The new Pirelli P Zero, evolution or revolution?
The Pirelli P Zero is an absolute classic in the sports tyre category. After an exceptionally long career it is time to step aside to let, not one, but three replacement tyres take over.
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The P Zero range celebrates its thirtieth birthday this year. To mark the occasion, Pirelli has taken exclusivity one step further by proposing a real custom-made tyre, available with different treads and markings.
3 different versions available
To perfectly match the reality of drivers, Pirelli has developed several P Zero tread designs for different cars depending on their size (it is therefore impossible to choose the wrong tyre) as well as numerous markings.
The first variant is designed for luxury saloons such as the Jaguar XE, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes C-Class etc. the development of which has been adapted accordingly, with a specific focus on performances such as safety and driving comfort.
The third is the sportiest variant and can be easily identified by its name “Corsa”. Behind this suggestive name lies an extreme tyre designed for super cars such as the Pagani Huayra BC.
Thanks to Pirelli’s latest technologies, each variant has been optimised and features a common tyre bead design developed from the experience gained in Formula 1 and a reduced weight through the use of new materials.
Solutions that seem to have convinced car manufacturers as evidenced by the 60 homologations already achieved.
Manufacturer’s markings: fundamental element of custom made
To the best of our knowledge, Pirelli is the first tyre manufacturer to clearly communicate on changes made to tyres with a manufacturer marking.
Pirelli quite simply provided us with all of the changes made to the new P Zero, and available with manufacturer’s markings. In particular, we discover that Audi puts the emphasis on economic variables and driving comfort. Ferrari and McLaren favour pure performance, whereas Lamborghini seems concerned about wet road holding.
Behind the wheel
Strictly speaking, the test we conducted with the latest generation of P Zero tyres has no scientific value, but it did allow us to assess the feeling between the different P Zero models. However, in comparison with their competitors, we were unable to draw any real conclusions.
The P Zero seems to have focused on the nippy side that characterised its predecessor. The overall balance, grip and steering precision were excellent on the test track’s dry asphalt especially behind the wheel of the Seat Leon Cupra 280 where the steering response was extremely precise and incisive when entering corners.
The new P Zero range is now available in 42 sizes for 18 to 22-inch rims and will gradually replace the former P Zero over the coming months for all tyre dimensions.
Coloured sidewalls will be available as an option by the end of the year.
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