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      03-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
Pete_vB
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1M Pilot Super Sport initial review

I swapped out my PS2s for Michelin PSSs in stock sizes on the 19" wheels a few days ago. Even though I've had PSSs on other cars, I'm still amazed at the difference these tires make. If I didn't know, I'd think I was driving a different car.

First, the bad: The turn in on the PSS is noticeably slower, and the car feels a fair bit less precise than with the PS2s. I suspect this is down to a significantly softer sidewall. I've always felt the 1M is extremely responsive for a stock front engined car; these tires noticeably increase the on-center dead area in the steering, and driven in the same way as the PS2s you'd be missing apexes by feet with the PSS- you need to adjust your driving style to turn in earlier. I have not played with upping the pressures yet.

That's it for the bad, on to the good:

First, grip: The PSS is much, much sticker, especially noticeable in putting power down. As someone who always drives with TC off, I can say that I have never stuck 1st gear with PS2s. That is not the case with PSS, and better yet when they do break away it is very progressive. When PS2s let go they really let go, sending the rpms to redline rapidly and/ or putting the car very sideways. The PSSs, on the other hand, are still doing lots and lots of gripping even when they are slipping. Suddenly the car is much easier to drive on and over the limit, with much more confidence that the car will not "snap" away from you even in bad conditions. Even in the wet:

Wet performance: Outrageously good. I did 14 laps at a very wet autocross yesterday with the Porsche club, my first autocross in the BMW. My friend and I were comparing A Stock cars back to back, his Cayman S vs my 1M, we were both on identical Pilot Super Sports, and we were the only cars there to have them. There were 44 cars, including a number of Porsche GT3s (one on hoosier wets), Porsche 996/ 997 turbos, M3s, a brand new 400+ hp Porsche 991 S, etc. Of all those cars on various wet tires, my totally stock 1M came in 2nd overall, and my friend in his Cayman took TTOD. I wish I could say it was all driver, and we are both good, but we both clearly had an advantage using the PSSs. I'd guess I would have been 3 seconds slower on the PS2s, and it would have been very difficult to drive with the TC off. With the PSS it was no problem, including holding long slides in the wet through puddles with power on.

Comfort: The PSS rides noticeably better.
Wear: Too early to say on the 1M, but on my previous car I got at least 2x the life vs the PS2.

Overall I think BMW made a big mistake not putting these tires on stock. It was almost as if the car was designed for them. I do wish the car was a little sharper with them on, but overall that's a small price to pay. I have a set of 18" wheels with Hankook R-S3s waiting to go on the car next to test; I expect them to be even stickier in the dry, no where near as good in the wet. The PSSs have set a very high bar for them to exceed. I'd call a switch to PSSs a "must do" mod, even if you have a little life left in your PS2s. Get those things off as soon as practical, you won't be disappointed...
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      03-25-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Great review Pete. I plan to replace the PS2s with PSS this year for my street tires. RS-3s for the track.
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      03-25-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Great Review, thanks!

I am about to put my PS2's back on today. I have never really "driven" the car without my winters on.

Out of curiosity, would PS2's up front and PSS's on the rear be completely stupid? Would that would solve the turn in issue you described while maintained the better grip on the rear end? Since we can't rotate our tires anyway... Maybe it's a stupid question, but I would like the best all around I could get!

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      03-25-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dcb View Post
Great Review, thanks!

I am about to put my PS2's back on today. I have never really "driven" the car without my winters on.

Out of curiosity, would PS2's up front and PSS's on the rear be completely stupid? Would that would solve the turn in issue you described while maintained the better grip on the rear end? Since we can't rotate our tires anyway... Maybe it's a stupid question, but I would like the best all around I could get!

