Writing about the Michelin Pilot Sport 5
Driving on a combination of roads
for 500 spirited
The Pilot Sport 5 is an evolution of the Pilot Sport 4, rather than a revolution. Grip is improved slightly in both wet and dry conditions, but don't expect the revolutionary difference from the Pilot Super Sport or Pilot Sport 3 to the 4. In terms of pace, the difference is perhaps more obvious on the stopwatch than in the seat with Michelin themselves claiming only a 1.7% improvement on pace in the wet.
That's not to say that it's a bad thing though - the PS4 was already at or around the top of the tables in most regards, and they are what I would consider the gold standard for a road tyre (assuming you cannot get the Pilot Sport 4 S in your fitment), so an improvement is likely to push the standard even further. As with the Pilot Sport 4, grip is fantastic in the dry, comparable to that of an AD08R semi slick, and in the wet the PS5 handles better than some road tyres do in the dry.
Noise levels are broadly similar, but the sound is duller and less intrusive than the 4. Again, that's already a fairly high benchmark, as the PS4 is a quiet, refined tyre in the first place.
Sidewall strength has always been a weak point for the PS4, with Michelin choosing to err on the side of comfort, and the Pilot Sport 5 is still not exemplary in this regard, but there is a modest improvement in sidewall stiffness over the 4.
It's still early days for terms of wear rate so I have not rated this. Michelin claims a 15% improvement on tyre life, one of the main claims they make over the PS4, so if anything this will be the main reason to choose the PS5 over the PS4, although realistically if you are looking at the PS4 then you will care about the slight improvements in performance too.
Ultimately the Pilot Sport 5 moves the goalposts a little further, but not a lot. Whilst it currently is the best tyre on the market (at least in the 17 inch fitment I run), rivals are catching up, and the next versions of their tyres could well be able to close that gap in the next few years. However, it's worth buying over the PS4 given the very similar price.