It seems like there hasnít been much talk about this tire on here, so I thought Iíd give my initial impressions so far. Previous tires were Toyo Extensa HP (came with the car at 45k miles) and I'm still using Dunlop WinterMaxx for the winter.
I was between the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS and the Michelin Pilot Sport AS 3. The $70 MIR for the Birdgestones put the Michelins about $200 more expensive on a price of four and I decided they likely werenít $200 better for my use. I purchased them thru a local tire retailer. They are all a pretty recent date code (0418). Iíve put about 1,000 miles on them so far.
The handling is vastly improved to the Toyos/Dunlops. Steering feels much more direct and it takes much more to break them loose in any situation. Iíve really been enjoying the ďsportierĒ handling as I do tend to drive more spirited when safe to do so. Comparing these to the Super Sports on my 3-series I donít think my driving wouldíve benefited from a summer-only tire in this case.
My experience with them in the rain is a bit limited. I spent a while at highway speeds in heavy rain and they felt very secure/I didnít experience any hydroplaning. It was fairly easy to break the Toyos/Dunlops loose on wet pavement. I never felt very secure with the Toyos, especially wet cornering. Just like in dry I have to be doing something pretty aggressive to start to lose traction.
My only complaint would be the ride quality. Bumps (both small and large) are much more pronounced than with either of the previous tires. I was expecting some harshness, but not to the extent Iíve been experiencing so far. Itís not a deal breaker, but a bit disappointing and maybe where the Michelins wouldíve been worth it. I always felt like this car had a very good ride and that has been ruined a bit. I'd say the change is similar to when you go up an inch in wheel diameter. My family members have had the first and second generation Continental DWS and those ride much better (at the expense of less precise steering feel).
These are very quiet although create a fair amount of noise on expansion joints (going along with the ride quality).
Looks are obviously subjective but I like the look of the sidewall and these look a bit ďchunkierĒ compared to the Toyos despite being the same size. The tread pattern is very bland especially when compared to the 970AS and even the Toyos.
Overall, I feel the fun factor of better steering feel and handling makes the rougher ride well worth it.