Michelin Alpin A4

17 Oct, 2012 10:24am

Verdict

Competent all-rounder but is let down by deep water performance.

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.

Rating Position
Snow braking 94.7% 6th
Snow traction 97.8% 5th
Snow slalom 97.7% 3rd
Snow handling 99.3% 3rd
Straight aqua 89.3% 5th
Curved aqua 83.9% 6th
Wet braking 98.3% 3rd
Wet handling 98.6% 4th
Dry braking 97.9% 5th
Dry handling 99.5% =4th
Cabin noise 100% =1st
Rolling resistance 91.3% 5th
Price £84.56 7th
Overall   97.6% =4th

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Not a fare test for Michelin as the best winter tyres were NOT used.
Michelin PA4 should have been used.