The first thing we noticed was how quiet the Michelins were compared with the OE tires. The overall ride is also very comfortable. Then we took some of our favorite corners and felt a big increase in cornering grip. To verify our seat-of-the-pants impression, we called MTI Racing in Marietta, Georgia. We asked owner Reese Cox if he would track test our new tires. He agreed and invited us to a customer track day at Little Talladega Gran Prix Raceway in Munford, Alabama. The round trip was a little more than 1,400 miles, so it would be a perfect road trip for our test. We drove the Rocket 520 miles to MTI's shop in Marietta, so the car could be checked before taking it to the track. While we still experienced the classic C5/C6 rear-tire noise at speed, the Michelins were noticeably quieter than the stock rubber. But the big news was the PS2 ZPs' wet-weather performance. Despite hitting three torrential downpours on the trip, the new tires never missed a beat.
Once at MTI, the brakes were bled, the fluids checked, and track-compound brake pads installed. Our next stop was a local car show filled with more than 300 hot rods. After a fun afternoon, we headed to Little Talladega racetrack. The 10-turn, 1.40-mile road course is an excellent test of low-speed handling. After running five hot laps, Cox had this to say about the PS2 ZPs:
"Michelin makes an awesome tire. It's almost like you have a set of DOT race tires on the car. I'm amazed at the threshold of grip they provide. They also have a unique ability to regain control once you pass that threshold. Unlike the C6 Z06, this C5's front weight bias causes it to understeer more on this low-speed track layout, but it's easy to manage with these tires. I was impressed at how deep I could dive it into the braking zone and sustain very high g-forces in the corner, and how good the predictability of the PS2 ZPs was when I passed their limits. My 1:05.3 lap exceeded the 1:06.8 time that I set here in a stock C6 Z06 on OE tires. This C5 has a great combination of power and handling, and these Michelins help make it into a pretty impressive package."
In conclusion, our real-world test showed that upgrading to Michelin's new PS2 ZPs is money well spent. The tires have provided us with noticeable improvements in ride and noise quality, while also enhancing our car's track performance. Sound like a winning combination? You bet. Now it's time to clean off the Rocket's road grime and enjoy our new skins.