I was recently invited to Valencia to try out Michelin’s new tyre The Michelin Primacy 3, and from my experiences during the testing I was amazed at how different top branded tyres can be !

The New Tyre





The Testing Track


Before I went I was wondering… would they set the test against the other top tyre manufacturers such as Continental, Goodyear and Bridgestone, as after, all comparing a budget tyre against a premium brand it would be easy to spot the differences, no cheap budget brands here.

Would it be fair, new tyres on every car including the competitors, same tyre pressures and tread depth on all tyres, and the same tyre sizes and speed indexes’. The Simple answer was yes! After checking them all I was very confident that this would be a very interesting test.

On my car back home I had Goodyear Eagle F1, a good tyre fitted, so when I see that these were on another car in the test I couldn’t wait to see if I had the better tyre or not.

Some of the people at the test were also sceptical so they brought their own tyre pressure monitor and tyre tread depth gauge and went about checking to be 100% sure !

If you don’t have the time to read the following my conclusion was that: If your tyre size is made in the Michelin Primacy 3 there is no better tyre available. You can be sure you have the safest tyres available for your car. Rating : 10 / 10

What Happened ?

We got to drive two identical cars (except for the tyres) during each test, I had 3 other people in the car with me in every test except the Wet Lateral Grip, for this test it was just me and the instructor.
In the car there was a GPS tracking device which measured stopping times, speed, distance and G force, this work in conjunction with sensors on the road.

Dry Braking Test

Drive the car round the track, then on the straight go as fast as you can in 2nd gear,( in my case it was around 55mph) each time there were 4 people in the car (a 3 Series BMW) and once you get to a point half way down the track hit the brakes and stop as quick as you can, simple… after all it’s not my car and I don’t have to worry about paying for the tyres so I was not holding back in the test.
Have a look here:




Each time the stopping distances for the Michelin Primacy 3 were shorter than the competitors. I was actually able to see the difference myself buy noting where I stopped each time and looking out the window to compare. This lead me to think hey with those other tyres I would have been in to the back of the car in front !

The group results were 23.8 metres on the competitor and 22.5 metres on Michelin Primacy 3, I did get bigger distances in the test I did, as some people were really pushing the tyres.

Conclusion, as per the test results published by Michelin, and independent TUV tests my experience was that the Michelin Primacy 3 is the best.

Wet Braking

Drive the car round the track, then on the straight go as fast as you can in 2nd gear,( in my case it was around 55mph) each time there were 4 people in the car (a VW Passat) and once you get to a point half way down the track hit the brakes and stop as quick as you can. This time there is water all over the track and sprinklers spraying more on the track, so it was safe to say it was a wet day similar a normal day in the UK… Have a look here:






Each time the stopping distances for the Michelin Primacy 3 were shorter than the competitors. I was actually able to see the difference myself buy noting where I stopped each time and looking out the window to compare. This lead me to think hey with those other tyres I would have been in to the back of the car in front AGAIN after my dry braking test !

The average stopping distance was 27.9 metres on the competitor tyre and 25.6 metres on the Michelin Primacy 3, this was the combined data of all the people testing the tyres the day I was there. In the wet braking i did get longer distances between the two tyres in the test I did.

Conclusion, as per the test results published by Michelin, and independent TUV tests my experience was that the Michelin Primacy 3 is the best yet again.

Wet Lateral Grip

This test I was not looking forward to so much seeing the speeds that the people in the tests before me were driving at ! You can see from the picture it was like driving round and round a big roundabout which was constantly wet and getting wetter, my wipers were on the whole time. This time we were driving E class Mercedes cars, with just myself and the instructor in the passenger seat.

The Track To Test Wet Lateral Grip








Starting off in the car with the competitors tyres, in this case I picked the Goodyear Eagle F1 as I had these on my own car back in the UK off I went. First couple of laps I was building up the speed as I went round, the instructor was saying faster faster so I could drive the car on the “edge” so it was just about to lose grip. I was surprised by how fast you could go but you did notice when it started to lose grip.

