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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few of you know that I was down in New Orleans in December testing tires for Michelin.

Michelin finally released their video of the event. Hands down, the most eye opening test was the dry autocross. We tested the all season high performance Michelin A/S 3 against the competitors summer dry tires. We were faster in the all seasons!

I made the final cut for the video. You'll see my ugly mugg at 0:53 and 2:40. My Indy shop owner/racer, Oceanside Motorsports (OMS), is on at 1:38 and 2:35.

BTW...I was in their ear NON STOP about releasing PSSs in stock e60 m5 sizes :biggrin:.

Enjoy!

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2uuOV3UXhBs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Behind the Tire - MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport A/S 3 - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A few thoughts from some of my earlier posts regarding the event:

They have not been released yet, but I had the chance to test the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 3 last week at the Michelin US Launch Event at New Orleans Motorpark.

We did 4 sets of test: 1) Wet Autocross in Audi A4 Quattros 2) Dry and wet braking in an Infinity 3) Road course in a CTS, not a CTS-V, and 4) Dry Autocross in STi's.

The PilotSport AS3 was unbelievable in the wet AND the dry. The first three put the Michelins against the competitors top all season tires like the Conti DWS, which I have on my A3 Quattro, and Pirelli PZero Nero. Lets just say we were turning faster laps in the PS AS3s v the others.

For the Dry Autocross, Michelin made a pretty ballsy call. We got to drive the AS3 against the competitors SUMMER tires on the dry Autocross. Long story short, contrary to expectations, we still turned faster laps with the AS3's over the Conti DW, Pirelli PZero, Goodyear F1, and Pole Positions. Hands down, the dry Autocross was the most fun.

Oh yeah...The other drivers in my group included a couple of the guys from the ALMS series: Johnannes Van Overbeek, Tommy Milner, and Patrick Long. Watching those guys do their hot laps in the STi was nuts.

Once Michelin releases the AS3s, I'm ditching my new Conti DWSs for the AS3 on my A3 Quattro.
PS2s got my vote, but I'm moving on the the SuperSports once my PS2s are cooked. Since you don't track your car and deal with rain and winter, a new option might be Michelin's all season tire A/S3.

I just got back from a tire testing session with Michelin US at New Orleans MotorPark for their release of the new Pilot Sport A/S3 -- all season tire.

Michelin was pretty ballsy. We did several wet and dry tests, where the new A/S3 easily outperformed the competitors top all season tires. But the ballsy move by Michelin was with the dry autocross:

I got to drive identical STI's with A/S3 against the competitors SUMMER tires on the dry Autocross. Long story short, contrary to expectations, I turned faster laps with the A/S3's over the Conti DW, Pirelli PZero, Goodyear F1, and Pole Positions.

Hands down, the dry Autocross was the most fun -- the instructors wanted us to drive some laps beyond the limit to get a feel of how quickly all the tires broke away and recovered. The A/S3's were so predictable compared to the other summer tires -- all this from an "all season" tire. If I wasn't driving, I would have never believed it!

Oh yeah...The other drivers in my group included a couple of the guys from the ALMS series: Johnannes Van Overbeek, Tommy Milner, and Patrick Long. Watching those professionals do their hot laps in the STi was nuts.

BMWCCA article from the event:

Michelin Launches Pilot Sport A/S 3 in New Orleans | BMW Car Club News | bmwcca.org BMW Car Club of America

These tires are due to be launched to the public this summer. I just bought new Conti DWS for my A3 Quattro last month, but I'm ditching the DWS's for the A/S3s once they are released.

Our STi's for the dry autocross. There is nothing like dumping the clutch in a test vehicle!



And the track:
Milton,

Ha Ha! Awesome story. It really is a small community of enthusiast. The event was top notch and eye opening.

At some point the night before, one of the guys (which will remain unmentioned) decided that it would be a grand idea to take some of the NOLA Rookies to Patty O'Brian's for some Hurricanes. Of course, I had to help lead the charge. I've spent many a year at Jazz Fest over the years, so I knew the slippery slope we were on at that point. I can drink it up anytime, but it's not every day I get track time on Michelin's dime. Nevertheless, we behaved because we had an early start in the morning!

