The Michelin Premier A/S tire was released in 2014, and was developed for drivers of coupes, sedans, and minivans who are looking for a tire that retains traction in wet conditions and is resistant to wear. Michelin claims that even when worn, the Premier A/S will still stop shorter on wet roads than its leading competitors’ brand-new tires. Does it hold up?
About the Michelin Premier A/S
Rather than being a revamped version of its predecessor, the Primacy MXV4, this new tire is a complete overhaul using new technology. It is intended to combine stopping power, driving control, and fuel efficiency. The tread is enhanced with a compound of silica and sunflower oil, to increase traction in both cold and wet temperatures. Extreme amounts of silica in this compound (the tire contains as much silica as its polymer can handle) provide wet grip for everyday handling, and the sunflower oil keeps the compound flexible in low temperatures.
The tire’s internal structure features twin steel belts reinforced with spiral-wrapped polyamide cord on top of a polyester casing, blending durability with ride comfort.
Tire Rack Test
The folks at TireRack.com tested the Michelin Premier A/S tire in June 2014. They used a BMW F30 328i sedan, and tested the Premier A/S against three competitors – Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus, Continental PureContact with EcoPlus technology, and Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. They drove the tires on a loop of expressway, state highway, and county roads, and then on a performance track.
What did they find?
On the Road Ride, the Michelin Premier A/S offered a smooth ride, was relatively quiet, and had great handling. The others all handled well, too, and were smooth-riding, though the Bridgestone produced a bit more noise.
On the track, the Michelin Premier A/S offered a high level of traction and stability, and the Continental performed similarly. The Bridgestone and Pirelli were stable, but provided slightly less traction.
The team also used a winter testing facility in Northern Sweden to test the tires in winter conditions. The Michelin Premier A/S offered good snow and ice traction and handling, though the Pirelli did a bit better. The Continental lacked cornering traction and handling balance, and the Bridgestone lacked snow traction, especially when braking.
The team was not able to simulate worn tire performance, but they stated that “Michelin has put some new technology into the Premier A/S that should help it maintain its strong wet weather performance over time.”
Overall, the team at Tire Rack found the Michelin Premier A/S to handle well, even in winter conditions, and offer great traction and a smooth ride.
Testing on Michelin’s Track
In February 2014, prior to the tire’s April release, the folks at AutoGuide.com were invited by Michelin to test the new Premier A/S at their Laurens Proving Grounds in South Carolina. The Premier A/S was tested against the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus and the Goodyear Assurance tires, on the Cadillac CTS. This time, the Premier A/S tires were scrubbed down to 50% tread and pitted against brand-new Bridgestone and Goodyear tires. The test consisted of two parts: a wet autocross course and a wet panic braking test.
On the autocross course, the Premier A/S outperformed both new tires. It had the best steering response and grip.
For the wet panic braking test, each car drove through standing water at 53 mph, then slammed on the brakes and came to a complete stop. The stopping distance was then measured. The Premier A/S took 98.2 feet to stop, compared with 105.2 with the Goodyears and 109.1 with the Bridgestones.
The team at Auto Guide ultimately ruled that the Michelin Premier A/S “cannot be beat,” remarking that “As proven by the test results, Michelin may be on to something with this tread changing tire technology.”