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Michelin Pilot Super Sports taking the RS3 from great to truly gripping

Discussion in 'RS3 Forum' started by MBK, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    RS3, Michelin Pilot Super Sports & the A4069 made for each other

    [​IMG]
    A4069 time for some fun...

    I’m coming up to a year and 10,000 miles of RS3 ownership so it’s fitting that the newly fitted and bedded in set of Michelin Pilot Super tyres were ready for their first proper run. I’ve already added my quick thoughts to the http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/rs3-forum/180248-hello-michelin-super-sports.html but the tyres have transformed the car so much I thought it was worth a thread of it’s own to share more with you. This comparison focuses on how the RS3 feels on the MPSS tyres against the standard Conti 5P’s it was supplied with.

    I was smitten with the RS3 within the first 10 feet of the test drive and I’ve had many great drives and shared some of those with you previously. I’m surprised to be typing that one year on that yesterday I had the very best drive of all and feel even more positive about the RS3 than before. The reason for this increased happiness is the Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The Conti 5P’s were excellent tyres and I wrote about their positive in their exit thread http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/rs3-forum/180179-bye-bye-conti-5ps.html but the MPSS take the RS3 from a great to truly gripping experience.

    I’ll reveal the conclusion now, rather than make you wait, and say simply if your tyres need replacing buy a set of MPSS. They are by far the best road tyres I’ve experienced to date. If you’re tyres don’t need replacing yet think about getting a set anyway, the transformation is worth it.

    [​IMG]
    12 miles of pure driving fun

    Tyres and car feel are a subjective and personal thing so I will do my best to describe the difference as I have found it. The A4069 is a road I’ve driven many times on the Conti 5P’s (and also in many different performance cars) so I know the braking points, turn in and realistic corner speeds in the wet well. This is a great road with many challenging corners at sensible road speeds, for the majority of the road the speed limit is well out of reach in any car, stringing the twists and turns together with smooth and effective use of throttle, brakes and steering are far more important. The weather was 8 degrees, wet with plenty of standing water and a fair bit of mud on some parts of the road – or perfect Quattro weather in other words.

    Michelin Pilot Super Sports transform the RS3, there is no better word to describe the difference. In all the crucial areas they out perform the Conti’s with only 2 minor downsides. Where the Conti’s are all Teutonic seriousness and grip the MPSS combine confidence and playful fun yet with even more immediate traction.

    The immediate difference on fitting MPSS was the lighter steering feel. This was no false dawn, the lighter steering plays a big part in all the advantages I’ve found. It’s as if the RS3 has shed 200kg of body weight and is now much more up on it’s toes.

    The advantages of MPSS over Conti 5P’s:

    + Turn In. Initial turn in is so much sharper and it’s easier to place the car exactly where you want it. Where the Conti’s had an initial slight reluctance to turn in and left you guessing for a moment as to ultimate grip levels the MPSS are sharp and assured. Turn in was so pronounced initially I found I was turning in almost too early. Where the Conti’s made the steering feel loaded to return to centre the MPSS feel more natural in the turn and able to hold a smoother line. This was a good sign for what was to come.

    + Steering Feel. Steering feel is more intuitive, there is so much more chatter through the wheel (also see the negatives for a balanced view on this). The MPSS constantly talk to your hands, surface and grip level changes are easy to feel, no doubt aided by the overall lighter feel. By contrast the Conti’s were far more detached and when they ran out of grip it was with thudding under steer as the nose ran wide. The MPSS give multiple warnings as to the limit of grip and the whole car feels more able to move power around to counteract that shift. Steering feel is so much improved I’d say it is almost approaching Megane R26.R levels of feedback and that has astounded me.

    + Balance. The balance and pivot point of the car feels to have shifted, with the Conti’s you knew the outside front tyre was working hardest under hard cornering, the bias was always to the front of the car. Now the balance is more even as power moves between the outside front and rear tyre, on power the RS3 sometimes felt as if it was now pivoting around the rear tyre with far more push than pull.