Some food for thought:

Below are my numbers from the dry and wet braking exercise. Take a look at the dry performance of the AS3 and Goodyears. Only a foot of difference in the dry.
View attachment 170698

Now, take a look at my numbers from the wet braking exercise. The Goodyears, which were a foot off in the dry, were 15 feet WORSE in the wet. 15 feet is more than one car length!
View attachment 170700

Cars were identical. Tire pressures were identical -- one guy was checking pressures with his own gauge to see if Michelin was sandbagging.

For me, my money is going to Michelin. PSSs are going on my m5s and AS3s are going on my A3. It's really that simple. Michelin has really raised the bar.
Better for what category?

My m5s never see snow and rarely see low temperature, so they will get SuperSports once I kill my PS2s. My A3 Quattro and LandCruiser live in the snow. The A3 will get A/S 3s once they are released this summer. I'm ditching the new Conti DWS's for the A/S 3. Our LandCruiser is on dedicated Goodyear snow tires and A/S 3s would be in appropriate.

The A/S 3 is Michelin's top high performance ALL SEASON tire rated for low temperatures, dry, wet, and snow. The A/S 3 just happens to out perform the competitors dry tires. It is not designed to out perform the SuperSports in the dry. I drove this tire in the dry autocross against the Conti DW, Pirelli PZero, and Goodyear F1 -- all dry tires. Hands down, EVERYONE was turning faster laps on the A/S 3s. The Conti DW was the worst at the limit, the Pzero made the most noise (but held), and Goodyears you could drift around pretty well.

The A/S 3s were telepathic. All you had to do is see your apex, and the tires got you there -- unheard of for an all season tire. On the back straight of the autocross was a set of chicanes, followed by a sharp hairpin to the right with a double apex. With the A/S 3s, you could go flat out through the chicanes, mash the brakes, turn in late, throw away the first apex, nail the second apex -- track out and hold your arc into a sweeper and through a bus stop. The others, you had to lift on that back straight, otherwise you'd miss the hairpin. Believe me, I tried not lifting with the Conti DWs "just to see" and over steered into a bunch of cones when I missed the hairpin.

The SuperSport is Michelin's top street tire for maximum dry traction, with good wet weather traction, but not rated for snow or low temperatures.

Some of the feedback we gave to Michelin for the next test would be to also include other tires within Michelin's past and current line up. Everyone wanted to see how the A/S 3 compared to the PS2 (the top dog from the previous generation) and how much slower the A/S 3 is compared to the SuperSports in the dry. Conversely, we wanted to see how the PS2 and SuperSport compared to the A/S 3 in the wet. What I found interesting about the A/S 3: the tread pattern looks reminiscent of a siped PS2.

I hope I made some sense.
 

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I would love to see how the AS3s perform in the snow. Not so much for the M5, but my DD which like your A3 is currently running Conti' DWS.

Thank you again, for the post and review. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would love to see how the AS3s perform in the snow. Not so much for the M5, but my DD which like your A3 is currently running Conti' DWS.

Thank you again, for the post and review. :cheers:
The snow traction is "supposed" to be better, but we didn't have any man made snow in New Orleans. We'll find out next season with the a3.

I want Michelin to send us to Steamboat, CO -- my old home mountain, for some winter testing. Unfortunately, Bridgestone has the facility there. I think it would be in poor taste to show up with Michelins at a Bridegstone event. Talk about another fun time...if you ever have the chance to go to a winter track day, don't think twice about it.

Wish I could have been in your shoes! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. It was a fun group of pro drivers and club racers. Everyone was an enthusiast, with crazy skills. I was fortunate to get invited into the mix.

I have been to other events, and this Michelin event was top notch -- from the logistics, to the education, to the seat time. I was a sponge the entire time.
 

