Is the bigger tyre better? – Porsche answers the question

12 Oct 2022

French-based multinational tyre company, Michelin manufactures the Pilot Sport 4S NAO tyres for the 992 generation of the Porsche 911 Carrera. The Porsche 911 Carrera 992 comes originally with 19-inch tyres at the front and 20-inch tyres at the rear. Focusing on the analysis of the characteristics, the portal called Tyre Reviews searched for the answer as to whether a 1-1 inch larger tyre on both axles could be a better choice compared to the size provided in the standard settings.

In the YouTube video below, Tyre Reviews explained the analysis of tyres with a size difference of one inch. During the comparison, it turned out that different developer team worked on the settings of the different sizes – this is partly the cause of the observed differences.

Source: (Tyre Reviews YouTube channel)

During the test several properties were compared, such as the length of the braking distance in dry and wet conditions, as well as the completion time of the designated distance on the racetrack in seconds, both in dry and wet road conditions. The test ended with surprising results in some cases.

There was little difference between the braking in dry and wet conditions regarding normal road conditions. The difference in distance was only 5.9 inches (14.98 cm) during intensive braking from 62 mph to 3 mph (100 kilometers per hour to 5 km per hour). Regarding the smaller size, this meant 33.18 meters, while for the larger size it was 33.03 meters during the test.

An interesting observation was that during braking on a wet road, the difference was even smaller, only 1.6 inches, or 4.06 cm, when decelerating from 50 to 3 mph (that is, from 80 to 5 km/h) with the same vehicle.

The biggest differences between the different sizes appeared on the race track, where the tyres were also tested on both dry and wet roads. On dry roads, the smaller sizes completed the course in an average of 71.53 seconds, and the larger ones ran the designated track length in 70.43 seconds. The difference here was 1.1 seconds.

In the wet conditions, the 19/20-inch combo covered the same distance than the dry conditions, in an average of 97.55 seconds. The 20/21-inch setup drops that time to 96.83 seconds, leaving the difference between them just 0.72 seconds. It is interesting that, according to the test pilot, smaller sizes are more prone to oversteer.

When Michelin was designing the PILOT SPORT 4S tyre, the world’s second largest tyre manufacturer after Bridgestone wanted to create a durable, great stability providing, perfectly functioning tyre on a road and occasionally on track, as well as a high level of responsiveness and enable precise steering with excellent road holding, even at high speeds. In addition to Porsches, this type of tyre is also offered on Mercedes-AMGs and Ferraris as well.


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