Both these tires fall under the category of max performance summer tires that are made to provide extreme dry and wet performances in hot summer conditions. And out of the two the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S with a lower void ratio provides good overall dry and wet traction.
On the other side, the higher void ratio of Pirelli P Zero PZ4 serves in reducing the threat of hydroplaning along with providing better fuel efficiency.
Side Note: (Make sure you don’t confuse yourself with Pilot Sport 4 vs 4S). We did a separate comparison on Pirelli P Zero vs Pilot Sport 4.
Here’s the deal: The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is more on the sporty side. Sure, you get a better traction but with better traction comes high rolling resistance which translates into high fuel consumption. The Pirelli P Zero kept this into account.
Side By Side Comparison
Pirelli P Zero
Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Overview:
Michelin Sport 4S has an asymmetrical five-pitch tread design featuring two wide, one comparatively narrower, and one narrowest circumferential groove which separates the three rows and the shoulders.
There is no tread block column available in this tire.
Lateral grooves define the shoulder blocks which are restricted inside on the outboard shoulder but the lateral grooves on the inboard shoulders open into the narrowest circumferential groove.
Thin sipes penetrate the central rib from the outboard side at an inclined angle whereas deep perpendicular sipes are available on the inboard side of the intermediate rib, covering half of its surface.
On the outboard intermediate rib, the quarter-length sipes are present opposite to each other.
BTW, there is new tire in town: The Michelin Pilot Sport 5. You may wanna check it out as well.
Pirelli P Zero Overview:
Pirelli P Zero PZ4 has an asymmetrical five-pitch tread design with three wide and one very narrow circumferential groove.
It has three tread blocks columns with no rib available.
It features two distinctive shoulder designs where the outboard shoulder has lateral grooves connected to the first circumferential grooves via inclined sipes, whereas on the inboard shoulder a thin small sipe is placed between the lateral grooves.
Outboard intermediate tread column has blocks separated by sipes while in the central column a small sipe is also featured along with the blocks.
In the inboard intermediate column, the forming sipes continuous up to the shoulder blocks, penetrating parallelly to the lateral grooves then intersecting them perpendicularly in the center.
Pirelli P Zero vs Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Detailed Comparison:
Let’s dive in to details, but first make sure you also check out the Michelin Pilot Super Sport comparison with the Pirelli P Zero as well. This will really help picking a tire.
Sport 4S due to the presence of three ribs secures a higher contact patch, allowing the tire to grip the road tightly.
Therefore, its dry braking distance is lower i.e., 80 feet.
On wet roads, the efficient siping along with the higher contact patch ensures the superiority of this tire as well.
It has a wet braking distance of 109 feet, lesser than its competitor.
Pirelli PZ4 has a lower contact patch and no ribs.
This decreases the grip of this tire on dry roads and increases its braking distance.
It has a braking distance of 83 feet on dry roads which is a little higher than its counterpart.
However, on wet roads this tire lacks due to its lower contact patch and inefficient sipes, increasing its wet braking distance up to 115 feet which is also greater in comparison with the other tire.
Shoulders come into the prospect when considering the handling capability of any tire.
In Pilot Sport 4S, the shoulder block length is higher which in turn enhances the grip of this tire, decreasing its lap time up to ~30 seconds in dry conditions.
Similarly, the deeper lateral grooves available on its shoulders allow this tire to steer well on wet roads, resulting in a lower lap time of ~33 seconds in wet conditions.
The P Zero has a multi-pitch shoulder design which means its outer shoulder has smaller length blocks, whereas its inner shoulder has larger length shoulder blocks.
It allows the tire to steer well but not as well as Sport 4S because its multi-pitch shoulder design offers a lower grip, increasing its dry handling time and its comparatively shallower lateral grooves increase its lap time in wet conditions.
It has a lap time of 31 and 34 seconds (approx) in dry and wet conditions respectively.
Both these timings are higher than its competitor making it second to other tire in terms of handling.
Comparison of Hydroplaning
Sport 4S has two wider grooves along with one medium and one narrowest groove.
This decreases its ability to wipe away water effectively and results in a lesser capable tire on flooded roads. Hence, posing a greater threat of hydroplaning.
On the other hand, the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 has three wide grooves and one narrowest groove which significantly increases the volume for the water to pass through its tread.
This causes this tire to boldly navigate through flooded roads, making it reliable in such conditions.
Comparison of Rolling Resistance
The higher contact patch increases the connection of the tread with the road; therefore, higher friction is produced.
A greater force is required to overcome this friction to roll the tire.
Thus, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S with a higher contact patch so it is a higher rolling resistant tire, making its fuel efficiency lower.
P Zero PZ4 has a lower contact patch which causes lower friction of tread with the road and makes it easy to roll.
Hence it has lower rolling resistance and higher fuel efficiency since a lower amount of fuel is utilized to overcome friction.
Which tire is more Comfortable?
A lower void ratio favors the noise reduction in Sport 4S as there is not much volume for the entrapment of air particles.
These air particles strike with the groove’s walls to produce noise.
A lower amount of air particles will produce lower noise; therefore, its noise level is lower.
Due to better performance, its subjective comfort is higher whereas on bumpy roads it struggles to provide a smooth ride due to the inability of its narrow grooves to dampen the impact of shocks.
Pirelli P Zero PZ4 is a noisier tire since it has a higher void ratio allowing a higher number of air particles to get tarped inside the grooves and strike with its walls to produce a loud noise.
This results in a much louder tire and its subjective comfort is also lower due to its lower performance.
However, it does provide a smooth ride on bumpy roads due to its wider grooves acting as a second suspension and dampening the impact of jerks.
Durability and Treadwear Differences
The softer rubber used in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 allows it to perform well but it can’t resist the treadwear that effectively.
The rolling resistance of the tire is also higher due to a higher contact patch, causing higher wear.
Since the built quality of this tire is not strong enough to withstand the wear, therefore it wears out quickly.
This decreases the mileage of this tire. (Much lower than its counterpart)
P Zero PZ4 has a relatively harder rubber compound used in its tread which withers out slowly since it offers a higher treadwear resistance.
This combined with the lower treadwear generated by the lower contact patch prolongs the tire’s life and allows it to beat its competitor mileage-wise.
PZ4 is a higher-priced tire, providing good performance with higher durability and better mileage.
Sport 4S is slightly lower in price which is better in both dry and wet traction, but its built quality and mileage are much lower, comparatively.
Customers may buy one of these tires depending upon their preference and needs.
- Both the tires are max performance summer tires.
- Sport 4S is better at griping both dry and wet roads.
- The handling capability of Sport 4S is also higher in all conditions.
- PZ4 efficiently handles the flooded conditions with its wider grooves.
- The rolling resistance of PZ4 is lower and provides better fuel efficiency.
- PZ4 has higher durability and lasts up to a greater number of miles.
- Sport 4S is a lower-priced tire, compared to its counterpart.