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Old 06-24-2020, 09:51 PM   #1
therimgreaper
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Default Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or A/S 3+ for '12 WRX?

I'm in the market for new rubber on my '12 WRX and am split between the Michelin's PS4S summer tires and the A/S 3+ all seasons. I am drawn to the PS4S due to all the rave reviews, and I already have a set of winter wheels/tires so I don't NEED to have the versatility of the all season tires.

How does the ride quality fare on either tire? I've read that both are the best in their classes, but how would they compare to each other? For reference, I currently have Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position summers and they feel rock hard - I feel some bumps like they would straight up break my frame.

My other question/hesitation is how they fare on dirt roads -- I will say that 98% of my driving will be on road, but I am planning on taking a long cross country road trip that may see a dirt/gravel road or two while in wilderness areas. Will driving 10 miles on a dirt road shred up the tires and my fenders, or is that just exaggeration? I already have mud flaps on my car.

Looking forward to hearing some thoughts from owners of these tires.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:15 AM   #2
Ernest
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I would get the summers since you have winters. As for driving on the dirt, just drive carefully. If you plan on pretending to be a rally driver, you can tear things up on the whole car. Tires should hold up, I take WRX down dirt roads for fishing and never had an issue. I do have a small dent in my oil pan from a rock that popped up many years ago. Since then I have gotten an aluminum skid plate.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:06 PM   #3
scoobydooluth
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What area are you in? Long shoulder seasons?

I had Pilot Super Sports (a couple sets of them, until they were replaced by the PS4S) but got sick of having to choose between those (pretty much skateboard wheels in the cool-to-cold mornings during spring & fall) or tearing up my winter tires in the dry warmish afternoons during the same seasons. That said, this is in MN, so you'll have to make a judgment based on where you are.
Instead, last spring, I went to a UHP A/S (currently the Potenza whatevers, next up will be the Michelin A/S3+). More grip than I ever realistically use (no autox or track days for me), pretty good treadwear, and cheaper than the summers for sure.

TL;DR, if you have long shoulder seasons where neither winters nor summers are quite right, and don't need the balls-out summer performance, UHP A/S can be a good route.

+1 on the skidplate for gravel/wilderness driving. Cheap insurance especially out in the sticks where you might not get a tow for several hours.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:34 PM   #4
subaru_gc8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therimgreaper View Post
I'm in the market for new rubber on my '12 WRX and am split between the Michelin's PS4S summer tires and the A/S 3+ all seasons. I am drawn to the PS4S due to all the rave reviews, and I already have a set of winter wheels/tires so I don't NEED to have the versatility of the all season tires.

How does the ride quality fare on either tire? I've read that both are the best in their classes, but how would they compare to each other? For reference, I currently have Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position summers and they feel rock hard - I feel some bumps like they would straight up break my frame.

My other question/hesitation is how they fare on dirt roads -- I will say that 98% of my driving will be on road, but I am planning on taking a long cross country road trip that may see a dirt/gravel road or two while in wilderness areas. Will driving 10 miles on a dirt road shred up the tires and my fenders, or is that just exaggeration? I already have mud flaps on my car.

Looking forward to hearing some thoughts from owners of these tires.
if you are going to do off roading.. i assume more dirt roads, all seasons will be better. you woull get a little more grip than you will with the summer
tires.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:50 PM   #5
isotopesope
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
I would get the summers since you have winters. As for driving on the dirt, just drive carefully. If you plan on pretending to be a rally driver, you can tear things up on the whole car. Tires should hold up, I take WRX down dirt roads for fishing and never had an issue. I do have a small dent in my oil pan from a rock that popped up many years ago. Since then I have gotten an aluminum skid plate.
+1

here in CO, I ran PSS's on gravel roads frequently, without issues. Drove like a sane person, not like I was trying to get rad. tread maintained it's full integrity and didn't have damage to my flapless fenders of my 08 wrx at all.

don't know how they would compare to the S-04's, but I ran 35-37 psi on King springs and Koni's, and felt very happy with the ride quality. they were an incredible tire. I would run mine from late May to early October, then would switch to winters.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:10 AM   #6
Berserker2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therimgreaper View Post
I feel some bumps like they would straight up break my frame.
I think sidewall height can be part of that.

My '18 STI came with 19" OEM wheels and tires, and on some bumps I felt like I had no give in my tires at all.

This past weekend I mounted a set of new 18" Enkei PF01 wheels (18x8 +40) and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires (245/40ZR18). The Michelins are the same width and height as the OEM tires, just on on a wheel 1" shorter and 1/2" narrower. The combined wheel/tire weight is about 7.5 lbs lighter than OEM, per corner.

That 1" wheel height difference might not sound like a lot, since it works out to only an extra half inch of tire between the wheel and road (3.35" OEM; 3.85" new), but it's all in the part of the tire between the tire tread/shoulder section and the bead section. In my OEM tire that part was only about 1.0". In the new tire it's about 1.5", so it's 50% more sidewall.

The tire is not "cushy" by any means. I still feel the road and it makes a nice solid "thunk" noise over expansion joints and Botts' Dots. But I no longer feel the edges of every little thing I drive over, as I did with the OEM tires.

I've only got about 75 miles on the tires, but I'm pretty happy with the decision to downsize wheels.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:27 PM   #7
therimgreaper
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Thanks all for responding. I ended up going with the Pilot Sport A/S 3+. I was flip-flopping all the way through the checkout process (and even now as I'm planning to get the tires installed on Friday), but ultimately Tire Rack had a sale on those that put them at over $300 less than the PS4S...

I know that with either decision, I would've been thinking "what if" about the other tire. By starting low, I can determine whether I want to upgrade to the 4S for my next set of tires. In any case, I'm excited to get on some new rubber.
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