Project E36 M3: Part 4 – APEX Arc-8 Wheels and Michelin PSAS3 Tires


The Hyper Black finish looked even better than I expected, as I was worried they might have a bit more of a chrome look in person. It’s funny that I don’t like all-black wheels, nor do I like anything overly polished looking, yet these blend the two of them into something perfect.  Plus, with enough brake dust, I can just be lazy and call them gunmetal grey until they’re clean.


APEX Arc-8 Hyper Black 18x9 and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3A final look at the brand-new Arc-8s and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3s before mounting them to the car for the first time. 

Again, the wheel size choice was a no-brainer for me. I could’ve opted to go with a more factory-like width of 8.5”, but I’m of the mindset that the more wheel width you can fit on your car, the better. Plus, it opens up my tire options to anything from a 235 section width to 265 section width. Going with a 265 would likely require more aggressive fender work than I have planned, but it’s a valid option down the road. For now, the Arc-8s are wrapped with the new 245/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires.

Now, before the internet goes into a tailspin trying to figure out why we’d go with an “all-season” tire on a project car, let me help prevent you from having a stroke. The great Michelin Man played the roll of Santa Clause this year, as he decided he wanted some input on a comparison between the Michelin Pilot Super Sports (PSS), which we have on our 17” wheels, and the new Pilot Sport A/S 3 (PSAS3). Add in the fact that Project E36 M3 lives in an area of the country with actual seasons that offer a roller coaster of weather patterns, and that should help clear the air. (Watch for the comparison tests in the future.)

For now, I can say that the testing proved two things: 1) We get huge weather changes from one day to the next in the Midwest; 2) I will never have a career as a drag racing king.

The goal was to compare the tires in a relatively nice climate and then to also compare them in sub-freezing temperatures. As luck would have it, we had a 60° Saturday followed by a 20° Sunday on the same weekend. I'll also hint to the fact that both tires allow for some impressive lateral G numbers.


M3 with APEX Arc-8 and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 in light snowThat’s real weather on the ground. In sub-freezing temperatures, and even light snow, the PSAS3s feel right at home. The key word there is “light” snow. An actual snow comparison between the PSS and PSAS3 tires was abandoned when we couldn't successfully get the car out of the driveway in snow on the PSS.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport versus Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3When new, the PSS (left) had very similar tread design markings, but they obviously have a few miles on them at this point. The PSAS3s (right) have much wider channels, additional siping, and you can see the unique biting edges along channel walls which allow for increased grip in light snow. The two tires share several technologies, otherwise, and we’ll have a full comparison coming soon…
APEX Arc-8 and Micheline Pilot Sport A/S 3 on cold trackAs luck would have it, we were invited to Heartland Park Topeka for a track-surface testing day shortly after the Arc-8s and PSAS3s were mounted. Temperatures were in the mid-teens and low-20s, and the tires were shockingly good on track at those temperatures.

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