Dave
I'm sure the extra grip from the PSSs in back vs PS2s in front would result in terminal understeer, especially in the wet. I think a better option would be to keep PSSs all around but experiment with higher pressures, especially in front- I plan to try this next. If that doesn't go far enough then some changes to alignment will likely help. Once I adapt to the car, however, I'm not sure how much I'll really feel the need to improve turn-in response; it's predictable, so you can account for it...
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      03-25-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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In regards to the loss of turn in response with the PSS's... did you go with XL rated sidewalls? When I bought my PS3's last year (over here in Germany) Michelin makes the same tire with and without the XL rated sidewalls. I was told this is for better turnin response AND to compesate when switching from RFT to non-RFT's. Just a thought.


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      03-25-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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thnx for the review, i cant wait to switch over to PSS's
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      03-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
In regards to the loss of turn in response with the PSS's... did you go with XL rated sidewalls? When I bought my PS3's last year (over here in Germany) Michelin makes the same tire with and without the XL rated sidewalls. I was told this is for better turnin response AND to compesate when switching from RFT to non-RFT's. Just a thought.


Dack
I think the PSS at the stock 1M sizes come only XL anyway so that can't be the source of his problem. The tires are absolutely identical in technical numbers with PS2s of the M3 and 1M, PSS are very slightly lighter and different thread life, that's it. I checked every single specification versus each other before I bought my set.

I don't know how many miles he had on them but mine are getting better in every way, as expected. I just can't say it for sure about the "sharpness" and turn-in issue since I did not track these tires and didn't have a drop of rain here since December (I am with the PSS since new year and around 1100-1150 kms on them).

His very good and more comprehensive impressions (compared to my old thread on PSS with the 1M) almost totally confirm my impressions about this tire, as I always said that BMW's choice of not putting PSS as stock tire can only be explained by a) tires were really not ready at the time of pre-production like one M engineer or executive once stated, b) it was too easy and cheap to go with the M3 Competition Pack stocks, commercial logic and c) Who wants (or wanted) a 1M performing better than a stock M3? And probably all of these alternative explanations were correct.

Thanks for the post Pete, please tell more about your next tire pressures, in fact I also feel that PSS seem to need different pressures than PS2, just didn't start experimenting yet.
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      03-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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Great review, Pete_vB. Thanks for sharing!
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      03-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #9
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Agree completely with OP's review.

I ran a set of PSS this past weekend on VIR. 265/35-18 front/285-35-18 rear on Apex wheels.

After I figured out tire pressures (ended up 28 cold/38 hot), they were pretty terrific --and really excellent in the wet.

Not the same turn-in and ultimate grip as the DOT-R tires that are my frame of reference on the track, but very predictable and consistent. And pretty damn comfortable for the street.

I'll be running this set in this year's One Lap of America.

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      03-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDORPHN View Post
Agree completely with OP's review.

I ran a set of PSS this past weekend on VIR. 265/35-18 front/285-35-18 rear on Apex wheels.

After I figured out tire pressures (ended up 28 cold/38 hot), they were pretty terrific --and really excellent in the wet.

Not the same turn-in and ultimate grip as the DOT-R tires that are my frame of reference on the track, but very predictable and consistent. And pretty damn comfortable for the street.

I'll be running this set in this year's One Lap of America.

Neil
What about cost : performance : wear?

I think the reason I like the RS3s are good bang for the buck but if they last 1/2 as long as the PSS, it may make the PSS a better choice?
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      03-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #11
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I am just thinking of changing the rears over for now to the PSS, I have noticed with the PS2's MDM and M button engaged the rear on launching is very slap happy as traction brakes easily sending you somewhat sideways, as fun as it is but I wont to be able to harness and use the power being created not just show my skid marks
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      03-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRoboto View Post
What about cost : performance : wear?

I think the reason I like the RS3s are good bang for the buck but if they last 1/2 as long as the PSS, it may make the PSS a better choice?
RS3s are an unbeatable value in the dry. But I don't consider them a good "all-around" tire as they're not very good in the wet.

Of course, your mileage may vary...

