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      06-15-2020, 06:42 PM   #1
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Not All Michelin Cup 2 Tires are Created Equal - Behind the Scenes of Making Bespoke

Hey guys,

Check out my article where I dive deep in to tire technology and the effort Michelin puts into making bespoke OEM tires for a specific car model. This is written from my experience as a development driver working on creating bespoke tires for cars like the GT350/R, GT500/CFTP, and Ford GT. These concepts apply across Michelin's product line and the same amount of effort goes into creating tires for performance cars as they do for sedans, trucks, SUVs, transit vans, etc...


The article explains why replacing an OEM tire with a wider tire of the same model (even with thicker tread) will likely hurt performance, feel, be slower on track, and (if driven at the limit), will often NOT last longer. There is far more that goes into making your factory tires than you might ever have expected.


Not All Michelin Cup 2 Tires Are Created The Same - For good reason.

They may look the same, smell the same, and be the exact same size; but not all Cup 2 tires are created equal, and for good reason. Michelin produces off-the-shelf tires as well as custom bespoke tires that are engineered with specific construction, tread design, and compounding for a given car. Choosing the wrong Cup 2 tire can greatly impact the handling, feel, fitment, and performance of your car in terms of seconds per lap! Because of this, unknowingly swapping to a wider Cup 2 that has a less aggressive compound can actually make your car slower than using a smaller, stickier Cup 2 that was engineered specifically for your car, so pay attention!




https://motoiq.com/not-all-michelin-...ated-the-same/


In the article

-Michelin's development of bespoke tires for race cars and OEM street cars
-What goes into tire TREAD DESIGN: Tread Depth, Circumferential Grooves, Outer Shoulder Features & Sipes
-What goes into tire COMPOUNDING: Compound Variation Across Tread & Tread Depth
-What goes into a tire's CONSTRUCTION: Carcass Profile/Shape, Width, Ribs, Sidewall Stiffness,
-Cup 2R
-Cup 2 Connect
-How Tread Design, Compounding, and Construction Come Together
And much more...


Enjoy!
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      06-15-2020, 09:06 PM   #2
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Great article, thanks for sharing!
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      06-15-2020, 09:26 PM   #3
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Really interesting article, thank you for sharing!
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      06-24-2020, 09:31 AM   #4
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Damn, and I was just about to order a set of Conti ECS tires instead of the Michelin PSS ZPs (which are a specific design to Corvette, aka TPC-spec). Thanks for sharing, this is the kind of content I like to see.

Billj747 -- in your experience, can this work the other way? Are there some OEM versions of the tire that might be inferior to the generic?
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Last edited by dparm; 06-24-2020 at 10:41 AM..
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      06-24-2020, 10:16 PM   #5
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Great read. Thanks for the link.
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      06-25-2020, 12:44 AM   #6
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Great article.

How did you end up in an old M3? You have access to one of the few cars I'd consider changing to in the GT350/GT350R. Love the sound of that motor.
Would really appreciate your insight on that car vs. the E92 M3.
Again, thats for a great article.
.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      06-29-2020, 11:39 PM   #7
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Good read, thanks for sharing!
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      06-30-2020, 01:11 AM   #8
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very informative and interesting.
I wonder how it helps select tires for modified cars.
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      07-03-2020, 11:46 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Damn, and I was just about to order a set of Conti ECS tires instead of the Michelin PSS ZPs (which are a specific design to Corvette, aka TPC-spec). Thanks for sharing, this is the kind of content I like to see.

Billj747 -- in your experience, can this work the other way? Are there some OEM versions of the tire that might be inferior to the generic?
The ECS is also a great tire.

That would kind of defeat the purpose of building and optimizing a tire for a specific car, now wouldn't it? If a tire is designed for a given car, you're not going to get a more well-rounded and better tire for that car.

However, on that note, and to answer your question, you could consider that a manufacturer may want to call a tire a "265" for marketing reasons when it's actually dimensionally a 245 in width. In this case, if said hypothetical tire's compound wasn't notably more aggressive than an Off-The-Shelf (OTS) tire, then going to an OTS 265 width, that's actually a 265, COULD result in more grip, even though the longevity, steering response, load distribution, etc... wasn't as optimal. If there is a case like this, it would be very rare, and often the construction benefits to dial in the bespoke tire for a particular car (as well as all of the other aspects) could overcome a small width difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
Great article.

How did you end up in an old M3? You have access to one of the few cars I'd consider changing to in the GT350/GT350R. Love the sound of that motor.
Would really appreciate your insight on that car vs. the E92 M3.
Again, thats for a great article.
.
I was a BMW guy at the start of my career, racing Formula BMW as a factory Junior driver (driving for PTG) to racing them in the Grand-Am Cup series before going to Mustangs. I had an E36 & E90 M3. The GT350's engine is pretty awesome and has a similar ethos to the S65 in terms of high-revving fun, but in its own special and unique way.

It was a bit eye-opening for a stock base 2016 Mustang GT to be a second faster than my modified DCT E90 M3 -on the same Continental DW tire. Then again the old stick-axle Boss 302 also turned laps faster than E9X M3s, and the new IRS-equipped S550 chassis is quite a bit better and faster.

https://motoiq.com/project-e90-m3-he...16-mustang-gt/

Needless to say, the GT350 is VERY fast on track and punches well above its weight. Heck, the new 2019 base GT350 is faster than the C8 Z51 Vette (with the track alignment) on track.
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      07-03-2020, 06:57 PM   #10
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What frustrates me about the manufacturer-specific variants is how they may not be produced forever. Although tire tech certainly advances every year, some of those specific tweaks might literally never be available for my car ever again.

Heck, it's been a challenge just locating the factory PSS ZPs right now. I did manage to find a pair, but I almost had to settle for a very different tire. Nothing else comes close as far as tread sizing.
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      07-04-2020, 12:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
What frustrates me about the manufacturer-specific variants is how they may not be produced forever. Although tire tech certainly advances every year, some of those specific tweaks might literally never be available for my car ever again.

Heck, it's been a challenge just locating the factory PSS ZPs right now. I did manage to find a pair, but I almost had to settle for a very different tire. Nothing else comes close as far as tread sizing.
Tire tech does advance and the OTS PS4S has a better construction and compound that can rival bespoke PSS that used more targeted design to improve the performance for a given platform (quieter, stickier, etc...). I wouldn't bee too frustrated about putting a newer tire on. The new Cup 2s are faster than the older/current ones, there's nothing wrong with that.
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