Many people believe that the Porsche 911 is the greatest sports car ever to be made. Around since 1963, the 901, as the 911 was initially called before a complaint from Peugeot forced the name change, boasts various qualities other sports cars cannot match.
One of those qualities is not fixing something that isn’t broken. Three of the 911’s most recognizable features – the iconic silhouette, the independent front wings either side of a flat bonnet, the smooth slope of the fastback – have been carried over since 1963.
Another thing that sets the 911 apart from its competitors is that it’s easy to drive at low speeds. A lavish cabin, high visibility, and comfortable steering give its drivers the kind of feel you usually expect from a family car, making the 911 practical for everyday driving.
Throw its powerful yet surprisingly economical engines into the mix, and it gets easier to see why most 911 owners are such loyal to it. Still, despite all its qualities, you need to pair your 911 with the right set of tires, which is where this guide will come in handy for you.
#1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S – Best Overall
Low-profile design to let your 911’s iconic looks shine through? Check. Exceptional high-speed stability on dry and wet roads? Present. Quiet and comfortable driving experience? Absolutely. All these qualities make the Pilot Sport 4S one of the best tires for Porsche 911.
A tread compound featuring silica and elastomers helps this tire perform reliably in all seasons. Silica provides the Pilot Sport 4S with high levels of traction on dry roads while the elastomers reduce the braking distances in wet conditions and light wintry conditions.
Its asymmetric tread pattern not only equips this tire with confident high-speed stability. The tread pattern’s edges have also enhanced this tire’s cornering performance. Aside from that, they have improved its straight-line tracking and dry/wet performance.
Copying the best autocross tires, Michelin has equipped the Pilot Sport 4S with a V-shaped tread design. The result is a precise steering response. Plus, thanks to the inner nylon-and-aramid-fiber construction, this tire won’t shrink at high speeds, staying controllable at the limit.
Despite all the above features, the Pilot Sport 4S is surprisingly quiet and comfortable, making it a must-have for 911 owners who don’t want this car’s tires to hurt its ride quality.
- Exceptional straight-line tracking
- Superb traction and grip in dry and wet conditions
- Surprisingly quiet for an ultra-high-performance tire
#2. Michelin Pilot Super Sport – Best Runner Up
The Michelin Pilot Super Sport rivals our top pick on various counts. This high-performance tire offers as much dry grip as the Pilot Sport 4S. It also delivers high feedback to the steering and its exceptional wet traction reduces the risk of skidding and slipping.
Yet we think it’s only the 2nd best Porsche 911 tire. Want to know why? The Pilot Sport 4S is significantly quieter at high speeds, making it drive much more comfortable than the Pilot Super Sport’s. Aside from that, our top pick is a much better performer in the rain.
If you aren’t bothered by what you just read, the Pilot Super Sport will be an excellent pick for you. This model’s lightweight construction, made possible by Filament At Zero Degrees (FAZ) Technology, will win you over by taking your Porsche 911’s fuel economy through the roof.
Granted, the Pilot Super Sport isn’t as comfortable as our top pick. But that doesn’t mean it’s loud. Any performance tire would have a hard time keeping its noise levels as low as the Pilot Sport 4S, one of the quietest tires on the block. So, don’t expect this model to growl.
A 30,000-mile treadwear warranty makes this model one of the few HP tires that receive any backing from their manufacturer. Thus, if our top pick’s astronomical asking price bothers you, there’s no reason why you may not want to opt for the Pilot Super Sport.
- Backed with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Excellent steering and handling response
- Delivers superb cornering performance
- Wet grip could be better
#3. Pirelli P Zero PZ4 – Best Summer Performance
The Pirelli P Zero PZ4 is the original equipment (OEM) tire on the 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. This model performs at its best when the sun is shining. Its pliable tread compound, flexible sidewall, and rugged shoulders ensure excellent summer performance.
Pirelli has equipped the PZ4 with its proprietary silica and carbon black tread compound, improving this model’s grip and traction on dry roads. Plus, as noted above, the tread compound has its fair share of flexibility to help this tire perform reliably on wet surfaces.
An asymmetric tread pattern and wide shoulder blocks have given the PZ4 the kind of handling characteristics you’d expect from an ultra-high-performance tire. The shoulder blocks have also enhanced road feedback, making for great steering response.
In harsher rainy conditions, the four circumferential grooves will reduce the risk of hydroplaning by evacuating water quickly and effectively. The grooves’ action will also keep the contact patch dry and should thus give the PZ4 excellent traction on damp roads.
To further sweeten the deal, Pirelli utilized its patented Noise Canceling System Technology in this tire, which uses a specially-designed foam to absorb vibrations and deflect the noise. As such, you won’t have many issues with this model’s refinement on the highway.