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They can always send me a complimentary set for next winter. I'll test the crap out of them. :wroom:
 

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Was the A/S 3 really better than the summer tires? Did Michelin ofer any insight on how much performance the A/S 3 gave up to the PSS or the PS2? On their website, the tire is rated from H (130mph) to Y (186mph) depending on the size, did they explain why this may be?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Was the A/S 3 really better than the summer tires? Did Michelin ofer any insight on how much performance the A/S 3 gave up to the PSS or the PS2? On their website, the tire is rated from H (130mph) to Y (186mph) depending on the size, did they explain why this may be?
Yes, the A/S 3 was stickier than the summers from the competition. The dry AutoX was eye opening because an all season tire should not out-stick a summer tire. Guys were checking the tire pressures to make sure they ran equal pressures.

No...no comparison on what they give up to the PSS or if they were better than the PS2. We were asking, but if you've driven the PSS, you know the high level of adhesion. On my last track day, I was running PSS up front and PS2s in the rear -- I had to be really careful. The PSS>>PS2 on grip. The only reason I ran mismatched: the PSS for the rears didn't arrive on time for my track day.
 

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Im just going to throw this out there

Excellent vid by the way - but wouldnt a truer test have been a double blind test - or at least a test where the drivers werent allowed to perceive the value of the newer tyre...
 

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Im just going to throw this out there

Excellent vid by the way - but wouldnt a truer test have been a double blind test - or at least a test where the drivers werent allowed to perceive the value of the newer tyre...
I was thinking the same thing. I would have liked to see the drivers not know what tire they were running.
 

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I agree a double blind test is the best method to test products like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys...good feedback.

I would agree that a blind study would have been ideal. I've tested skis manufactures new ski models for a magazine in that manner. In theory, we didn't know which is what. Everything was just a number, but if you're hard core skier, you could tell what was under your feet when you set your first edge.

The way I would describe the test Paul, was almost like a vertical wine tasting. I'm nowhere near being a cork dork or sommelier, but when you can taste the same grape consecutive years in a row, you learn quite a bit about the the characteristics of the formation of wine. The tire testing followed a similar procedure.

For each session, we would test Brand A against the control Michelin. Each time we switched Brands, we would always go back to the control to Michelin to feel the difference. By the first turn, you could tell how the tire was going to react. We were in and out of cars so many times that you would forget which tire you were testing until you stepped out of the car. To keep the data organized, after you hopped out of the car, we would log on to their wifi to immediately record our test notes.

Keep in mind, most track days you are trying to keep the car under control and not kill any cones. Not on that day! We were encouraged kill some cones and drive all tires past the limit every time. It goes against your natural instinct, but a lot of fun. The process was repeated within the test within each session. I slaughtered a bunch of cones when I tried to repeat the same "move" on the other tires.

I'm sure they could've blindfolded us before we got in the cars, but they didn't. Thanks for the good feedback that I'll bring up to them.
 

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Not picking on you Woody ;) but working in the medical field I have seen many trials fail due to not having a double blind test in place plus I know of cases where results were fudged and fined by the FDA once caught :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not picking on you Woody ;) but working in the medical field I have seen many trials fail due to not having a double blind test in place plus I know of cases where results were fudged and fined by the FDA once caught :(
Oh, believe me, I know when you ARE picking on me Paul ;). I hear you about fudging the numbers...An infamous case in my indusrty involved a geologist that was "salting the samples" of a new gold find in Indonesia. This firm looted 100s of millions of capital. When the fraud was exposed, the lead geologist "mysteriously" fell out of a helicopter into the Indonesian jungle. Bre-X - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thankfully none of my clients were involved with the fraud.

But I do agree, a blindfold when getting into the seat, would be a good addition.
 

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Oh, believe me, I know when you ARE picking on me Paul ;). I hear you about fudging the numbers...An infamous case in my indusrty involved a geologist that was "salting the samples" of a new gold find in Indonesia. This firm looted 100s of millions of capital. When the fraud was exposed, the lead geologist "mysteriously" fell out of a helicopter into the Indonesian jungle. Bre-X - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thankfully none of my clients were involved with the fraud.

But I do agree, a blindfold when getting into the seat, would be a good addition.
Hey I never pick on old people, especially those close to retirement age :eek:h:
 
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