Michelin PS4S E36 M3 Sizes Review: Part 2

Michelin has found many fans of its PS4S tires in the eighteen to twenty-inch sizes. But the time has come to get those tires on smaller wheels—specifically the stock staggered setup of the E36 M3, 225/45-17 and 245/40-17. Michelin provided the BMW CCA an early release set for one such car for a handful of our members to get behind the wheel—and tires—and give us their feedback. These members have different backgrounds, experience, perspective, and opinions, as do our 70,000 BMW CCA members.

This week, we bring to you the input of Eric Sorenson, club member and a certified ASE Master Technician for more than 25 years of a total 30 years at several dealerships and independent shops. Eric actually did the pre-purchase inspection on this specific E36 M3 a few years back, and had driven the car with the previous tires, too.

“In my years in this industry, I’ve had the opportunity to drive many makes and models with different tire combinations,” Eric explains. “I would have to say I was pretty impressed with the grip and handling characteristics of the PS4S tires on this E36 M3. I’ve worked on and driven this car before, and the difference is really night and day.”

His familiarity and appreciation of BMWs goes back many years. “I specialize mostly on import vehicles, but I have the most experience with repairing and doing performance modifications for BMWs,” he adds. But it doesn’t stop there. “Over the years, I’ve owned two E21s, a 1968 1600, a Euro 323i E30, an ALPINA E30, an E38 740i, a ’96 E36 318iS, and currently a 2014 F30 MPerformance 335i. My older daughter has a 2012 128i with Eibach springs, nineteen-inch VMR wheels, a 1M front end, and more. My younger daughter owns a 2013 328i M Performance with engine and exhaust mods, coil-overs and twenty-inch Velgen wheels.”

So when Eric put the car through some more spirited driving, he could reference some of the performance qualities of cars he’s serviced, cars he’s owned in the past, and cars that he and his daughters currently own. “These PS4S tires really provide great grip and control,” he says. “There’s instant traction off the line; it’s like launch control. Before, even in its stock form, we could break the tires loose pretty easily just launching off the line. These PS4S tires give instant grip for better acceleration.”

“Some of the modifications that most BMW enthusiasts do to their cars include lowering the suspension height and tire upgrades,” he continues. “If you drive your BMW a little harder than most, the tires make the biggest difference in control and handling,” Eric says. “The PS4S tires on it now make it feel like an M3—like an M3 should—with lots of control and lots of confidence.”

When we first got these tires, they were the only tires in these sizes available. As part of Michelin’s Phase 2 launch of the PS4S tires, these sizes are now available. Michelin encourages us to check with our favorite retailers for availability and pricing. — Kyle van Hoften

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