GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 28, 2011) – Michelin has teamed up with Corvette again on a new original-equipment fitment for the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette. Selecting the Z07 package on the Z06 or the new PDE performance pack on the ZR1 guarantees the brand-new, Corvette-exclusive MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure (ZP) tires, featuring a DOT-approved, street-legal and track-ready design that draws from lessons learned in endurance racing.
The Michelin and Chevrolet Corvette partnership was born on the racetrack, with the first Michelin-shod C5.R racing in the 2004 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of
Sebring. After seeing racing success, the relationship grew to include more replacement tire options for Corvette owners. The MICHELIN® Pilot®
Sport PS2 Zero Pressure (ZP) became the standard fitment for the ZR1 in 2009 and the MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup for the Z06. The relationship
deepens with the 2012 Corvette lineup.
"Michelin and the Corvette teams are driven by a constant quest to reach higher levels of performance and technology," says Rob Murray, Michelin North
America Inc.'s vice president of operations for passenger and light truck original equipment tires. "Michelin tire engineers worked closely with Corvette
vehicle engineers to tailor the new tire to enhance the two highest-performing models."
The MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup ZP tire available exclusively on the Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes was designed to improve track and street performance.
Engineers estimate performance increases that include an 8 percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, a remarkable 1.1g and shorter braking distance.
Testing at Virginia International Raceway shows an improvement of approximately three seconds per lap.
The 2012 Z06 and ZR1 models with these packages take street-to-track driving to a new level, with purpose-built MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup ZP
tires that provide extreme grip, progressive feedback and precision control. Weekend racers can drive home on the same tires they drove on track - a tire
tuned to be a perfect match for the high-performance drivetrain and chassis under the skin of America's quintessential sports car.
According to Lee Willard, tire development engineer for Michelin North America and designer of the Pilot Sport Cup ZP, "The tire is the only single element
of a car - whether on the track or on the street - that can simultaneously improve braking, acceleration and cornering. It was natural for Corvette to tap
Michelin's extensive racing and ultra-high-performance expertise when looking for a track-tuned tire that would improve lap times and still be street
Willard also supports the Corvette Racing C6.R team on weekends. Racing to learn is a core mission for Michelin's motorsports team, and this tire
demonstrates that philosophy in action.
The MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup ZP benefits from several generations of Michelin run-flat technology, which is especially efficient in enhancing
race-tire performance characteristics. Michelin has turned the technology that enables a tire to run for a limited period without air pressure into an
asset on the racetrack. Key features of the Pilot Sport Cup ZP tire include:
- Asymmetric run-flat sidewalls
optimize tire rigidity (stiffness) in the same manner as racing slicks. The run-flat inserts distribute sidewall rigidity for amplified lateral grip
and peak cornering performance with precise control and steering.
- The supple outside sidewall provides a large and reflexive variable contact patch similar to the racing slicks used on the Corvette
Racing C6.R in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
- The reinforced inside sidewall provides the extra-tuned rigidity to support extreme cornering forces and transmits the extraordinary
braking and acceleration torques produced by Corvette's ample Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and substantial 638-hp LS9 or 505-hp LS7 powerplants.
- Unique tuning
of the production tire's variable contact patch enables drivers the ability to get on the power more quickly when exiting corners, confident of grip
and handling throughout the course for faster lap times.
- A new racing-compound arrangement raises the limit of world-class, DOT street-legal and track-ready tire grip without reducing wear.
The compound resists uneven rib wear created by continuous lapping in one direction.
- The custom-tuned, variable contact patch supports continuous control and progressivity in the most demanding track and road
Along with the brand-new MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup ZP, other 2012 Corvette models feature MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport PS2 ZP and the
MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup.