Michelin, Porsche, and the Nürburgring Nordschleife
Michelin and Porsche are famous for their many race wins around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. However, the famous ‘Green Hell’ is also used extensively by both companies to test their road-going products.
There has hardly been a car from Porsche’s range that hasn’t visited the 20.6-kilometre ribbon of tarmac at some point during its development, and the same can be said of Michelin’s range of tyres, especially from its famous Pilot selection.
When it came to choosing a tyre partner for the new Porsche 918 Spyder, Zuffenhausen looked no further than Michelin in its hunt for the ideal rubber for its record-breaking Nordschleife run.
After jointly working on tyre development on a myriad of different Porsche cars, Michelin knew exactly which tyre was needed to cope with the 918 Spyder’s 887bhp, and 2.8-second 0-100kph time.
The latest in a long line of Pilot Sport tyres, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 has undergone an incredible 150 hours of testing of testing around five different European circuits, including 4,000km at the Nürburgring.
550 different prototypes were created, while the final certification process included a 50-point evaluation of the finished tyre.
“We decided to design a completely new tyre with a massive external shoulder to maximise dry handling, and specific compounds to reduce rolling resistance and optimise lateral grip”, explains Olivier Bouhet, manager of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 project.
For the ultimate supercar, Porsche had decided to fit the ultimate road-legal tyre, tuned by Michelin to get the most out of the 918. And, of course, it paid off. The 918 Spyder set an incredible new lap record of 6m57s around the Nordschleife.
This blend of speed, stability, and performance has led Porsche to make Michelin the sole tyre supplier for the 918 Spyder. What’s more, everything Michelin learnt with the 918, filters down to the tyres that you buy for your Porsche 911.
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres are N-rated for use on the 997-type Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS, showing how Michelin’s continual work with Porsche, whether on track or road, filters down to the products you buy.