Michelin Pilot Alpin: the importance of winter tyres

Porsche 911 Michelin Pilot Alpin
Michelin Pilot Alpins don’t just improve stopping distances in winter conditions. The driving experience is also improved.

To quote hit US TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, winter is coming. And, as the temperature regularly drops below seven degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) it is time to start thinking about winter tyres for your Porsche 911.

Porsche understand the importance of winter tyres, helping Michelin develop a special directional version of the Pilot Alpin tyre in 2012. As well as improving safety, winter tyres can also improve performance during the winter months.

Utilising the HelioCompound 3G compound, the Michelin Pilot Alpin is made of a softer rubber than summer tyres. The reworked compound combines silica with sunflower oil to maintain elasticity, even at low temperatures.

Michelin Alpin
Michelin winter tyres use a different compound, as well as an increased number of grooves and sipes to improve grip.

Combined with a higher groove-to-rubber ratio than a summer tyre (a five to eight per cent increase) the Michelin Pilot Alpin is able to reduce braking distances by two metres compared to Michelin’s previous winter tyre.

What is more staggering though is the difference between winter and summer tyres.

With denser siping (small grooves in the rubber to improve traction in wet conditions), Michelin’s winter tyre offerings stop from 31mph (50kph) in 32 metres, an incredible 31 metres sooner than the comparative summer tyre.

Michelin Alpin snow
When temperatures regularly drop below seven degrees Celsius, winter tyres are a must.

These figures don’t just stack up on snow and ice though. When temperatures are below seven degrees Celsius, winter tyres can improve braking performance on wet roads too.

In order to improve your safety whilst driving during the winter months, winter tyres appear to be a must. What’s more, the dark, cold weather shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the thrill of driving.

For more information on Michelin’s winter tyre range, head to their website, where a selection of winter rubber is offered for all types of vehicle.

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