- Excellent dry and wet performance
- Direct and very responsive handling
- Decent refinement for everyday driving
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
#4. Continental ExtremeContact Sport – Best Max Performance
The Continental ExtremeContact Sport ticks several boxes for the Porsche 911 drivers who are always eager to push this sports car to its limits. Bear in mind, though, that this max-performance tire offers negligible traction in wintry conditions of any kind.
A SportPlus tread compound featuring +Silane additives helps this tire offer the best of both worlds. On the one end, it gives this model the versatility you usually expect from all-season tires, allowing you to safely push it to its limits on dry and wet roads.
At the same time, it gives the ExtremeContact Sport the handling and aggressiveness you’d expect from tires in this class. Plus, a 5- or 6-rib asymmetric tread pattern (depending on the tire size) will guarantee better high-speed stability and more precise steering inputs.
Continental claims that this tire’s internal polyester/rayon cord body casing and 2-ply sidewall are 86 percent stronger than those used in the ExtremeContact DW. Want to know what that means? This tire’s ability to resist premature deformation is massive.
You might call us biased, but we think that the only flaw with this tire – it performs poorly in the snow – isn’t a flaw for models in this class. After all, to begin with, not many drivers would trust a max-performance tire to help them out in harsh wintry conditions.
- Offers superb high-speed stability
- Provides an enhanced steering response
- Performs reliably on wet roads for a UHP tire
- Not usable in wintry conditions
#5. Falken Azenis FK510 – Best Value for Money
Are you seeking ultra-high performance on a budget? If so, the Falken Azenis FK10 has you covered. This low-profile tire is an excellent option for any Porsche 911 driver who wants the performance of premium UHP tires but doesn’t want to spend a fortune for the same.
Falken claims it has equipped the FK10 with its proprietary Adaptive Constant Pressure tread. Its name leaves no doubt in our mind that the tread should evenly distribute all the pressure forces your 911 will subject it to, helping the 911 wear evenly.
Cornering performance is another area where the FK510 shines. The credit for this goes to the wide shoulder blocks that make this tire more stable when taking turns. Moreover, the shoulders’ ruggedness positively impacts the tire’s high-speed stability.
As with other ultra-high-performance tires in this review, the FK510 can perform reliably in the rain. Multiple circumferential grooves prevent water accumulation inside the tread area, and the sipes on the tread provide the grip it needs to stay stable on wet surfaces.
Unfortunately, the FK10 also has its fair share of shortcomings. This UHP tire’s steering feedback feels a bit lackluster compared to its premium rivals. Also, while you can bet on its stability on wet roads, be ready for slightly longer braking distances in the brain.
- Sharp and responsive steering
- Offers exceptional grip on dry surfaces
- Predictable at high speeds and easy to handle
- Could use a bit more feedback on the steering wheel
#6. Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 – Best Wet Performance
Continental claims that it took its engineers three years to develop the ExtremeContact DWS06. All that time was reportedly spent in the hope that the end result would be a model that could perform exceptionally in dry, wet, and light wintry conditions.
Which is precisely what the DWS06 does. A tread compound featuring silica and +Silane additives helps this tire offer better wet traction than most of its rivals. The flexibility of the polymers also makes this model a reliable performer on light snow and ice.
Traction Grooves and X-Sipe Technology take wet traction to the next level. They do that by increasing this model’s grip on the same surfaces (wet and wintry) where most UHP tires struggle. You could thus count on this model to keep your 911 safe in inclement weather.
Just as the above ExtremeContact Sport is stronger than its predecessor, the DWS06 has a sidewall 35 percent stiffer than the one used in the DWS. The result? Better feedback at the steering and a more responsive ride on the highway.
On top of everything else, a couple of maintenance indicators (Tuned Performance and Aligned Verification System) show the tire’s wearing rate and whether the wheels are aligned, respectively.
- Exceptional traction on wet roads
- Much improved braking performance than its predecessor
- Useful wear and alignment indicators
- Could perform better on dry roads
#7. Michelin Pilot Sport – Best Dry Grip
The Michelin Pilot Sport is the preferred choice of Porsche 911 drivers who want exceptional dry performance. This UHP tire’s exceptional cornering performance, high-speed stability, and wet traction further distinguish it from its much pricier counterparts.
Start with the dry performance. Its Bi-Tread compound gives this tire the firmness needed to grip bone-dry surfaces reliably. The compound is helped in that by the carbon elastomer that has reinforced this tire’s outer tread, which helps this model with cornering.
Speaking of cornering performance, the Variable Contact Patch 2.0 Technology expands the rubber to help this tire grip the road more firmly around the bends. One of the best things to come out of this is that you can attack corners in a sure-footed manner.
Next comes wet traction. A combination of circumferential grooves (that circle the tire) and lateral grooves (which run across its entire length) help displace water from inside and outside the tread area, keeping the contact area dry and preventing hydroplaning.
Unfortunately, the absence of biting edges means this model’s winter traction will be lackluster. So, if it snows where you drive, the above ExtremeContact DWS06 might be a better pick.
