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Pirelli adds summer UHP to Cinturato line

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Pirelli Tire North America Inc. photo
Riccardo Cichi, senior vice president, Pirelli Tire North America.

NEW YORK (April 18, 2014) — Pirelli Tire North America Inc. (PTNA) is adding the Cinturato P1 Plus, an ultra high-performance summer tire tuned for luxury and sports cars, to its aftermarket portfolio.

 The Cinturato P1 Plus, which draws on Pirelli’s OE product development, is optimized for the North American aftermarket, maximizing driving pleasure without abandoning treadwear, Pirelli said. The tire debuted at this week’s New York Auto Show.

The tire will help the company continue its goal to segment its tires better — with the Cinturato P1 Plus in the comfort and reliability segment. The new tire joins the existing OE Cinturato P1, which has been manufactured for five years, the company said.

“We’re using the plus concept to deliver comfort and mileage,” said Riccardo Cichi, senior vice president, Pirelli.

The tire will be manufactured in China, Mr. Cichi said, but the company’s long-term goal is to move production eventually to its plant in Mexico, said Paolo Ferrari, chairman and CEO of PTNA.

Pirelli describes the Cinturato P1 Plus as an “extension” of the Cinturato tire line’s “rich legacy.” The Cinturato — Italian for “belted” — has been part of Pirelli’s lineup since the 1950s.

Pirelli Tire North America Inc. photo
<center>Pirelli Cinturato P1 Plus</center>

“For this segment,…you’re getting low-profile tires, and they’re uncomfortable,” Mr. Cichi said. “So we’re saying we’re going to offer you the performance. We’re going to offer you the comfort. And we’re going to offer you the mileage.

“So three characteristics that are usually not offered in a UHP summer tire.”

Steven Carpino, vice president, research and development FOR PTNA, said the biggest difference consumers will notice between the new tire and its competitors is the treadwear.

The tire will be distributed primarily in key markets, especially Florida and California, where the largest share of the targeted segment exists, Mr. Cichi said.

“We have to be realistic,” he said. “Obviously, we offer it to all the customers, but I’m sure that there’s going to be a little bit of pushback in Michigan because they’re going to say, ‘Either it’s an all-season or a winter. We don’t want a summer tire for whatever reason.’ Then they may sell them for special obligations.”

Tire Business file photo by Bruce Davis
Paulo Ferrari, chairman and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America.

Key features include a tread compound with “innovative materials” for a balanced performance, safety in wet and dry conditions and reduced fuel consumption, Pirelli said, along with “variable tension control” and a new mold profile for improved treadwear — Pirelli is offering a 35,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.

The tire has an asymmetric tread pattern and an internal structure optimized for a quieter, more comfortable driving experience.

Pirelli is offering a 30-day trial on the new tire — with drivers able to exchange the tires for a new set of any other Pirelli tires of the same value within 30 days from the original date of purchase.

Cinturato P1 Plus will be available in 24 W- and Y-rated sizes, ranging from 215/50R17 to 275/30R20, targeted at owners of cars such as: Acura TSX; Buick Regal; Chevrolet Cruze/Volt; Dodge Dart; Ford Focus/Fusion; Honda Accord; Hyundai Sonata/Veloster; Infiniti Q50; Kia Optima/Soul; Lexus ES350/GS450h/IS350; Nissan Altima; Subaru Impreza/Legacy; Toyota Avalon/Camry; Volkswagen Beetle/Passat/Jetta; and Volvo S60.

Pirelli did not disclose pricing.

Mr. Ferrari said to expect more announcements from Pirelli in the coming months, such as more new replacement tires, new compounds and others.

“The market is getting more and more competitive,” Mr. Ferrari said. “Not only from a pricing point of view, but from a product performance point of view, and we need to make sure that we cover each subset.

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To reach this reporter: ascott@tirebusiness.com