    + Agility. On a road like the A4069 the RS3 now dances between corners with agility and the ability for quick direction change. Where the Conti’s pummelled the road into submission through sheer grip the MPSS allow you to flick and slice from apex to apex and it’s far more fun to do so.

    + Braking. Braking is more powerful and controlled, adding to the feeling of having shed some weight. Where the Conti’s would sometimes squirm and writhe under braking, making me think I’d overdone the corner speed the MPSS are smooth and controlled throughout the braking zone. Knowing this road well I was able to brake later and carry more speed on turn in. If I didn’t know better I’d have thought I’d done something to improve the brakes.

    + S-tronic fun. Probably the most unexpected and surprising finding is that S-tronic manual mode (& ESP fully off) works so well with the added confidence of the MPSS. Often with the Conti’s I was happy to let the gearbox do its own thing in S-mode. The added turn in and agility of the MPSS made me want to grab the RS3 by the scruff and drive it through every corner. I’m not quite sure how but the MPSS just seem to make more sense with the S-tronic, blipping down through the gears feels more natural under braking while the extra confidence mid corner means you’re soon blasting back out and ripping up through the gears again.

    + Grip. The ultimate level of grip is astonishing, I’d say approaching Toyo R888 (dry weather) grip levels, with none of the downsides of a tyre like the R888 on days like yesterday in the rain.

    + Grip-slip-grip. When the limit of grip is reached the MPSS are sublime. There is a neutral balance to the way they move from grip to slip. Ease off the throttle slightly and order is quickly restored. Hold the power and you can hold the slide, it’s fun and addictive and gives you more options. With the Conti’s it was often a case of driving around the waiting understeer with the MPSS the whole balance is more neutral.

    + Traction. The MPSS offer much greater wet weather grip and corner exit traction than the Conti’s (and I was happy with the Conti’s) and given they’re reputation as a high performance summer tyre this is an added bonus. In corners where the Conti’s were showing 0.8g through corners, the MPSS were exceeding .9g on the data logger. A lot of this is of course down to the extra confidence I had in the tyres rather than ultimate performance which is impossible to judge on road.

    The negatives:

    Just 2 downsides in my opinion:

    - Fuel consumption is reduced on a regular commuting trip it’s anywhere between 1 & 2 mpg lower than the Conti’s it’s hard to say exactly why, a combination of the extra grip and me leaning on the tyres a bit more as a result of the extra confidence. When hooning in full manual mode the MPG is considerably lower but what price fun?

    - Comfort. The Conti’s are the tyre to choose if you want more comfort. The extra feedback and sensation through the steering wheel and your seat mean the MPSS allow quite a bit more vibration into the cabin. I see this as more of positive but I can see how others might find it a downside too.

    - As for wear rate we will just have to see but I thin it will be worth it whatever the outcome.

    The verdict:

    My verdict is a simple one for about £800 Michelin Pilot Super Sports are one of the best improvements you can make to the already great RS3. If you value the sporty nature of a tyre turn in, agility, braking confidence, better steering feel and ability to feel the car intuitively across a demanding road these tyres are a great choice (I stop short of saying the best choice because I haven’t tried all the others). Best of all they amplify all the already great qualities of the RS3 and make owning this great machine even more fun.
    #1
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  3. Kohaku
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    Kohaku Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Hope you got well paid by Mich beforehand,if not should have........Adds like that cost bundles.

    btw are Goods Ays F1's any good. contis were scrubbed out on the front.at about 9k miles.
    they were making some very weird noises when turning full lock from a standstill.
    #2
  4. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    All my own views I have no connection with Michelin! When something is good I'm happy to praise it, equally I'll say if something falls below standard.

    I can't comment on the Goodyear's I've never used them on any of my cars, from what I read they are also good. The current Bridgestone RE050 is also a good tyre but quite soft and wears quickly, superb dry grip though hence some 'ring records.

