The Corvette engineering team has long made a point of listening to their customers.
That’s one reason you’ll find all-season run-flat tires on the new mid-engine Corvette Stingray, instead of the summer tires offered on the C7 Corvette.
“More customers than ever are saying that they’d really like to drive three seasons on the same tires,” Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter explained to Car and Driver magazine.
With the advancements in tire technology over the past few years, the decision wasn’t a hard one, though it did take five years of development to come up with the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 that will be standard on the 2020 Stingray.
The goal was to reach 1.0 g of lateral grip with the new all-season tire – which would be more than the C6 Corvette could accomplish with summer tires. So far, Michelin has made it to 0.95 g with the C8, but that figure could climb after Juechter’s team finalizes the Stingray’s chassis calibration.
Lee Willard, Michelin’s lead development engineer for the Pilot Sport All Season 4, is impressed with the new all-season tire, pointing out that it “doesn’t make the compromises that the summer tire will make when the temperature drops below 40 or 50 degrees, especially if it’s wet.”
“It really behaves like a summer tire in balance and progressiveness at the limit, yet it offers two to three times the grip of a Michelin summer tire in the snow,” Willard said.
While the new tire hasn’t been able to reach 1 g yet, the 0.95 g is still better than leading current all-season tires like the Hankook Kinergy GT that pulled 0.93 g on a Nissan Altima tested by Car and Driver.
For C8 customers who outfit their cars with the available Pilot Sport 4S summer tire, Michelin believes they’ll see traction figures between 1.03 g and 1.05 g.
The purpose of switching to a mid-engine Corvette, of course, was to improve performance past what can be achieved with the former front-engine layout.
Changing to an all-season tire might seem to go against that goal, but Chevy apparently feels it’s a compromise worth making, especially since all-season tires have improved so much over the past few years that they’re actually providing better dry grip than summer tires could deliver in the past.
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