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Old 01-16-2009, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Michelin Pilot Sport a s

Well, I agonized over tires for a long time, and my short list were the Pilot Sport a s, the Bridgestone 960 Pole Position, and the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity. But Tire Rack put the Pilot Sport in 235/50X17 on closeout late December at $116, and that made the choice for me. I finally got them mounted yesterday, and they are truly awesome.

235/50 is theoretically smaller diameter than 225/55, but comparing specs for the 92a's in OEM size versus the Pilot Sport in 235/50, the diameter changes by less than 1/2 inch (26.6 versus 26.9 inches). And tread width increases by over an inch.

First drive impressions: these tires are just about as quiet (maybe quieter?) as the 92a's which had 7/32 tread left; ride harshness is the same or maybe even a little better. But dry road handling has gone up a huge step; steering feel is far more direct and "connected" to the road. Transient response is far sharper; stability in crosswinds is now superb, but note that I had already installed the Rallitek rear sway bar, which had improved crosswind stability a huge leap. Now it is even better. No rain (central Texas drought!), so I can't comment on that.

The 92a's had 7/32 tread left after 22,400 miles, so alignment seems perfect; I did not have it checked when I put on the Michelins.

Another update when (if???) it rains. Or snows. Or lots of miles later....
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the first audi allroads got this as an oem tire - sure is better than the potenzas, huh?
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The 92A's were not really bad tires; just mediocre. And not all Potenza's are like that. My brother just put a set of Potenza 960 Pole Positions under his '06 Accord and raves about them; my son put a set of 960's under his '02 WRX and ditto raves. The 960's are grippy and eerie quiet in the Accord; they would have been my first choice, but the Tire Rack closeout made the choice for me.

Kudos to Audi for putting such high end tires under the Allroad! If Subaru delivered the OBXT with those tires, I wonder how much more enthusiastic a review they'd have gotten from the car mags.

My benchmark sedan for steering response was for many years my 1990 Taurus SHO on Goodyear Eagle GT Plus Four V-rated tires. It was the first sedan I had driven where grabbing the steering wheel made you feel you had your hands wrapped around the tie rod ends - absolutely direct feedback and control. The Pilot Sports make the OBXT feel like that.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Michelin Pilot Sport a s

Quote:
Originally posted by stant01
Well, I agonized over tires for a long time, and my short list were the Pilot Sport a s, the Bridgestone 960 Pole Position, and the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity. But Tire Rack put the Pilot Sport in 235/50X17 on closeout late December at $116, and that made the choice for me. I finally got them mounted yesterday, and they are truly awesome.

235/50 is theoretically smaller diameter than 225/55, but comparing specs for the 92a's in OEM size versus the Pilot Sport in 235/50, the diameter changes by less than 1/2 inch (26.6 versus 26.9 inches). And tread width increases by over an inch.

First drive impressions: these tires are just about as quiet (maybe quieter?) as the 92a's which had 7/32 tread left; ride harshness is the same or maybe even a little better. But dry road handling has gone up a huge step; steering feel is far more direct and "connected" to the road. Transient response is far sharper; stability in crosswinds is now superb, but note that I had already installed the Rallitek rear sway bar, which had improved crosswind stability a huge leap. Now it is even better. No rain (central Texas drought!), so I can't comment on that.

The 92a's had 7/32 tread left after 22,400 miles, so alignment seems perfect; I did not have it checked when I put on the Michelins.

Another update when (if???) it rains. Or snows. Or lots of miles later....

So are you still loving the Michelins?

I just sold my stock '05 OB XT 17" alloys and "down graded" to a set of 16" 2.5RS 6-spoke alloys (painted gunmetal to match my bumpers/fender flares) which I'm putting the new "Plus" version of the Pilot Sport A/S on this week.

Can't wait.


Did you ever get an alignment done? I'm paranoid about my car 'munching' a 600 dollar set of tires!

Tim
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I still love the Pilot Sports. Never had an alignment done, though I followed the instructions elsewhere in these pages and did it myself just as a check. The key for me was that the original tires were only 30% worn at 23,000 miles, so clearly there was no problem with rapid wear.

I haven't posted again because I've only put about 2000 miles on the new tires. We did get a good rain (finally!), and they are very impressive; wet roads feel like dry. Oh, and they are generally immune to crosswinds; ditto for changes in road camber or the depressions where tires track in the highway. I had to "unlearn" my corrections to those, and just hold the wheel still.

Why did you go to 16 inch wheels?
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by stant01
I still love the Pilot Sports. Never had an alignment done, though I followed the instructions elsewhere in these pages and did it myself just as a check. The key for me was that the original tires were only 30% worn at 23,000 miles, so clearly there was no problem with rapid wear.

I haven't posted again because I've only put about 2000 miles on the new tires. We did get a good rain (finally!), and they are very impressive; wet roads feel like dry. Oh, and they are generally immune to crosswinds; ditto for changes in road camber or the depressions where tires track in the highway. I had to "unlearn" my corrections to those, and just hold the wheel still.

Why did you go to 16 inch wheels?
Glad to hear you're still loving your Michies. Like I may have said, I've had them on my E38 7-Series and loved them....with the exception of the centers wearing out prematurely in 20k on the rears (and that was running only 32 psi in them). Still a great tire though.