    I agree on the Conti's towards the end of life they do have issues, 9K is good going, I only got 6K from my first front pair and replaced with the MPSS about half way through life of the second set.
    #3
  5. Kohaku
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    Kohaku Member

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    [Mar 8, 2013]
    Thanks for your opinions,appreciated.
    #4
  6. A3simon
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    A3simon Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Will be getting a set soon I think. Got my springs getting fitted in a couple weeks will see what difference they make
    #5
  7. JonnyG
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    JonnyG Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Thanks for the write up ... it's great to hear detailed reviews like this.

    Would love to see a similar one for the Goodyear F1 Asymm's 2 as it will between these two when I replace mine I think.

    Just one question :-

    On the comfort side - how do the MPSS's compare on noise (eg when cruising at around 50-70mph on A roads ?)
    #6
  8. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    I'm looking at getting the Goodyear's next week Jonny, will let you know (once bedded in) how they are...from what I've read they offer better wet grip than the Michelin's.

    Just don't know whether to go with 235's all round!?! :uhm:
    #7
  9. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Thank you for the comments, I've tried to give as much sensory information as I can to help others make their choice. I write the posts thinking what would I want to know?

    I would say there is no noticeable difference in road noise.
    #8
  10. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    I'd say yes to 235's all round I just cant imagine it makes much difference in balance and the extra grip, especially in the wet would be worth it.
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  11. poverty
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    poverty Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Comparing eagle f1 assy 2 to the MPSS is an insult to Michelin. Goodyear groups competitor to the MPSS is the Dunlop sportmaxx race
    #10
  12. P_G
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    P_G Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Just to put a question out there, I have a spare set of 225 Conti's but struggling to shift them to the point I'm thinking of running them on the rear with my 235 Goodyears up front. Worth it or change them to 235 Goodyears at the rear to and make a loss on getting rid of the 5P's?
    #11
  13. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    The only answer I can suggest is it depends. What is your ultimate aim? There won't be any problem running the different brands I've done this many times, even on track with no adverse effects. Mixing a soft front Toyo R888's and rear Yoko A048's with a harder compound led to some pretty wild oversteer but it was a fun way to finish off both. That is the only time I have ever noticed a real measurable difference when mixing brands.

    When tyre budget has been more important I've run the 2 different brands. When ultimate performance has been the desire I've changed all four as was the case this time. I'm planning use up the remaining life in the Conti's on another car in the family that is mainly a commuter, mixing them with some similar Bridgestone RE050A with about 4mm remaining.
    #12
  14. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Have you actually tried the Goodyear's?
    #13
  15. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Another good comparison thread here, with pictures. You only have to look at the state of the Conti's v MPSS after the tests to see the difference between the tyres. The Goodyears seem to compare well against the MPSS.

    VWVortex.com - Michelin Pilot Super Sport - The 25th Hour

    From what I've read and test review results:

    Goodyear F1 for all round ability and better wet braking performance. If it's just road use you are after these may well be the choice.

    MPSS for ultimate dry performance, (in my opinion they are stunning in the wet too so the F1's must be something special) just below that of a specialist track tyre and with far longer life.
    #14
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  16. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Good read...shame they only compare the MPSS & F1's in the braking test....so are you going to be doing any trackdays?

    Gonna go 235 all-round now!
    #15
  17. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Yep the RS3 will be going on track at some point I've got all sorts of trips and driving events planned this year.
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  18. Kelza
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    Kelza MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Hi mbk maybe you should do a few write ups for asn magazine :)
    #17
  19. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Cool!...we are doing a closed event at Rockingham (with work) in August and as I'm going down in my car I might have a dabble!
    #18
  20. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    For ease of comparison the reviews of both F1 & MPSS from Tyre Reviews - loads of great links on here if like me you like to research your purchases:

    [​IMG]
    Michelin Pilot Super Sport | the Michelin Pilot Super Sport reviewed and rated | the online tyre guide

    [​IMG]
    Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 | the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 reviewed and rated | the online tyre guide

