We all know how amazing Michelin tires are. They’re practically one of the kings in the tire industry. But one Michelin line definitely stands out—the Michelin Pilot Sport series. So, let’s pit two of them together, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 vs 4s.
When comparing the two, the Michelin 4S takes the cake. It has relatively better traction on most types of road surfaces, except for snow. Moreover, it’s also much better at dealing with aquaplaning and possesses a longer-lasting tread life.
So, here’s a comparison table to get you up to speed.
|Michelin Pilot Sport 4
|Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
|16 to 21 inches
|17 to 23 inches
|Up to 2337 lbs, depending on the size
|Up to 2679 lbs, depending on the size
|Mostly 9 or 9.5/32″, 8.5/32″ available as well
|300 or 320
Table of Contents
What Are They?
1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is the successor to the ultra-high performance Pilot Sport 3, which has been the leading choice for top-tier sports car manufacturers in the world for years, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and even electric cars like Tesla.
The Pilot Sport 4 takes it up a notch with its Dynamic Response Technology. Driving through wet roads won’t be a problem because of its ultra-reactive tread pattern, which drastically improves handling for any driver.
It also comes equipped with a Formula-E Tread Pattern, which gives it significantly enhanced water drainage on wet roads due to the wide grooves and specialized tread. Couple that with new generation elastomers and silica, and hydroplaning won’t be an issue.
When compared to the Pilot Sport 3, it has 13% less rolling resistance, ensuring excellent rubber-to-pavement. There’s also an optimized contact patch to achieve maximum durability.
Lastly, an exterior sidewall with Premium Touch Design and a deep rim protector gives it extra longevity for many miles to come.
The Pilot Sport 4 is indeed an excellent tire. However, it’s not very reliable in all types of weather—you’ll need all-season tires for that, like the Michelin Pilot Sport AS4 and its upcoming successor, the All Season 5.
2. Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
Like the Pilot Sport 4, the 4s is also designed as a high-performance summer tire and a replacement for the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. And, like the Pilot Sport 4, the 4s is an excellent choice for sports car enthusiasts.
It comes with Dynamic Response Technology for exceptional handling, especially when steering and cornering. Meanwhile, a Multi-Compound Technology takes care of traction on wet and dry surfaces.
When it comes to durability, the Pilot Sport 4s is very impressive, considering that it’s a summer tire. This is due to Michelin’s Total Performance technology, which enhances its tread life, especially when comparing the Pilot Sport 4S vs Super Sport.
Couple that with a deep rim protector, and you’ve got a reliable high-performance tire on your hands.
However, since it’s a summer tire meant for highway driving, it performs rather poorly on other surfaces like snow. That’s where all-season tires come in. When comparing the Pilot Sport 4s vs All Season 4 on snowy roads, the all-season wins.
On the surface, the differences between the PS4 vs PS4S aren’t that noticeable. However, when you test the two tires side by side, some characteristics can be quite apparent. Let’s get down to them.
1. Dry Performance
When it comes to dry surfaces, both tires perform exceptionally well, since they’re summer tires. Both come equipped with Dynamic Response Technology, so handling is a cinch for them.
However, the Pilot Sport 4S is slightly better than the Pilot Sport 4, especially when it comes to dry braking and handling. So, we have to give it to the Pilot Sport 4S on this one.
If for some reason, you need even better performance on dry roads, you can take it up a notch further with Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2, which blows away the Pilot Sport 4S in a Pilot Sport Cup 2 vs 4S matchup.
Winner: Pilot Sport 4S
2. Wet Performance
On wet surfaces, it’s a little bit tricky. The Pilot Sport 4 is better in aquaplaning resistance, while the Pilot Sport 4S has better numbers in wet handling and braking. All three features are essential when driving on wet roads, especially when it comes to safety.
So, the winner here might depend on the user and what they prioritize most when traveling on wet roads.
However, the gap in wet handling and braking between the two is quite substantial, while the 4S isn’t much worse than the PS4 regarding aquaplaning. Hence, we’ll go with the Pilot Sport 4S on this one.
Winner: Pilot Sport 4S
3. Snow Performance
Since both products are categorized as summer tires, snow performance will be expectedly poor. In handling, braking, and traction, both the Pilot Sport 4 and 4S aren’t just equipped for snowy weather.
If you’re looking for winter performance, pick an all-season tire instead. Though it’s an unfair comparison, when trying the Pilot Sport All Season 4 vs Pilot Sport 4s on snow, the former clearly surpassed the latter.
A good comparison, however, would be the Pilot Sport All Season 4 vs Crossclimate 2, since these products are meant to go beyond dry surfaces.
4. Comfort and Noise
When driving your favorite sports car, speed and handling aren’t enough. Comfort and noise levels are also essential factors to consider. In this category, both tires handle comfort and noise amazingly well.
The slight difference between the Pilot Sport 4 and the 4S is negligible, so a tie seems more likely.
Pros and Cons
The Pilot Sport 4 and the Pilot Sport 4S are among the best of the best when it comes to ultra-high performance tires. So let’s narrow down their pros and cons.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4
- Great aquaplaning resistance
- Good dry handling and braking
- Low noise
- Comfortable ride
- Bad snow performance
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
- Great wet handling and braking
- Great dry handling and braking
- Low noise
- Comfortable ride
- Bad snow performance
Frequently Asked Questions
What does 4S mean on Michelin tires?
The 4 means 4th generation in the Pilot Sport line, while the S is a badge so consumers can differentiate it from its predecessor, the Pilot Sport 4.
Are Michelin Pilot Sport 4 good in the winter?
Since the Pilot Sport 4 is a summer tire and not an all-season tire, it performs horribly in snowy weather. That’s why all-season models like the Pilot Sport A/S 4 and the Agilis Crossclimate come in handy.
What is the Pilot Sport 4 ZP?
The “ZP” means “zero-pressure”, essentially making the ZP the Pilot Sport 4’s “run flat” variant. With ZP variants, you can drive with a flat for 50 miles at 50 miles per hour.
Is there a Pilot Sport 5?
Yes, the Pilot Sport 5 is the latest version from the Pilot Sport lineup. It has better tire life when comparing the Pilot Sport 4 vs 5.
Is there a Pilot Sport tire for SUVs?
Yes, the Pilot Sport 4 SUV exists. However, comparing the 4 SUV vs 4S is a no contest, since the 4SUV replaced the Latitude Sport 3. That said, both models perform well on dry roads, with the 4S having a slight edge.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 vs 4S debate has concluded, and both do incredibly well, especially on wet and dry roads. However, the Pilot Sport 4S is just the better tire between the two, as it improves most of the features in the Pilot Sport 4.
However, many are still torn between them, as seen on car forum and Reddit. Nevertheless, the choice is up to you. You can buy these tires from Costco tires, Discount Tires, or even order online on Amazon.