Michelin says there are two touring-tire-buying camps. One drives BMWs and Audis and goes shopping for performance touring tires. The other group drives Camrys and Accords and is somewhat surprised to learn they'll be shopping for more expensive performance tires. The tire company hopes to capture a big slice of the second group with its new Primacy MXV4
Michelin says this new tire not only provides the performance enthusiasts demand, but also gives casual drivers the comfort they want along with a 60,000 mile warranty.
To show off the MXV4, Michelin invited Autoblog to Barber Motorsports in Birmingham, Ala. to see for ourselves how it performed.
Continued after the jump.
Also, check out the gallery of photos from the event.
Related GalleryMichelin Primacy MXV4
From 55 miles an hour, the Michelins allowed a 12-foot shorter stopping distance on wet pavement than an identical Toyota Camry wearing Bridgestones Turanzas with Serenity Technology. Several of the journalists in attendance also talked about the Bridgestone car getting squirrelly toward the end of the braking maneuver, something we felt as well. It was by no means a scientific test, but it was easy to tell the Bridgestones just weren't gripping as well.
On a wet autocross course, the Bridgestone Camry understeered much worse than the Michelin car. On the Primacies, we were all making faster, more controlled runs.
Michelin says the Primacy can best the Bridgestone due to several reasons. "Active sipes" open up during normal driving, but interlock when cornering to provide more grip. Alternating tread patterns reduce road noise, and a more square contact patch allows even tread wear and increases tire life.
Michelin spoke of the two aforementioned touring-tire-buying camps. The tire company hopes to capture a big slice of the "Camry and Accord" gang with the MXV4's 60,000 mile warranty for both V and H rated tires. The Primacy MXV4 went on sale June 1, and is available in 32 sizes.
After comparing this one tire to one competitor in only one driving condition, it's impossible to make a judgement about the Michelin. But it at least should be an option on your tire-shopping list.