Next up the Mercedes with the Michelin tyres, off I went again, this time I was more confident and was getting up to speed quickly, and in fact going faster than in the last car. The grip was very good but the main thing I noticed was that I didn’t have to put in as much effort to keep the car under control while driving on the edge as I did with the Goodyear tyres. Controlling the steering wheel as I went round and round seemed to be easier with the Michelin tyres on and when the car eventually started to go it was not as much of a surprise as it was with the other tyres fitted.

Conclusion, in this test the Michelin was better but the difference was not as pronounced as in the other tests due to the fact that in the braking tests it was easy to see / measure the difference.
The Michelin Primacy 3 tyre is available from February 2012 onwards.

Why is the Michelin Primacy 3 Such a Safe & Fuel Efficient tyre in Any Condition ?

The strategic priority assigned to Michelin engineering teams, regardless of their product line, is to develop tyres capable of delivering superior performance simultaneously in different areas. The challenge is to improve quality in one area without sacrificing it in another.

This rationale guided the entire MICHELIN Primacy 3 development process. The tyre had to provide outstanding safety and thus the best grip in all circumstances, whether the road is dry and straight or wet and curving, while keeping the total cost of ownership as low as possible.

Practically speaking, the MICHELIN Primacy 3 tyre helps reduce fuel consumption (up to 70 litters over the full life of the tyre(1)) while also offering high total mileage. Thus, the new tire delivers the performance balance common to all Michelin tyres: safety “enhanced” with energy efficiency and superior longevity.

To demonstrate the performance of the MICHELIN Primacy 3, the independent tests centres TÜV
SÜD Automotive and IDIADA were commissioned to compare the tyre against four market-leading competitors.

The tests revealed that:
1 - The MICHELIN Primacy 3 delivers the best braking performance on dry roads(2).. When decelerating from 100 km/h to a full stop, the braking distance of the MICHELIN Primacy 3 was 2.2 meters shorter than that of its four market-leading competitors(2). Note: 70% of road accidents occur on dry roads.

2 - The MICHELIN Primacy 3 delivers the best braking performance on wet roads(2).. When decelerating from 80 km/h to a full stop, the braking distance of the MICHELIN Primacy 3 was 1.5 meters shorter than that of its four market-leading competitors(2). Note: 99% of accidents on wet roads take place in very shallow water.

(1) Estimate of average fuel savings for petrol vehicles, compared to the 4 leading competitors in the European market. Rolling resistance tests carried out by TÜV Süd in 2011 on sizes 205/55 R 16 V, 225/45 R 17 W (with tyres available and bought on the European market in February 2011) and calculated over the average life span for MICHELIN tyres i.e. 45,000 km (internal source).
(2) Tests conducted in 2011 by TÜV Süd Automotive and IDIADA on store-bought 205/55 R 16V and 225/45 R17W tires, purchased on European market in February 2011.

3 - The MICHELIN Primacy 3 delivers the best grip when cornering on wet roads(3). At 90 km/h, the MICHELIN Primacy 3 delivers additional grip that amounts to 3 km/h(3). Note: 25% of accidents take place when cornering (of which 50% on wet roads) and these are the most serious type of accident.

3) Compared to the 4 leading-market competitors. Tests conducted in 2011 by TÜV Süd Automotive and IDIADA on store-bought 205/55 R 16V and 225/45 R 17W tires, purchased on European market in February 2011.


Michelin Primacy 3: The new tyre that integrates an in-depth understanding of accidents:

Safety involves more than delivering superior performance in one area. Moreover, braking ability is not the only requirement to ensure safety and speed is not the only factor responsible for accidents.

There are many preconceived ideas about road hazards. To free itself from these prejudices, Michelin can draw on an in-depth understanding of accidents, such as the knowledge developed through the Accidentology Chair created at the University of Dresden.

At the University, a detailed analysis was carried out of 20,000 road accidents in Europe that occurred over a ten-year period. This information was “mapped” to determine accident types and produced some impressive statistical data.

The study revealed three major accident families:

- Accidents involving a single vehicle but no pedestrians, with or without an obstacle.
- Accidents involving at least two vehicles. These can be broken down into sideswipe, head-on, broadside and rear-end collisions.
- Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian.

Road conditions are also important and the analysis takes into account the type of road on which the accident occurred (city or rural) as well as weather conditions (dry or wet).

In addition, the study reveals that:

- 70% of accidents occur on dry roads.
- 60% of accidents happen in cities and at low speeds.
- 75% of accidents occur on straight roads (of which 20% are wet).
- 25% of accidents take place when cornering (of which 50% on wet roads). These are the most serious type of accident.
- 99% of accidents on wet roads take place in very shallow water.

Moving from theory to practice, Michelin used this knowledge when defining the properties of the new MICHELIN Primacy 3. A team of 60 engineers spent three years designing the tire. Nearly 25,000 prototype tires were produced at the Technology Center and in a number of Group plants to validate the tire's technical performance and manufacturing processes. More than 20 million km of tests were then conducted across Europe – from northern Germany to southern Spain – in different conditions of use.


New Patented Technologies to Improve Saftey

At least two new technological innovations should be mentioned since they play an important part in
the MICHELIN Primacy 3’s safety performance. Grip is the most important aspect. That’s because a
tire can only deliver maximal safety if it maintains constant contact with the road, whether wet or dry.

The rubber compound with its unique combination of ingredients:

The MICHELIN Primacy 3’s patented new rubber compound optimizes grip in all conditions of use without sacrificing performance in other areas, namely fuel efficiency and longevity.

The new compound is a unique, complex combination of different elastomers, a silica-based reinforcing agent and a resin-based softener. What makes the compound innovative is not only the ingredients themselves but even more importantly the optimal dosage of each ingredient and the mixing method.

This unique combination binds the components very tightly, thereby providing high total mileage.

The tread design with its innovative sipes:

Because of the demands placed on tires when braking sharply or cornering on both wet and dry roads, it's important to have a maximum of rubber in contact with the ground.

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 features a new patented tread with self-blocking sipes. They lock into each other to make the blocks more rigid and less likely to lose their shape, thereby improving the contact between the tire and the road.

In addition to their original design, the new sipes are manufactured with a groundbreaking technology that can reduce their thickness to as little as twotenths of a millimeter. This means that they are two or three times thinner than the sipes found on winter tires.

Available Sizes:
Since its launch, the MICHELIN Primacy 3 tire has been available in 38 different sizes.

Speed rating: H, V, W, Y

Aspect ratio: 65 to 45

Rim diameter: 15 to 18 inches

XL= Xtra Load NL = Normal Load

15”
185/60/15 84 H NL
185/65/15 88 H NL
195/65/15 91 H NL
195/65/15 91 V NL

16”
205/55/16 91 V NL
205/55/16 91 W NL
205/60/16 96 W XL
215/55/16 93 V NL
215/55/16 93 W NL
215/55/16 97 H XL
215/55/16 97 V XL
215/55/16 97 W XL
225/55/16 95 V NL
225/55/16 95 W NL
225/55/16 99 W XL

17”
205/50/17 89 V NL
205/50/17 89 W NL
215/50/17 95 W NL
215/50/17 91 W XL
215/55/17 94 W NL
225/45/17 91 W NL
225/45/17 94 V XL
225/45/17 94 W XL
225/50/17 94 V NL
225/50/17 98 V XL
225/50/17 98 W XL
225/50/17 98 Y XL
225/55/17 101 W XL
225/55/17 97 W NL
235/45/17 94 W NL
235/45/17 94 Y NL
235/45/17 97 W XL
235/55/17 103 Y XL
235/55/17 99 V NL
245/45/17 99 W XL
245/45/17 99 Y XL

18”
235/45/18 98 W XL
245/45/18 100 W XL

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