After some investigation I believe that the only thing that N means is that it's a Porsche OE tire. Michelin PS4S for example has the N designation for 20" tires but not 19" tires. Other than size I believe the two tires are identical. Of course Porsche dealers can only order N designated tires. So the 20" Michelins appear on the Porsche Tire Store web site, but not the 19" tires. At least this is the case for a 981S. Not certain about other Porsche models.
The N also means that it meets Porsche specifications, for grip, flex, etc. But that spec is not generally known, so it’s what Porsche wants on the cars, but not a rule, except for CPO.
I will buy N spec if it’s available, but I have been known to stray.
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2014 Cayman S
2000 Boxster S (Boxster owner since 1997)
2000 911 Carrera lapping toy
PCA National DE Instructor
Yes, know issue with PZeros, they make a terrible scrubbing chatter when turning sharply. Can't wait for them to die on my 981 BS
And the Goodyear F1s that came with my CGTS pick up everything little pebble or grain of sand on the road and fling them at the car. Even a slow speed. Passengers remark on it. Sadly I still have some time to go before they die and I can get the Michelins.
If you're a Costco member (and you trust their service), you should know that Costco usually has a deal for $70 off a set of any 4 tires. The deal alternates monthly between Michelin and Bridgestone. The current deal is for Michelin and runs until March 3. So hurry! Costco probably doesn't carry the tires you want in stock, but they can usually get them in a few days if you call ahead and ask. You'll probably have to call ahead and see if you can pre-pay or something so that you can take advantage of the discount.