In the context of the international partnership between Ford and Michelin, for FORD Performance vehicles, the new Ford Focus RS will be exclusively equipped with Michelin tyres. The MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport, in the dimension 235/35/19, will be fitted on the Focus RS as standard and the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 (in the same dimension) will be available as an option for improved performance on tracks.
The new Ford Focus RS is a particularly demanding and sporty vehicle, representing a precise in-depth challenge for Michelin engineers, to specifically develop these two tyres in order to propose tyres able to meet safety standards and the expectations of Ford teams. This advanced development process was carried out over almost 2 years, during which the car hit the tarmac of several tracks.
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Close-up on tyre development
MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2
This tyre, suitable for tracks while authorised for road use, is the tyre to beat all records. During development:
- 100 – The number of prototype tyres produced to authorise and develop the vehicle.
- 500 – The number of pre-mass production tyres produced for initial driving tests.
MICHELIN PILOT SUPER SPORT
- Over 500 – The number of prototype tyres produced to authorise and develop the vehicle.
- Almost 1000 – The number of pre-mass production tyres produced for initial driving tests.
MICHELIN Ford co-development, an adventure shared between engineering and drivers
“The MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre offers a surprising level of grip thus reducing lap times on the track, while bringing a highly appreciable level of precision to road handling for this FORD Focus RS, and maintaining its playful, dynamic character”, highlighted David Put, development engineer and driver for Ford, “all thanks to the joint work carried out by the Michelin and Ford Performance teams, with a level of mutual understanding, which enabled us to deliver a car which will delight the driving enthusiast”.
The specific development process managed by Michelin to satisfy Ford contributes to driving precision, vehicle stability, sporty handling and grip while maintaining tread resistance performance, for the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport: C on the European label, with an A for breaking on wet tarmac.
“Ford’s ambitions led us to develop very high technology tyres which were fully compatible with the very special configuration of the Ford Focus RS. With this configuration, the mass distribution is centred at the front of the vehicle, and various adjustment options significantly affect the distribution of the four-wheel-drive system between the front and rear axles. Furthermore, with the clear aim of maintaining the dynamic temperament of this car, we were able to expand the grip envelope, particularly on bends in extreme circumstances”, finished Pierre Chaput, Developer for MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport and MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for the Ford Focus RS.
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MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 and MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tyre technologies
An aramid belt
The main characteristics of the aramid (high resistance fibre) belt is its high traction resistance. This component is both light and resistant. At equivalent weight, aramid is five times stronger than steel. The profile of the tyre at high speeds is fully controlled and the tyre’s ground footprint stays constant even at very high speeds, ensuring maximum grip at all times.
The rubber used for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tread is based on Bi-Compound technology. The same applies for the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport, which is adapted for use on both roads and tracks. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 is produced using the same units as competition tyres, and the rubber on the external wall consists of an elastomer with a high molecular mass, ensuring exceptional dry grip on bends, particularly tight bends. A more rigid elastomer is used for the rubber on the inside wall of the tyre to ensure precision guidance on the road.
For the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2
The Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0®
This innovation can optimise pressure in the contact surface area of the tyre in order to ensure that the same amount of rubber is in contact with the track whether the car is heading straight or going around a bend, including for tight bends. This technology is combined with the Track Longevity Patch, which consists of a third specific rubber mixture for the shoulders, ensuring a longer life on tracks.
The new low area
This new low area is 10% wider than the traditional low area of a sports tyre. This area is reinforced using high modulus rubber to increase the lateral rigidity of the tyre and ensure exceptional driving precision and sporty handling.
The MICHELIN Premium Touch technology creates contrast and shades of black, with an almost velvet-like appearance, on some parts of the external side wall, creating a micro geometry which absorbs light.
For the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport
With the Variable Contact Patch 2.0, the surface area of the tyre in contact with the road benefits from variable geometry. This guarantees the absolute control of the vehicle. In fact, on bends, while the shape of the contact area may change, the rubber surface area in contact with the ground will remain constant.
The very high levels of performance achieved by the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 and MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tyres are the outcome of strong and constant investment in Research and Development. Over 600 million euros are invested each year. This performance is also the result of the Michelin Total Performance strategy, which involves constantly and jointly improving tyre performances in general.
MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2: 235/35 R 19
MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport: 235/35 R 19
A partnership which goes beyond tyres
And finally, the new Ford Focus RS benefits from the Ford Sync2 service, which offers all of the digital services to assist with mobility developed by the Michelin Travel Partner teams. Drivers can therefore access a wide range of tourist information and information on hotels and restaurants from the Michelin Green Guide and the Michelin Guide. This information is fully integrated in the embedded navigation system, allowing drivers to plan their routes, their accommodation, their restaurants and even plan which tourist sites they could visit. Michelin has been the leader in the publication of tourist and restaurant guides for over a century. This experience is now reflected in its range of digital solutions made available to customers. Ford Focus Electric drivers can now also benefit from this extensive experience thanks to the SYNC2 system.