Owners of sports sedans, coupes, and convertibles face a dilemma in winter. Swap to winter rubber, switch to all-season performance tires or keep the car in the garage except on the nicest of days. This week, we had a chance to drive the Cadillac CT-4 V-Series Blackwing sports sedan equipped with the Pilot Alpin PA4 tire from Michelin, and we were mightily impressed by them.
The CT-4 V-Series Blackwing has 472 to put down using only its rear tires. During our week of testing, we had sleet, snow, ice, and rain over frozen pavement with temps ranging from 20F to 40F. Through it all, the Pilot Alpin PA4 tires were splendid.
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Unlike most “normal” winter tires we have experienced, the Pilot Alpin PA4 tires seemed to add no thrum, hum, or other noise in the cabin. We can credit the outstanding construction of the Cadillac, but we have many years of experience testing and owning winter tires. They always hum. These did not.
The Pilot Alpin PA4s enabled crisp steering and lightning-fast turn-in. They seemed to have zero tread squish and squirm and were nearly brand-new. The handling of the Cadillac was fantastic, and we would expect nothing less, but any performance car owner knows that handling starts with the contact patch.
Over mixed sleet, ice, and light snow, the Pilot Alpin PA4 tires provided excellent grip and stopping power. We will not pretend to have tested these tires “at the limits.” We had only public road time with the car. However, in safe, mature driving, with a bit of fun mixed in when the road permitted it, the Pilot Alpin PA4 tires felt like an ally in the experience.
Please permit us to paraphrase the Michelin info on this tire. These tires feature Michelin’s 3D StabiliGrip technology, which the company says allows for 10% improvement in snow acceleration and more than a 5% enhancement in handling on snow-covered and icy roads. Those stats must be in comparison to other winter tires, because this car comes with summer-only rubber hard as glass below 40F. The compound is a full-whammy silica-based “Helio rubber Compound”, which allows the tire to remain flexible in low temperatures for better winter performance. We are convinced. The tires are actually soft to the touch at temps in the 20F range.
Michelin says that this tire was deigned for owners of high-performance Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles. We can safely say that the 470-hp Cadillac we drove benefited from having them fitted. Had the stock tires been on the car it would have sat all week. We would suggest that anyone looking for a high-performance winter tire start with the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4.
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tire images by John Goreham.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin