Coming to grips with Michelin's new Primacy 4

By JAY WONG | 6 September 2018

Michelin recently launched its Primacy 4 tyre in Pattaya, Thailand, to replace the outgoing Primacy 3 ST and it’s being touted to possess greater consistency and durability throughout its use.

The new tyre is priced from RM444 per piece and will carry the ST designation on its sidewall, to identify it to the ASEAN region, and is available at all TyrePlus and Michelin authorised dealers nationwide.


Michelin Primacy 4 - 09 Mercedes-Benz E 200 convertible
There are 14 sizes for choice (from 16 to 18 inches) and will be further expanded to 64 to include a smaller 15-inch range.

The French tyremaker describes its new tyre with a ‘Safe When New, Safe When Worn’ tagline because of its surprising ability to retain much of its grip from new (8mm tread depth) until a worn tread depth of 2mm.

Also, the new tyre uses the company’s latest EverGrip technology which features a new sculpture for its tread design to increase water evacuation space by 50% as the tyre wears down.

The second feature of the technology is the tyre’s new second-generation Silent Rib technology that uses inter-locking bands to minimise the deformation of tread blocks when rolling.

This ultimately leads to a more silent ride as well as better shock absorption for greater comfort.

The tyre’s level of consistency also stems from its new rubber-silica compound that’s not only more evenly distributed, but also properly bonded for a more consistent wet grip performance.

The company commissioned TÜV Rheinland Thailand to conduct a wet braking test from 80kph to zero on new and worn tyres and compared the results with new and worn tyres of other premium brands.

On wet roads, the test found that a new set of Primacy 4 tyres was able to brake up to 2.5m shorter than its competitors and when worn, the difference in braking distances was much greater at around 5.1m shorter.

In some instances, it was also found that a worn Primacy 4 tyre was able outperform a new one from a reputable competitor.

A demonstration was performed with a Honda Accord (2017) wearing 17-inch wheels fitted with new 225/50 series Primacy 4 tyres to perform three 80-0kph wet braking tests before changing out to a worn set.

This process was repeated against a Japanese and British tyre brand.

All tyres (including the Primacy 4) maintained a new tread depth of 8mm and worn tread depth of 2mm.

When new, all three brands performed relatively close to each other with the Primacy 4 managing to stop completely within 25.5m, while the Japanese brand took 27.1m and the British at 30.9m.

Onto the worn tyres (2mm tread depth) and the Primacy 4 did the deed in 29.3m (+3.8m) with the Japanese brand sliding in at 33m (+5.9m) and the British finally managing to stop at the 39.3m (+8.4m) mark.

Members of the media were also provided with a fleet of Honda Accords for a short drive around the area fitted with the three tyres brands, which also proved that the Primacy 4 was much more silent and compliant over uneven road surfaces.

Lastly, a short gymkhana circuit was prepared and the choice of vehicle was a Mercedes-Benz E 200 convertible fitted with 18-inch wheels and 225/45 Primacy 4 tyres, which managed to hold up relatively well against the heated abuse.

But it was obvious that it didn’t like to play rough - something the Pilot Sport 4 excels in.

The Primacy 4 is, without doubt, a more refined and consistent performer - which ultimately makes it far safer against its direct competitors.

And as a bonus, it’ll also help to push a vehicle’s refinement level up by a slight notch, thanks to its ability to reduce the amount of noise, vibration and harshness from intruding into the cabin.

Michelin Primacy 4 - 08 Mercedes-Benz E 200 convertible