Pirelli Cinturato P1: seductive road handling
The Pirelli Cinturato P1 tyre test allowed us to appreciate its driving comfort and remarkable performance on wet surfaces.
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Pirelli decided to let us try the P1 in the south of Italy. Near Brindisi, to be more precise. The region offers secondary routes with magnificent winding roads. We climbed aboard a Class A Mercedes.
Straight away on the first turns, the tyre offered considerable precision and perfectly acceptable regularity. The ‘academic’ pace meant we immediately noticed the driving comfort, particularly in terms of noise emissions. Whether on cobblestones, a low-grade surface or newly laid asphalt, the tyre is perfectly quiet, even when put to the test.
The wet track test
In order to demonstrate the new Cinturato P1’s high level of performance on wet surfaces, Pirelli organised a slalom on a wet track at the wheel of a 122 hp Audi A1 TFSi.
The sports-like drill was carried out under the constraint of a stop watch.
Even though the track was short, it was technical and very windy.
The tyre immediately demonstrated very satisfactory grip, with a total absence of under steering (front axle that gives way). The grip put one completely at ease and the tyre even boasted some sporting ambitions with good responsiveness. It’s certainly not a Pzero but its performance is surprising for a tyre of this category.
The run-flat test
The Cinturato P1 tyre, available in run-flat, is approved by BMW. Pirelli organised a rally with a Mini Cooper fitted with a deflated front left tyre. The goal was to demonstrate the tyre’s stiffness under extreme pressure.
Once again the drill was timed by a stop watch to put as much stress as possible on the tyres. The course alternated right and left turns enabling successive evaluation of the grip on the inflated tyre and on the deflated tyre.
The results are interesting and highlight that even deflated, the Cinturato P1 run-flat remains controllable with natural handling.
However the energy efficiency of the Cinturato P1 Run Flat won’t be as good as that of a tyre in traditional configuration. The run-flat has a design that runs counter to the principals of low rolling resistance, mainly due to reinforced sidewalls.
Within the conditions in which we tested it, the Pirelli Cinturato P1 appeared efficient and regular. However, only scientific testing will be able to place it in relation to its competitors. Watch this space in a few months to see if this new tyre really delivers what it promises.
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