News: Ford Performance Tire Partner

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Rubber Sole

Michelin is Ford Performance’s sole partner for custom-engineered tires

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Engineers have long told us that new-car programs really begin with the tires. That is even truer when it comes to building a foundation for performance. As we have seen with the new Shelby GT350 and the forthcoming Focus RS, Ford Performance has often turned to Michelin to develop these tires. Now the two companies have entered into an official pact to develop tires for all new Ford Performance vehicles, including the Ford GT.

Engineers from Ford and Michelin will work together to develop unique tire compounds and construction at the outset of each new Ford Performance vehicle.
Engineers from Ford and Michelin will work together to develop unique tire compounds and construction at the outset of each new Ford Performance vehicle.

“We have a long relationship with Michelin, and could not ask for a better teammate to help extract maximum capability from our vehicles,” Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance, said. “That confidence extends from our upcoming racing effort at Le Mans in 2016 with the all-new Ford GT, to the Ford Performance vehicle lineup, including Shelby GT350 and F-150 Raptor.”

The Shelby GT350 and GT350R already employ the Michelin Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2, respectively. However, look for Michelins on the street and race versions of the Ford GT plus the new F-150 Raptor.
The Shelby GT350 and GT350R already employ the Michelin Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2, respectively. However, look for Michelins on the street and race versions of the Ford GT plus the new F-150 Raptor.

We already know the Shelby GT350 is delivered with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, while the Shelby GT350R is fitted with the grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. Likewise, the Focus RS comes standard with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, while the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is on the optional 19-inch forged wheels. Now we know the new Ford GT will also roll on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, while the Focus ST and Fiesta ST will wear the Michelin Pilot and the forthcoming 2017 F-150 Raptor will climb with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2s.

You can watch the Michelin Man having a little fun with some Ford Performance vehicles right here…

Like the GT350, the Focus RS is also available with two flavors of Michelins from the factory, but look for its hot hatch brethren—the Fiesta ST and Focus ST—to roll on Michelin Pilots on the future as.
Like the GT350, the Focus RS is also available with two flavors of Michelins from the factory, but look for its hot hatch brethren—the Fiesta ST and Focus ST—to roll on Michelin Pilots in the future.

“Our tire development teams are excited to be working hand-in-hand with Ford on these amazing vehicles,” Thom Roach, vice president, original equipment marketing, Michelin North America, said. “The Michelin Pilot tires and BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tires on Ford Performance vehicles are all custom-tuned to help maximize vehicle performance on multiple fronts.”

Based on our experience in the Shelby GT350 and GT350R, this marriage is off to a great start and it should be fun watching the relationship grow with the Ford GT racing program.

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