Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
What a salient mix of AWD performance and superior handling I thought after lacing up our recently purchased 2020 Acura MDX PMC fleet vehicle with a set of Michelin’s new all-season ultra-high-performance tires. Dubbed Pilot Sport All-Season 4, this innovative rubber is primed to change the mindset of auto aficionados who typically swap out their summer tread for winter specialties when the temperature drops.
Automotive Rhythms welcomed the Acura recruit after debating between the MDX PMC, Audi Q7, and BMW X6. Each represented itself well, but we were won over by the PMC-exclusive Valencia Red Pearl hue (the highest quality paint ever applied to a production Acura), the limited 330-vehicle run, price difference, long-term maintenance, and hand-built techniques at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center by the same engineers that precision craft the tantalizing NSX supercar. Moreover, the PMC fuses both the Advanced package’s luxury features and the sporty touchstones of the A-Spec, allowing it to represent as the most fully contented MDX available. Our Unique PMC Edition numbered serial plaque highlighted model 120/330
All exterior features are blacked out, including a Gloss Black roof antenna, exterior mirrors, door handles, Diamond Pentagon grille, tailgate spoiler, window trim, and dual 4″ black chrome exhaust finishers. Jewel-Eyed LED headlights, LED fog lights, LED puddle lights dazzle as well. The 20 x 8.5″ split 10-spoke rims are finished in Piano Black. Immediately we mounted the next-level Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires in size 265/40/ZR20 104Y. When combined with Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and Active Damper System, the Pilot Sport felt like a match made in heaven! There is a reason Chevy made them the first all-season OEM tire on the Corvette C8.
It was pretty wet outside on my first test ride, so you would think I would have taken it easy. However, no, knowing the capabilities of SH-AWD after recently piloting the NSX along with prior experience on tracks with the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 summer tire, I was far too confident to tread lightly. The package was terrific and stuck to the pavement as if building blocks mended with mortar. Even when I tossed the PMC around, it did not slip or slide. On straight runs, I accelerated the 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine (290-horsepower) to about 70 mph in an empty lot utilizing the 9-speed automatic transmission’s paddle shifters – with Dynamic Mode in Sport – and then proceeded to brake with authority. The tires’ race-inspired tread compound grappled the slick asphalt with vigor for a 5% increase in wet braking. According to Michelin, dry braking has increased by 4% and overall tread life increased by 29% over the competition.
On subsequent performance drives, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 was thorough through cornering and dynamic maneuvering. This is partly attributed to the innovative asymmetric patterns molded from an advanced tread compound, which forms large reinforced outboard shoulder blocks. The end result is added lateral grip (sideways traction), which I needed, in combo with (SH-AWD) for my maneuvers.
What I am looking for most is when wintry conditions bring us some snow. Typically, all-seasons perform nominally good in each season. They do not shine admirably, so to speak, in the summer nor the winter: albeit, Michelin’s 360-degree flexible sipe technology interlocks the sipes for better snow traction. Moreover, the Helio + technology allows the tire to maintain traction in freezing environments, whereas summer tread could stiffen, or the tire could crack or lose elasticity. Lastly, biting edges in the tread grooves of the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 scoops up loose snow to deter slippage.
From inside and out, the Automotive Rhythms MDX PMC is on point with enhancements fit for weekend track action or daily tours. Furthermore, when enthusiasts see that French signage on your sidewalls, they can also expect to see the same sophistication inside. The premium black Milano leather seats with Alcantara inserts and red stitching are joined by metal pedals, carbon fiber trim, a dimpled leather-wrapped steering wheel, Acura ELS Studio audio, Acura’s embedded navigation, and three rows, including 2nd-row captain’s chairs. Although, a newer media system is on the way for the 2021 model that is going to make us wish we had waited. Nevertheless, you have to strike while the iron is hot.
We have been riding on the Pilot Sport All-Season 4s for a month now and enjoy the comfort, performance, and lack of road noise. A set of four costs $1,359 on www.TireTack.com. The ultra-high-performance all-season Michelin tire is the choice for supercars owners, sporty coups, and energetic sedans and SUVs such as our $63,745 MDX PMC. As long as there are roads to rip up, we will be right there, slaying them with our dynamic duo.