A solid performance in the frozen north of Sweden set Michelin up for a top result, but it slipped out of contention on the cold, wet tarmac of Germany.
It had a clear lead over the Nokian after the snow tests, and even matched the second-placed Goodyear. On the snow and ice the Alpin 4 showed good lateral grip, and was strong enough to finish on the podium in the slalom and around the Skanska track. Keep the wheelspin to a minimum, and it would steer well – albeit with some rear end movement. It was a little off the best in braking, but still a strong performer.
That good work was undone by the aquaplaning tests at the Contidrom – here the Michelin was a long way behind the Goodyear it matched in Sweden. This is a pity as it was on the pace in our wet braking tests and around the wet track. It felt good there, too: both testers liked the stable, well balanced handling that gave the confidence to push.
It was a similar story in dry handling, with sharp steering and good turn-in. You could also feel the well damped ride on the NVH track, where the tyre was a joint winner for cabin noise.
Rolling resistance used to be a Michelin speciality, so fifth place looks poor, but the Alpin 4 matched premium rivals, behind the flawed Linglong.