    Both superb tyres and look out for up and coming Nokian zLine that is getting some great reviews. Up and coming brands like this make excellent track day choices at prices you are happy to burn!
    #19
  21. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    What magazine is that? I've done a few write ups in the past but only if it stays fun, sometimes there are too many rules.
    #20
  22. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Thanks MBK....not really much in it between the two...think I'll stick with the F1's and put the cash saved towards my other mods.
    #21
  23. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Sounds like a good plan, let us know how you get on with them.
    #22
  24. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Will do Sir...but not sure I could write such a compelling review as you do!, and defo won't be in Welsh! (refrains from any jokes)
    #23
  25. Kelza
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    Kelza MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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  26. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    #25
  27. Kelza
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    Kelza MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2013]
    Lol you know you want to do the challenge :)
    #26
  28. poverty
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    poverty Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]

    Yes, sidewalls are too soft for hard driving. They are more comfort based. Cannot be compared to the MPSS they are leagues ahead from a performance driving perspective. It might be worth noting that the MPSS was designed to help rid understeer for sports cars and supercars according to Michelin. This is exactly what the rs3 needs and it worked on the TTRS.

    Anyone who has tried MPSS has raved about them. Also if you start to dig out laptime data, MPSS is considerably quicker per lap than all other current hyper summer tyres bar the Dunlop sportmaxx race.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
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  29. P_G
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    P_G Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Too soft for hard driving? Put it into perspective, what you are talking about is something you would only see with track driving. And TBH what performance advantage there is can normally be equalised by a better driver in the car with softer tyre walls. Given the MPSS price and longevity compared to the F1's there is little in it. And as for Michelin's marketing spiel, honestly?

    It really does depend on what you use your car for to select which tyres are best for it.
    #28
  30. poverty
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    poverty Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    You are lookin at this completely the wrong way. MPSS will transform your car. Imagine your RS3 handling nearly being neutral. These tyres make that much of a difference. I don't understand why you would not buy these tyres for the sake of a few pounds. The money is better spent on MpSS than ARB's for example. And they last longer than the Michelin ps2's did, a hell of alot longer. As for f1 assys the sidewalls are liable to bulges.

    If you were to ring Goodyear technical and told them you have a rs3 and do fast road driving, with the occasional trackday they will point you towards their Dunlop sportmaxx race.


    Ive spoke to Goodyear, Dunlop and michelin. I'd advise anyone who is struggling to choose between these tyres to do the same. Unless of course your rs3 just takes you to the shops and back
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  31. P_G
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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    According to you. But then since I have used both on a B7 RS4 then I have a decent basis of comparison. MPSS are a good tyre but for 99% of the time you drive them you'll never tell the difference, F1's can last up to 30% longer and are anything up to 25% cheaper. It's a no brainer. If you wanted a true performance tyre with economy then Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta's would be best as they last 30% longer again and 10-15% cheaper than F1's.

    And as much as you say they are better than ARB's that may be the case however better driving skills would negate any difference than what you are purporting to say there is in side wall integrity between the 2. As for side wall bulges in Goodyears I think you are referring to the cheaper Chinese versions people bought because their tyre integrity standards are not to the same tolerance. Buy European spec F1's and there has been no reported cases of sidewall deformation. And the F1's will also transform handling.

    If we all followed your logic there would be no need for any other tyre manufacturer to make 235/35/19
    #30
  32. poverty
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    poverty Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]

    B7 rs4 and a TTRS/s3 are completely different cars, different weights.

    I don't really track my TTRS much and I noticed a difference between ps2 and PSS straight away on the road. The front end of the car feels much better. If all you do is poodle around get the f1's by all means, but out and out performance like I said the MPSS is much superior. Once you start putting heat into the f1's they will fall off, hence a poor tyre for track days or hard driving where allowable.

    how do you know f1's will last 30% longer than MPSS??

    How do you know myself and my mates bought Chinese copy's of the f1's? Before MPSS all I ever bought was eagle F1's, and have used 3 different sources, you cannot be suggesting everytime I ended up with cheap Chinese copies.

    Between me my mate and another person on the forums we had 7 sidewall bulges with F1's. All from fast road driving. There was even threads about it on mk5 GTI forum due to the high number of failures.

