the tire rolls straight, the weight it has on it, gets focused in its middle tread area, mostly, I mean. So the Pilot Sport SUV making better contact form there, provides superior straight moving traction.

In contrast, on Michelin e.Primacy, the tread is actually eaten away more, as there are a lot of notches and siping present there.

So the tire can’t offer similar rubber to road contact.

Dry Handling

The ability of a tire to grip and navigate during turns depends a lot on the tire’s edges, including the shoulders and sidewalls.

But why this happens?

Well because as the tire corners, the weight on it shifts towards there, because of inertia, where, if you want to go further in to the physics of it, is the centripetal force.

And out of both tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV excels in this aspect.

The tire basically offers better rubber to road contact form there, where it’s lugs aren’t eaten away, as much, compared to its counterpart, by the lateral grooves.

Moreover, the tire also delivers a better balance between under and over steering, resulting in faster handling responsiveness.

The Michelin e.Primacy, however, doesn’t perform as well in these areas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good tire, but it falls short compared to the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV, which is actually pretty great when it comes to dry handling.

Fuel Consumption

The dynamics of rolling resistance, fuel efficiency, and road traction, are interlinked. So this means where one rises, so does the other two.

That’s why although the Pilot Sport SUV offered better dry traction values, it lacks to its counterpart in the emery consumption department.

The Primacy E actually offers a symmetric design, in contrast to the asymmetric build of its competitor, allowing it to roll more smoothly.

Moreover, the tire also offers smaller tread depth, and is lighter, as measured by averaging across all its sizes.

So with the lighter weight, it’s lugs aren’t pushed that much with the road, and with shallower tread depth (though its marginal here, comparing both), lugs don’t get to bend around too much.

Lug bending basically causes more energy to be consumed, so its also a negative factor here.

Vibrations Dampening

The smoothness of a ride heavily depends on the tire’s ability to handle road irregularities, a characteristic that is influenced by the overall composition of the tire. And yes, one can argue that the smoothness of the ride, also depends on the steering response, I get that.

And yes, that is seen better on Michelin Pilot SUV.

But the actual bumps absorption efficacy is still better on Michelin e.Primacy, which gets its superior flexibility due to the numerous in-groove notches that run throughout the tire’s tread.

Tread Life

The longevity of tire tread life is largely determined by factors such as rolling resistance, tread composition, and tread depth.

High rolling resistance can accelerate tread wear, but a greater tread depth can offset this to an extent since it takes longer to wear down to 2/32″ (the legal tread depth limit in the USA).

Now, although the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV has greater weight, its treadwear is still saved by its slightly greater tread depth and stiffer rubber compound, offering firm road contact and featuring a rubber composition less susceptible to rapid wear.

On the other side, the tread rubber on Primacy generates greater heat, and amongst all factors, this is the one that accelerates its tread wear the most.

Road Noise

Noise generation in tires is primarily due to the movement of air particles, that enter through the tire’s shoulders and collide with the walls of the tread, resulting in unwanted sound waves, which is called “tread noise”, technically.

Now, among the two, the Michelin e.Primacy outshines the competition, thanks to its more streamlined design and curving lateral voids.

So basically, it’s shoulder voids are more packed up, and they don’t allow a lot of air particle to infiltrate the tread, in the first place.

Moreover, its tread also offers an advanced pitch sequencing technology, which reduces noise levels by varying angles to manage any residual air particles that manage to get in.

So you get a relatively quieter ride on e Primacy.

So, What’s The Verdict?

So what does it come down to?

Well, the Michelin Pilot Sport SUV excels in straight-line traction and dry handling, delivering superior braking performance and impressive handling responsiveness. However, the Michelin e.Primacy performs better on wet surfaces with its efficient water displacement and overall superior traction.

In terms of fuel consumption and road noise, the e.Primacy takes the lead due to its symmetric design and advanced pitch sequencing technology, making it more fuel-efficient and quieter.

However, the Pilot Sport SUV offers better tread life, benefiting from a deeper tread and stiffer rubber composition. When it comes to ride smoothness, the e.Primacy stands out with its superior flexibility and effective road bump absorption.

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