From the 1 July, German car tuner Carlsson will bring advanced Michelin tyre technology to all of its customers.
Michelin manufactures tyres for every kind of vehicle, including of course the world’s most powerful and demanding cars. It has just signed an agreement with Carlsson, which specialises in enhancing the inherent sporting and luxury characteristics of the full Mercedes-Benz lineup, but also has a history of lifting other prestigious volume brands, such as Citroën, into the realm of exclusivity.
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In selecting three of the sportiest Michelin tyres on the market for its vehicles, Carlsson will be able to move a step further towards the premium, ultra high-performance segment, enabling its customers to enjoy the exceptional performance of the Michelin Pilot Sport 3, Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
Michelin places a great deal of importance on this type of partnership, and has created a 'Specialty Products' department within the Michelin Motorsports division. The department’s mission is to manage the ultra high-performance car tyre business, serving small and large manufacturers on the one hand and tuners on the other.
'The partnership that we’ve just set up with Carlsson is very important to us, because working with such prestigious customers, whether tuners or niche manufacturers, allows us to reach out to real car enthusiasts and demonstrate our commitment to the high-end market and to driving pleasure,' said Lorenzo Giovanelli, Director of Specialty Products, Michelin Motorsport. 'The partnership is perfectly aligned with our strategy for performance vehicles, which emphasises performance, driving enjoyment and pure sportiness, with a constant focus on safety. What's more, it’s allowing us to reach customers who access the Carlsson universe through its range of rims, equipped with Michelin tires.'
'It made perfect sense for Michelin to become our tyre supplier,' said Markus Schuster, CEO of Carlsson. 'We’ve conducted many tests over the past three years, and Michelin tyres have always been the ones to offer the highest, most consistent level of performance, on both the track and the open road, in dry as well as wet weather. The three Michelin tyres that we’ve selected are now being used to equip our most powerful models and are offered to all of our customers, regardless of the extent to which their car is tuned.'
In the field, the Carlsson and Michelin teams work hand-in-hand, in very close cooperation. The Michelin Motorsport engineers are always forthcoming with their advice when it comes to choosing a tyre size or model for a future tuning project, just as Carlsson’s developers can be relied on to report to their dedicated contact at Michelin on all the information gathered during their testing. 'We're the liaison between our customers and our Ladoux Research and Development Center', says Charles Runge, Key Account Manager at Michelin Motorsport in charge of coordinating the relationship with Carlsson. 'The beginning of the partnership involved advising on which tire models and sizes to choose for their different models, especially those with different tyre sizes at the front and rear. All of their impressions and any comments they make are immediately taken into account in the process to develop the future products that we’re working on. It seems obvious now that our ability to be responsive, in terms of development and technology improvements, as well as production agility and availability, makes all the difference.'
Keenly interested in ultra high-performance tyres that deliver high added value because of their very advanced technology content, usually attributable to expertise garnered by Michelin in racing competitions, the Motorsport unit and its Specialty Products department have their eyes set on the future more than ever, at a time when manufacturers and tuners alike are offering their customers an increasingly broad array of aesthetic and technical personalisation options.
Carlsson C25: Michelin Pilot SuperSport tyres
With a limited run of five cars and with a starting price of €500,000, this handmade creation takes two people working full-time on tuning the vehicle over a period of four to six months. Due to the care taken in its manufacture – from its largely carbon body to its premium leather upholstery – but also because of its rarity, this car is already set to become a collectors’ item.