I opted "down" to 16" rim because of a few reasons:

1. significant tire cost savings (the new PS A/S Plus in 225/60-16 was $146/each, but in size 225/55-17 was $195/each)

2. significantly more tire options than are available in 225/55-17 (for as many cars out there running this size, it is still not very common across many brands/model tires).

3. no real handling benefit of 55-series tire over a 60-series, and no real aesthetic difference IMO.

4. plenty of people with base model cars looking to 'upgrade' to OEM 17's (I sold my stock rims with tires within 10 minutes of posting my FS add)

5. plentiful availability of lightweight rims, like from the 2.5RS (16 lbs each) for cheap.

YMMV, but these were my reasons anyway.

Keep me posted on your tires....and go put some miles on them already, for cryin' out loud!! ;o)

Tim
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Pilot Sport AS

Okay, finally got enough miles on the tires. Now 30,000 on the car, so about 7,500 on the tires. Time for 30k service and tire rotation.

We just got back from a 2900-mile trip to Raleigh, NC. The tires are still awesome in the wet, track like they are on rails, yet ride just like OEM tires. THere is a tiny bit of tread whistle or whine, but it is so quiet that the engine growl is still faintly audible at highway speed. I've found that in normal rolling mode, the Pilot Sports ride softly, BUT they are much stiffer laterally than the RE92's, so if you hit a bump while the tire is loaded laterally (as in the middle of a corner), it gives a little kick in the steering. And hitting sharp bumps while accelerating hard is a JOLT. The tires grip really hard, and if the bumps are sharp enough to bounce the tires slightly off the road, they really bite when they come down again.

Despite being nominally smaller than the RE92's at 235-50's vs 225-55's, the difference is tiny; a 604 mile trip on Mapquest read 605.5 on the odometer: well under 0.5 % error.

Wear is very minimal; I'll probably get 40,000 plus with these.

The only downside seems to be about 2 mpg loss in highway mileage: from 26 mpg at highway cruise to 24. Same trip, same speeds, same season (summer, so a/c on full time). City mileage is unchanged at about 22-22.5, so I think the difference is tire air resistance rather than rolling resistance. (Rolling resistance would affect city mileage as well as highway.) The new tires have about 1-1.5 inches wider tread, so this seems reasonable.

The Outback doesn't use air deflector "spats" in front of the front tires as they do in the back, and as they do under my daughter's new Forester, so I may try fabricating some out of corruplast and see if they have any effect. I see those things under lots of high-end cars with big tires, so they may help. Something else to play with when I have a bit of time.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pilot Sport AS

Quote:
Originally posted by stant01
Okay, finally got enough miles on the tires. Now 30,000 on the car, so about 7,500 on the tires. Time for 30k service and tire rotation.

We just got back from a 2900-mile trip to Raleigh, NC. The tires are still awesome in the wet, track like they are on rails, yet ride just like OEM tires. THere is a tiny bit of tread whistle or whine, but it is so quiet that the engine growl is still faintly audible at highway speed. I've found that in normal rolling mode, the Pilot Sports ride softly, BUT they are much stiffer laterally than the RE92's, so if you hit a bump while the tire is loaded laterally (as in the middle of a corner), it gives a little kick in the steering. And hitting sharp bumps while accelerating hard is a JOLT. The tires grip really hard, and if the bumps are sharp enough to bounce the tires slightly off the road, they really bite when they come down again.

Despite being nominally smaller than the RE92's at 235-50's vs 225-55's, the difference is tiny; a 604 mile trip on Mapquest read 605.5 on the odometer: well under 0.5 % error.

Wear is very minimal; I'll probably get 40,000 plus with these.

The only downside seems to be about 2 mpg loss in highway mileage: from 26 mpg at highway cruise to 24. Same trip, same speeds, same season (summer, so a/c on full time). City mileage is unchanged at about 22-22.5, so I think the difference is tire air resistance rather than rolling resistance. (Rolling resistance would affect city mileage as well as highway.) The new tires have about 1-1.5 inches wider tread, so this seems reasonable.

The Outback doesn't use air deflector "spats" in front of the front tires as they do in the back, and as they do under my daughter's new Forester, so I may try fabricating some out of corruplast and see if they have any effect. I see those things under lots of high-end cars with big tires, so they may help. Something else to play with when I have a bit of time.
Stant-

Glad to hear you're liking your's. I've got just under 2k miles on mine and also like 'em a lot.

What tire pressures are you running?

Granted we're on different size rims/tires, but I'm having a tough time finding their 'sweet spot' pressure-wise on my 16" rims.

I'm also seeing some premature wear on the front, outer edges and despite having it checked twice by the dealer (and it being "within spec"), I'm going to be stopping into a tuner shop for a custom alignment.

Thanks for the update....

Tim
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Tim,

I've been running 34 front, 32 rear, but after checking tread wear with a gauge, I think I'll drop them to the factory specs of 32 front, 30 rear. They are wearing a tiny bit faster in the centers. Handling seems to be relatively insensitive to pressure, and steering is a bit lighter than I like at the higher pressure.

Mine did get grippier as they gradually got scuffed in; at about 5000 miles they seemed to stabilize and haven't changed noticeably since.

Stanton
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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had the pilot sports on my 2009 impreza, loved them, they even slayed the mud beleive it or not. Soon to get pro contact DWS on the 05 OBXt
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