Neil
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      03-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_in_London View Post
I am just thinking of changing the rears over for now to the PSS, I have noticed with the PS2's MDM and M button engaged the rear on launching is very slap happy as traction brakes easily sending you somewhat sideways, as fun as it is but I wont to be able to harness and use the power being created not just show my skid marks
As Pete suggested before on this exact topic, the big difference in grip between the PS2 and PSS may give you some issues if you change just the rears. It is going to be better if you can change all 4 and keep the front PS2s as your reserve tires or if you have too much life left on them, why not just sell them. Just my thoughts.
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      03-26-2012, 11:45 AM   #14
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The PSS is cheaper and lasts longer, according to tirerack:

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      03-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_in_London View Post
I am just thinking of changing the rears over for now to the PSS, I have noticed with the PS2's MDM and M button engaged the rear on launching is very slap happy as traction brakes easily sending you somewhat sideways, as fun as it is but I wont to be able to harness and use the power being created not just show my skid marks
I spoke to Joer at our last PH SS meet and he had changed to PSS and commented how much better they were all round and that the TC doesnt intervene as much with PS2's!

I will be having a set of PSS put on the rears this Thursday so will let you know how I get on with them on Sunday at MBW!!

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      03-26-2012, 11:55 AM   #16
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I spoke to Joer at our last PH SS meet and he had changed to PSS and commented how much better they were all round and that the TC doesnt intervene as much with PS2's!

I will be having a set of PSS put the rears this Thursday so will let you know how I get on with them on Sunday at MBW!!
I had a good chat to him also about the rears, as I have taken to switching MDM on for all my driving the rear is very tail happy when engaging the M button and launching so it had me thinking back to Joer's experience running the PSS on the rears..........You think you can scrub a few hundred miles on them before Sunday mate?
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      03-26-2012, 12:09 PM   #17
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Thx for the review, Pete, and valuable observations both on track and in real world everyday conditions. I have the PSSs on my Audi and hands down the best tire I have had, you wouldn't think an AWD needs additional grip but they too transformed the car in only positive ways.

A question: did you consider doing with the M3 GTS fitment given it is the same exact wheels as ours (IIRC 255/35 + 285/30 fitment). And cons on going that route?
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      03-26-2012, 12:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I had a good chat to him also about the rears, as I have taken to switching MDM on for all my driving the rear is very tail happy when engaging the M button and launching so it had me thinking back to Joer's experience running the PSS on the rears..........You think you can scrub a few hundred miles on them before Sunday mate?
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      03-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_in_London View Post
I had a good chat to him also about the rears, as I have taken to switching MDM on for all my driving the rear is very tail happy when engaging the M button and launching so it had me thinking back to Joer's experience running the PSS on the rears..........You think you can scrub a few hundred miles on them before Sunday mate?
I will try my best mate I am hoping the PSS's will last a bit longer. My PS2's lasted 9k although that did include some spirited driving!
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      03-27-2012, 03:43 AM   #20
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I will try my best mate I am hoping the PSS's will last a bit longer. My PS2's lasted 9k although that did include some spirited driving!
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      03-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post

His very good and more comprehensive impressions (compared to my old thread on PSS with the 1M) almost totally confirm my impressions about this tire, as I always said that BMW's choice of not putting PSS as stock tire can only be explained by a) tires were really not ready at the time of pre-production like one M engineer or executive once stated, b) it was too easy and cheap to go with the M3 Competition Pack stocks, commercial logic and c) Who wants (or wanted) a 1M performing better than a stock M3? And probably all of these alternative explanations were correct.

Thanks for the post Pete, please tell more about your next tire pressures, in fact I also feel that PSS seem to need different pressures than PS2, just didn't start experimenting yet.

great update... I think it best if we don't ASSUME what options the engineers had available, in making statements such as " BMW should have put these on from the beginning".

Bottom line though, is that there seems to be no reason to replace the PS2s with anything other than PSS. Better wear, better grip, better ride, and 50% better price... only negative is slightly less turn in..
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      03-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #22
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Alright guys I'm doing it. Gonna order with my credit line from Discount Tire.

PSS's 265/30R19 and 295/30R19. Mounted on stock wheels. Hope they don't rub!

Is this a stupid idea?
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