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The new Michelin Primacy 4 is backed by two innovative technologies that offer lasting safety, excellent performance and sublime comfort throughout.

12 Jul 2018

The word Primacy describes the state of being first, whether in importance, order, or rank, and it's the word Michelin has chosen to name its range of premium passenger car tyres.

The Primacy range has proven that it lives up to the name, but there's a new addition to the fraternity

The Primacy 4 is Michelin's latest tyre that's safe when new, safe when worn
First unveiled at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt last year, the Primacy 4 is the successor to the French tyre manufacturer's highly popular Primacy 3. Undoubtedly, it has massive shoes to fill, especially when Michelin says it's been improved in every way possible.

To find out, we headed to Pattaya, Thailand, where Michelin constructed a proving ground to showcase the Primacy 4's supremacy.

Safe when new, safe when worn

According to Louis Giraud, Michelin's Vice President Marketing B2C, East Asia & Oceania, the Primacy 4 provides lasting safety and excellent performance in both new and worn states, throughout its entire life cycle. Moreover, it also serves as a reference of silent tyres that provide the ultimate driving comfort and experience.

Speaking at the event, he said, "A tyre's grip and braking performance - especially on wet roads - is critical to road. Consumers today choose their tyres based on their characteristics when they are new. But what happens to grip and braking performance after 50,000km, or after a few years of use?"

"In the tyre industry," Mr. Giraud continues, "Performance tests are typically conducted on new products. Michelin is a step ahead. We want to demonstrate that our performance is maintained with mileage and time."

Mr. Giraud says the Primacy 4 proves that performance can be maintained with mileage and time
The Primacy 4 is not slippery when wet

Michelin demonstrated the Primacy 4's claim of lasting safety and excellent performance in both new and worn states at a wet braking test station.

A Honda Accord was shod in two sets of Primacy 4s - one new with 8mm of tread depth and the other worn with only 2mm of tread depth left - as well as equally-sized new and worn tyres of two other premium brands. The legal, minimum tread depth allowed for tyres in Singapore is 1.6mm.

Before the tests began, Michelin also allowed us to physically inspect all six sets of tyres that would go on the Accord, to prevent any doubts or suspicions of rigging. Braking hard from 80km/h, the Accord, fitted with Primacy 4s, stopped 2.5m shorter when new, and 5.1m shorter when worn, compared to the two other premium brands.

Even more surprisingly, the test also showed that even the worn Primacy 4s are able to brake 1.8m shorter than the new set of tyres from one of the premium brands tested.

The tyres are tested under extremely strict guidelines, with the media scrutinising to help ensure that the results recorded are fair
This is the result of EverGrip Technology, one of the two innovative technologies Michelin has incorporated into the Primacy 4. Simply put, EverGrip Technology features squarer and less tapered grooves, which provide increased water evacuation ability by 50%.

The latest generation high-performance rubber compound of EverGrip Technology, which - by bonding rubber and silica more strongly and evenly together - also provides uniform energy dissipation upon contact with the road, resulting in better grip in the wet, even when worn.

Thanks to said technology, the Primacy 4 is also able to achieve an overall grip improvement of 4% compared to the outgoing Primacy 3.

Silence is one of the great arts of conversation

One of the highlights of the event was a scenic drive around Pattaya's Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. Apart from being able to experience the attractive sights, it also gave us a chance to sample just how quiet and comfortable the Primacy 4 is.

Compared to the two other premium brands used as part of this test, the Primacy 4 produces a much lower hum, almost unnoticeable to the untrained ear, as well as helps with a much softer ride.

In the wet braking test, the new and worn Primacy 4 tyres managed to stop more efficiently than the ones of competitor brands
Did Michelin infuse some form of wizardry into the Primacy 4? Not exactly. What it did infuse is something called its second generation Silent Rib Technology, which features interlocking bands to minimise the deformation of tread blocks as the tyre is rolling.

This reduces air pumping sound effects, like the ones created when you squish your palms together, for a more silent ride, and provides better shock absorption in response to road obstacles for improved comfort.

The Primacy 4 also lasts longer and can travel an average of 18,000km more than its competitors before needing to be replaced.

"The new Michelin Primacy 4 addresses two major pain points of consumers in our countries - safety journey after journey, due to unfavourable road conditions and rain-related accidents; and on comfort, due to challenging road and traffic conditions," said Mr. Giraud.

In fact, the Primacy 4 may well represent the pinnacle of development for Michelin in the premium passenger car tyre segment, one that's deserving of Michelin's 'fourth star' rating. And that's a significant achievement, even for a company that invented road signs, radial tyres and the silica compound that exists in many tyres today.

The new Michelin Primacy 4 is marketed from today onwards and will be available in 64 sizes, from 15 to 18 inches, offering fitments for popular vehicles such as the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, the Honda Accord, the Mercedes E-Class and C-Class and the Toyota Camry, just to name a few. It will be available at all Michelin authorised dealers across the country.
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