    If you are after the ultimate road tyre it's MPSS. F1's are nice, but don't have the grip, or feel that MPSS give, or ultimately the consistency once hot.
    #31
  33. P_G
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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    We'll agree to disagree then. Used F1 Assymetrics on a heavier car in the RS4 and never had side wall bulges and many a RS4 and RS6, S4 etc owners have similar positive experiences. F1's lasted 16-22k miles from several owners experiences including mine, MPSS 12-16k miles (for reference Vredesteins for me 28-29k) miles. Others didn't even get that on MPSS's and I'll doubt you'll be getting away from me on the road because of the difference your tyres make.

    That's why people have choice and your assertion that anyone who wants something else than MPSS is what is insulting to coin your phrase.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
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  34. CatnipRS3
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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    I hear what ur sayin' 'Poverty' but for general fast road use, the MPSS over the F1's is not justified...some prefer the MPSS and some prefer the F1's and only a handful of people would be able to get the added benefit the MPSS are supposed to offer.

    I appreciate your input and have taken it on-board, as I have with MBK's excellent original post but defo going for the F1's.
    #33
  35. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Thanks CatnipRS3 I appreciate the comment. I agree with you choice makes the world go round and it's about balancing priorities. For what you wanted the F1's make sense.

    I read the discussion between Poverty and P_G with interest, there are some good points in there. I agree with Poverty that the MPSS really do transform the way the RS3 feels, on the other hand I also agree with P_G that you wouldn't leave a similar RS3 on F1's behind on road. The truth usually lies somewhere between opposing views.

    On track tyres do, in my experience, make more of a difference. I think the Chris Harris RS3 v M135i video showed that well, those Conti's were not well suited to track use (the other thread I posted also said as much) and despite the RS3's ultimate quicker pace I think the Conti's let the car down. I'd like to see a repeat on either the MPSS or F1's because in all those tyre tests there is little to separate them.

    On a real positive note I'm astounded that road tyres can be this good. Only a few years ago R888's and A048's were the only choice for ultra grip and they were plain dangerous in the wet. I had way too many nervous journeys to and from tracks on cold and wet days with them. The MPSS strike a great balance for me, great on track performance and the ability perform well on real roads to get you home safely.
    #34
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  36. geek
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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    I was almost heading the F1 route however I have gone back to PSS; I don't need them yet but will be tracking all the usual suspects through the spring for offers.

    Ultimately, I didn't get on with anything other than Michelins on either the M5 or M3 so going with what I know. Have also decided to stay 235 & 225 for the first swap.
    #35
  37. poverty
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    [Mar 10, 2013]
    Woah, did I not say from a performance point of view? I didnt say you must buy mpss as they are best at everything. If you want mileage and comfort dont get MPSS.

    Also inregards to mileage, my MPSS last longer than the michelin ps2, the ps2 generally do well over 12k. Maybe due to the added driving pleasure users are attacking the corners more :laugh:

    What I say about the performance of MPSS is backed up by laptime data. On a Golf GTI, with mpss around a track I do not know, the car did a 90 sec lap time, with the f1 assy 2, it was 92 secs.

    Anyway heres a review of MPSS vs F1 Assy by an S3 driver, and I'll bow out of this discussion now. I just personally prefer to buy the best tyres possible for my car, might aswell after spending 40k+ on the performance car, why compromise.

    Michelin Pilot Super Sport - First impressions | VAGOC.co.uk
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  38. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Goodyear F1's coming today!, getting fitted tomorrow then off for a trounce around the Lakes at the weekend and I'll report back.
    #37
  39. CarrG
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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Nice review as always MBK.

    I was very happy with my F1's but not so sure they have turned into 50pence pieces already (600mls in)??!!

    I think with tyre choice its all about finding the limit and then comparing that with the next set/maufacturer.
    #38
  40. CatnipRS3
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    CatnipRS3 Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Just what I wanted to hear! :keule:
    #39
  41. CarrG
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    CarrG Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]

    Lol...Just try them :racer:
    #40

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