Michelin Super Sport vs Dunlop Star Spec

09 MS3 GT
Here is my review of Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs. I had the Dunlops for about 18K miles before replacing them with Michelins, with about 2K on them now. Both were the same price when I was shopping but Michelin had a $70 rebate, so that help me decide. I really liked the Star Specs, but was curious to see what the Super Sports can do with rave reviews I read so far.

Same suspension, same wheels, alignment and same tire size so it's a direct comparison. I don't track the car, this is based on street driving, some nearby mountain roads, and local parking lot. I listed areas of comparison and picked the better tire. I have H&R coilovers, tire size is 235/40 on 18x8.5 wheels.

Looks: Star Specs easily. Even though I prefer asymmetrical over directional tread pattern, Star Specs are wider, more square, flatter, has larger thread blocks, looks way more aggressive. I would say tread is 1/2" wider and contact patch is 1" wider than Super Sports.

Grip: Star Specs. Both are similar in terms of ultimate grip, but Star Specs are more consistent and predictable especially as you get closer to the limit.

Responsiveness: Star Specs. Dunlops are quicker to turn-in and in transient change, feels like they have stiffer sidewalls.

Stability: Star Specs. Both feel very stable, until you get past 12 on the speedo, Star Specs continue to feel 'planted'. Same goes during cornering, they give you better control and predictability.

Ride: Super Sports is slightly better, less impact harshness.

Feel: Star Specs. This is where Star Specs have the biggest advantage over Super Sports. There is much more tactile feedback from tires through the steering wheel and chassis. Transmits more surface information and what the tires are doing. It just feels 'glued' and builds confidence.

Noise: Super Sports. Granted, every tire gets noisier towards end of its life, so first thing you notice when running new tires is lack of noise. But Super Sports are still quieter than when Star Specs were new from what I remember. Star Specs have louder 'hum' or 'growl'. Biggest knock against Star Specs seem to be noise, but compared to track tires, they're quiet.

Wet Handling: Super Sports' biggest advantage. Hasn't rained much so far this season, but Star Specs lose lot of the 'feel' in the wet, but Super Sports maintain more of it.

Weight: Super Sports by 2lbs per tire according to my shipping scale, not insignificant.

Gas Mileage: Super Sports 24mpg, Star Specs 23mpg. Stock tires were 25mpg.

Tread Wear: This is unknown at this point, but Super Sports have 30K guarantee. Star Specs should easily last 20K without any track time.

X-Factor: With Super Sports, it eliminated my rubbing issues in front(at full lock) and back(fender) due to narrower and rounder tread. Also, I like the fact that Star Specs have much lower pitched 'screech' when they slip.

Overall: Star Specs, they have better performance characteristics. You can think of Star Specs as track tire trying to be a street tire while Super Sports are street tire trying to be a track tire.

So there you have it, I'll be going back to Star Specs when these Super Sports wear out, hopefully Dunlop comes out with next gen version by then. I value grip, response, and feel over noise, ride and wear.
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