- Amazing steering response and handling
- Fantastic dry grip and traction
- Fairly quiet on the highway
- Non-existent winter traction
#8. Pirelli Sottozero Serie II – Best High-Performance Winter
The Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II offers the best of both worlds. This high-performance tire delivers the kind of snow and ice traction you usually get from dedicated winter tires. At the same time, its high-performance credentials are similar to other models in this class.
Two features deserve credit for this tire’s excellent snow performance. The first of which is the Temperature Dynamic Compound technology that keeps the rubber flexible in low temperatures, thus helping this tire carry you from point A to point B on snow.
Second, innumerable biting edges on the tread area help this model plow through snow and ice. The biting edges also prevent the build-up of a thin layer of water between the rubber and the tarmac, which, if allowed to be developed, could break road contact.
Wide shoulder blocks and a rugged internal construction justify this model’s high-performance credentials. The former increases this tire’s grip during cornering. The latter, meanwhile, ensures that high-speed driving doesn’t lead to premature deformation.
Bear in mind that this tire will be loud on the highway. Another potential deal-breaker is that it doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty.
- Excellent traction in harsh wintry conditions
- Relatively long treadlife for a high-performance winter tire
- Superb handling at high speed on dry tarmac
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
#9. Kumho Ecsta KU39 – Best High-Speed Stability
The Kumho Ecsta KU39 is the perfect choice for the Porsche 911 because it’s built to withstand high-speed driving. Its Y speed rating means that you can push this model all the way to 189 miles per hour without compromising its integrity or hurting treadlife.
To be stable at such a high speed, this model features an optimized footprint that evenly distributes the pressure forces for better road contact. This, in turn, enables the KU39 to wear evenly, giving this tire an excellent chance of outlasting its treadlife warranty.
What’s more, for a model meant to be pushed to its limits, the KU39 is pretty quiet. This credit goes to the variable tread block design that reduces road noise for improved comfort.
An asymmetric tread design and solid center rib ensure continuous contact with the road regardless of whether you’re driving in dry or wet conditions. The tread design does one thing extra: it evacuates water from within the tread area for enhanced hydroplaning resistance.
- Offer excellent high-speed stability
- Enhanced road feedback and steering response
- Comfortable for an ultra-high-performance tire
Could wear quickly
#10. Michelin Sport Cup 2 – Best for Track
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is the shining example of what extreme performance tires are all about. These models are prohibitively expensive, so be ready to blow a hole in your pocket. Provided you could do that, expect plenty of good things from these radials.
In tests conducted by the famous German magazine Sport Auto, the Sport Cup 2 finished 2nd on braking distance and dry handling tests. But the difference with the first position holder wasn’t huge – only 0.5 km in braking and 1.1km/hr. in dry handling.
Surprisingly, this tire was in the 8th spot in the wet braking department, a huge performance for an extreme-performance summer tire. As such, while most people only use these tires on track days, you can use them for everyday driving in the rain.
While this model doesn’t have many shortcomings of its own, the improvements Michelin has introduced in its successor’s (Sport Cup 2 R’s) design show that this model’s wet traction has plenty of room for improvement.
- Outstanding dry grip
- Dependable and durable
- Can be safely pushed to the limits
- Wet traction could be better
Best Tires for Porsche 911
Performance and High-Performance Tires
Performance and high-performance tires are the first choice of almost every 911 driver. That is because only these tires can help you make the most of the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter flat-six-cylinder engine mounted in the rear of this legendary sports car.
Whether you’re driving the base Carrera (which pumps out 379 horsepower) or you’re pushing the GTS (473 horsepower) to its limits, only a set of high-performance tires could give you the kind of high-speed stability, steering response, and road feedback you desire.
Cornering performance is another area where these models shine. Their extended shoulder blocks help expand these tires’ contact patch when you’re around the bend, making sure that you can attack corners with the same confidence with which you do straight-line tracking.
Granted, performance tires wear much more quickly than their touring or grand touring counterparts. They are also less stable off the highway than all-terrain tires. But you already knew these things when you purchased the 911, which is meant to be pushed hard on the highway.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tires come on a Porsche 911?
The tires that may come on a Porsche 911 depend on the trim, model year, and delivery location. For instance, the 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS comes with Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (forward 245/35ZR-20 (91Y) NA1; rear 305/30ZR-21 (100Y) NA1) tires.
How many miles do 911 tires last?
It depends on the type of tires you’re using and how hard you’re pushing them. For instance, UHP tires can last 15,000 to 20,000 miles in normal street use.
The Porsche 911 is one of the best sports car money can buy. Some would go so far as to say that no other sports car can lay a glove on the 911. Whatever you think of this car and its place on the ranking table of sports cars, it’s essential that you understand one thing loud and clear.
Only premium high-performance tires can help you get the best out of this car. Otherwise, if you opt for cheap or even mid-range tires for the 911, its performance will take a significant hit. So, if you don’t want this to happen, make sure to go all out when purchasing tires for the 911.