Michelin Pilot Super Sport: High-tech tyres for BMW M6
BMW has certified the Michelin Pilot Super Sport as the sole fitment on both of its new high-performance M6 coupe and convertible models.
From its market launch in summer 2012, the BMW M6 will be equipped exclusively with the advanced Michelin Pilot Super Sport which features a unique combination of three technologies: the Twaron-reinforced belt, the Bi-Compound tread band and the Variable Contact Patch 2.0.
The Twaron belt is a high-density fibre primarily used in aeronautics and protective military gear, whose key feature is its high strength. Strong and light at the same time, Twaron is five times more resistant than steel at equivalent weight. Due to its variable tension, the belt is tighter in the tread area compared to the shoulders, centrifugal force is more effectively controlled and pressure is more evenly distributed.
Originally developed for race tyres, Bi-Compound technology uses different rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread. On the outer shoulder, an elastomer ensures exceptional endurance during cornering, while on the inside, a different elastomer combines with a special tread design to enable the tyre, on wet roads, to break through the water’s surface and adhere to even the slightest irregularities in the road.
The innovative feature of the Variable Contact Patch 2.0 is that it changes shape depending on actual driving conditions, thereby guaranteeing total vehicle control. In this way, even as the patch’s shape changes when cornering, the amount of rubber in contact with the road remains the same.
The combination of these three technologies delivers an exciting drive that meets BMW M’s standards, particularly in terms of precise steering, handling and safety, on both road and track. What’s more, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport offers high mileage potential, one of the brand’s traditional hallmarks. This performance balance reflects the successful transfer of technology from track to street, as well as close cooperation with the car manufacturer, initiated several years ago for the BMW M5 project.
In total, around 1,200 prototype tyres and 1,000 pre-production tyres have been produced, measured and tested in extreme conditions. From the Nordschleife circuit in Germany to Michelin’s Ladoux test tracks in France, the tyres underwent extensive track and road testing. These road trials are critically important to both BMW M and Michelin, as a reflection of their shared commitment to high performance.