Pirelli Pzero and Trofeo R: Rezulteo’s test
The Pirelli Pzero and Trofeo are two unbeatable tyres in the tyre manufacturer’s sports range. We were given the opportunity to test them on the road and track to evaluation their real potential and performance. Here’s our take on this tough test.
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Reviewing the troops
The Pzero range includes products approved for road use, and likely to equip most sports cars on the market. Presentation of the range (from the least sporty to the most radical):
- Pzero Nero GT:
Designed for touring use, this tyre is suitable for compact and passenger cars.
- Pzero Rosso:
Slightly sportier than the Nero GT, it remains a touring tyre designed for a variety of uses.
Iconic, the Pzero is the best selling tyre in the range. Designed to equip sports cars, it can be found as original equipment on several luxury sports cars (McLaren, Lamborghini etc.).
Recommended use: road: 90% track: 10 %
- Pzero Corsa System:
The System is a concept that combines a directional tread for the front axle fitment and an asymmetric tread for the rear axle fitment. It is designed for ultra-high performance sports cars.
Recommended use: road: 60% track: 40 %
- Pzero Trofeo R:
The Trofeo R is a semi-slick tyre. Tailored for ultimate performance, this tyre delivers exceptional grip on dry surfaces, but it is not recommended for use in wet conditions.
Recommended use: road: 10% track: 90 %
Two tyres, two philosophies
Pirelli allowed us to evaluate the two most emblematic tyres in its sports range: the Pzero and the Trofeo R.
The objective was two-fold: assess the level of performance of these tyres, and above all, take stock of the difference between these two products in terms of grip.
The Pzero is an ultra high performance sports tyre mainly designed for on-road use. As such, all the elements making up the tyre have been engineered with versatility in mind. Above all, it is a road tyre, and must be appreciated as such.
The Trofeo R is a semi-slick tyre. It is the sportiest tyre in the Pirelli range to be approved for the road. Uncompromising, it aims to deliver maximum grip, durability on the track and an excellent steering response. Performances such as fuel efficiency and noise levels take a back seat.
In this context, the main challenge was to compare these two tyres. But above all, be able to assess the real differences in terms of pure performance and perceived feelings with similar vehicles and conditions.
Two types of cars were provided for these tests: Audi TTS’s delivering 310 hp for the twisty, 1.6 km long Driving Center track. And Lamborghini Huracan’s delivering 610 hp for the 5.8 km long Paul Ricard race track. In both cases, tests were carried out by testing the tyres back to back.
3 seconds faster over a lap
The Driving Center is not a fast track. With its abrasive surface and numerous slow turns and hairpin bends, this track puts tyres to the test. The laps completed with the Pzero did not highlight any specific weaknesses. Even if it is not in its element, the tyre provides good control over the car’s movements and a constant level of grip. It tends to become less efficient over the laps, but that’s not unusual.
Switching to the Trofeo R radically changes the coupe which becomes much more incisive. The limit of the tyre’s grip on a dry surface is completely different and several laps are required to adapt to a completely transformed TTS. If the steering response is unbelievably rewarding and the TTS even more pleasurable to drive, the gain of 3 full seconds over a lap confirms the incredible difference in terms of pure performance. On such a small track with identical vehicles and conditions, this result is impressive and this alone may provide a strong purchase argument for drivers looking for maximum performance.
Confirmation with the Lamborghini Huracan
But this first test was just a warm-up for the second round behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Huracan boasting 610 hp.
The first test drive was still with the Pzero. The Italian coupe seemed so precise, incisive and responsive that it was difficult to imagine how the Trofeo R could be even more efficient. The road tyre associated with the Huracan is outrageously homogeneous and difficult to fault.
Switching to the Trofeo R had less effect than on the TTS in terms of steering response. The advanced design of the Lamborghini probably explains this. But in terms of pure efficiency, the performance achieved is just awesome. On the Paul Ricard track our pace was similar to that of the most radical sports cars, exclusively dedicated to track use. Never tricky to handle, the Huracan seemed completely undaunted, never under steering or over steering (the front or rear slides). In this configuration, the sensation of efficiency was particularly exhilarating. What’s more, after being pushed hard, even tyre wear seemed reasonable.
To conclude, we can say that Pirelli deserves its status as a sports tyre specialist. The versatility of the Pzero and the ultra high performance of the Trofeo R confirm a real proficiency in the matter.
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