Ten thousand Epic Frozen miles on Michelin Alpin P4 Winter Tyres – full review and a bitch slap too

Winter is coming, the fall of the leaves can only lead to the falling temperature and eventual fall of snow. All is not lost

As dry, cold winter afternoons can yield some of the best driving conditions for your naturally aspirated inline six imaginable. The cold air charge increased power and induction noise – the only problem is traction….

Winter tyres are – the god sent saviour of the winter drivers ‘spirited drive’

They totally transform the experience from really sketchy to fully engaged and rewarding. I’ve run two sets of wheel tyre combinations for 4 winters now. A staggered 17″ M-Sport double spoke with 225/45/17 front and 245/40/17 rear. My summer tyre choice is currently Good Year Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 – I have found these to be stunning on any surface, rough, smooth, wet, dry  – Grip, feel, wear…. all just about right – yes there are more extreme tyres but I need the ride and wear to be as good as grip, so there’s my choice

For the winter, though… There is only one the Michelin Alpin P4 Winter Tyres. These I have set up on standard 16″ with 205/55/16’s all round. First off the feel very different to the staggered M-Sports. The narrow 205 vs 245 at the rear with 180BHP is interesting. Yet, when it’s -2 degrees celsius out there with patches of snow and ice – they are incredible! The Michelin Alpin P4 Winter Tyres just cut through everything – ice, snow, slush and most of all – just the freezing cold hard asphalt that on my summer tyre setup would be just too unmanageable

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Firstly you have to choose to have a double setup, choose to run both summer and winter setups respectively. Then you get to choose the best tyres for both situations, I’ve tried a couple of combinations to date. ContinentialSport Contact 3’s and Bridgestone Potenza’s both had their own merits – I just never found anything worth replacing the Michelin Alpin P4 Winter Tyres for or with?! The compound with unique ‘siping‘ tread pattern make these the only choice – As soon as you’ve experienced driving high powered rear wheel drive in snow and ice with these bad boys on all corners- then you will be reborn, and never again are you that ‘idiot’ in a BMW who can’t even get off the driveway….

Why it’s best to run separate sets, Winter & Summer?!

It’s a good point, “I love my alloys and don’t really want to change them….” The wider summer staggered widths of 245, 255, 285 ect are like snow ploughs this coupled with the summer compound and tread pattern – potentially killing you and other road users

The upside is your stunning BBS, M-Sports or HRE’s will never see harsh conditions, salt, grime and excessive stone chipping. Nicely tucked  away hibernating until winter is over. There is a sense of celebration too when the winters come off and the car readies for spring, summer and autumn. Your beloved 18″ BBS CH-R’s will never know, and your summer tyres will last so much longer – not just because they’re only on for 9 months of the year, but because at temperatures below 7 degrees celsius the summer compound begins to harden and therefore wear at an exponential rate way and above what would normally be acceptable

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Lost grip and feel with massive wear?!

Why would anyone not want to swap their tyres over? In most of Europe, it’s law to run winter tyres. In Germany, if a BMW or Mercedes is delivered to a customer during the winter period then the car will automatically be fitted with winter tyres. It’s that dam important. The difference is that extreme, the cost in the long run of running a double setup is about the same as keeping summers on all year long as your wearing them out faster over the same period. You spend over the same period the same amount, your car handles the best it can all year round and your safer, not just for yourself but everyone else…

Why be this twat, M4 vs Snow (without winter tyres)

 

When you can style it all the way up an Alpine pass

 

 

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