If you own a Porsche, you care about its performance. You care about how it drives and how you feel when you’re driving it, but more importantly, you want that performance to be consistent. If you pay attention to Porsche’s development of its next generation of sports cars, you know the German automaker spends a lot of time at the Nürburgring race track, where it tests and refines the tires it’ll use on its vehicles. Tires are so important to Porsche that it certifies them using N-spec approval, which means the tire meets or exceeds quality and performance levels set by the automaker.
So if you’re in the market for new tires for your Porsche and you prioritize performance, then these recommendations are made for you. Below are our picks for the best performance tires for your Porsche, offering a range of options suitable for all Porsche drivers from Taycan to 911, Cayman to Cayenne.
1. Top pick: Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
- Excellent dry grip
- Responsive handling
- Ride comfort is surprisingly good
- Short tread life
- Average wet traction
- Road noise
Our top pick is in the “Max Performance Summer” category and it’s the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2. If you have any doubts about its performance, know that the Pilot Sport PS2 was an original tire on certain Porsche GT2 and GT3 models, as well as other high-performance cars like the BMW M3 and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. As a summer tire, avoid using the Pilot Sport PS2 during near-freezing temperatures, snow, or icy conditions.
Its tread design provides traction on both dry and wet surfaces with a focus on tight cornering and high speed capabilities. It uses a hybrid rubber compound and unique tread pattern to maximize grip. A notable feature of this ultra-high performance tire is a 20,000-mile limited treadwear warranty which is uncommon on tires in this class.
Users commend this tire for its excellent performance in dry and wet conditions. It offers a surprisingly good ride quality and is not excessively noisy for a high-performance tire. Complaints for the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 primarily concern its tread life.
2. Best for track/street: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
- Track tire for the street
- Exceptional grip in dry conditions
- Precise steering
- Very short tread life
- Poor wet traction
- Limited daily drivability
If you’re looking for a performance tire for your Porsche with excellent street performance and exceptional track performance, the Pilot Sport Cup 2 is an ideal choice. This tire was specifically developed in partnership with the 918 Spyder and 911 GT3, which should leave little doubt in your mind it’s designed for performance. The Bi-Compound Technology incorporates two distinct rubber compounds in the tread. One compound is a High Molecular Chain elastomer to offer excellent grip for cornering, while the rigid compound optimizes steering control and enhances wet grip.
Though primarily designed for track use, it provides a surprisingly comfortable ride due to its specialized polyester casing. Opt for this tire if you’re a weekend track warrior.
Users report that this tire excels in dry performance and is regarded as one of the best for such conditions. In the wet however, most owners wouldn’t recommend this tire, so keep this in mind if you live somewhere that experiences rain. Ride comfort and noise level are above average, though both aspects receive some complaints. As expected for a streetable track tire, its treadwear is good, but not exceptional.
3. Best for crossovers/SUVs: Michelin Latitude Sport 3
- Decent dry grip
- Performs well in wet conditions
- Comfortable and quiet ride
- Tread life is below average among competitors
- Subpar performance in heavy rain or snow
Designed for sporty luxury crossovers, the Michelin Latitude Sport 3 is an ultra-high performance summer tire that uses a special compound to offer exceptional grip on dry and wet roads. However, if you’re driving a crossover, practicality might also be important, so it’s reassuring that this tire also focuses on maximizing your fuel economy. Through the use of variable thickness sipes, Michelin has reduced tread block deformation and rolling resistance, resulting in better gas mileage.
This tire was developed as factory equipment for the Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo and includes a 20,000-mile warranty.
Owners have found the tire’s dry and wet performance to be excellent and report above-average comfort. The main concern for many owners with this tire is its treadwear. Some have needed to replace them after just 10,000 miles of driving.
4. Also consider: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
- Excellent all-season tire
- Low road noise
- Comfortable ride
- Wears quickly under aggressive driving
- Below average tread life relative to direct competitors
- Avoid heavy snow or icy conditions
If you want a great performing all-season tire, consider the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+. It’s designed to offer superb traction in both dry and wet conditions, and includes a 45,000-mile warranty. Features on this tire include Michelin’s Variable Control Contact Patch 3.0, which is designed to not only provide more predictable control but better treadwear. The tread compound uses Extreme Silica+, while 3D sipes and oversized tread grooves help prevent hydroplaning in the wet. It also performs well in snow and cold weather, thanks to Helio+ Technology and hidden biting edges.
This is our recommendation for a great, performance all-season tire for your Porsche sports car or crossover.
The majority of user reviews for this tire are positive, with it receiving high marks for both wet and dry performance. Some owners did note performance in winter and light snow conditions was average at best. But overall comfort — a combination of ride quality and noise — gets high marks. Although there are a few complaints about treadwear, most owners are satisfied with how long these tires last.
What are Porsche N-marked (N-specification) tires?
Porsches have always been designed with performance in mind, so it’s little surprise the German automaker places a huge focus on the tires it uses. So much so that Porsche works directly with tire manufacturers to jointly develop the ideal tire for each of its models so that they meet the necessary performance requirements. Tires that have been tested and approved by Porsche sport an N-marking, with the letter N standing for Nürburgring, the world-famous race track where the tires are tested.
According to Porsche, N-specification tires are different primarily in terms of geometry, rubber composition, and testing methods. During testing, Porsche and the tire manufacturer focus on three main areas: subjective outdoor criteria (handling and driving comfort), objective outdoor criteria (braking performance and service life), and indoor criteria (rolling resistance and high-speed performance).
Understanding Porsche N-specification tires
Tires that have been branded with an N-specification will have two letters, followed by a number. Naturally, the first letter is always N, while the second letter indicates the vehicle the tire was homologated for. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- NA#: Porsche 911 Carrera
- NB#: Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman
- NC#: Porsche Cayenne
- ND#: Porsche Panamera
- NE#: Porsche Macan
- NF#: Porsche Taycan
The number in the designation represents the “generation” of approved tire design. For example, NA0 would be the first iteration of an approved tire for the Porsche 911 Carrera. If a second version of the Porsche 911 Carrera tire is approved, it would have a specification of NA1. If a completely new tire is approved, it will receive the “N#0” branding and the numbers start anew.
Can I mix N-specification tires with non-N-specification tires?
It is not recommended to mix N-specification tires with tires that have not received an N-specification. Even if the tire manufacturer offers the same tire model, size, and speed rating as the N-specification tire, it will not have the same internal construction and tread compound ingredients as the Porsche-approved tire. If your original N-specification tires have been discontinued, you should purchase the next designated tire in the specification for your vehicle. At this time, you should also replace all four tires so they all match.
Why are so many of your recommendations from Michelin?
Most of our recommendations come from Michelin because Porsche and Michelin have worked together for almost half a century. In fact, since 2002, Michelin has been Porsche’s global tire co-operation partner. The two companies work collaboratively to create just the right tires for a Porsche model, long before it’s even debuted. Porsche trusts Michelin and so do we.