LAS VEGASPirelli Tire North America Inc. has expanded its P Zero line again, adding the P Zero All Season Plus, an aftermarket-tuned version of the venerable P Zero All Season used widely as an OE fitment.
To launch the tire, Pirelli invited a few journalists and tire industry people to Las Vegas Motor Speedway prior to the start of the SEMA Show to test the new rubberand check out some of the old stuff, too.
The All Season Plus was developed specifically for North America, according to Pirelli, which claims the tire offers shorter wet-stopping distance, more safety in aquaplaning situations and a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty. Inner tread block siping improves snow traction, while lateral siping on the outer blocks helps in cornering performance. Sipes are small slits cut into the tire to allow for better water and snow dispersal, Pirelli said.
Concurrently, Pirelli launched its Confidence Plus Plan, which allows consumers a 30-day trial of the new tires when purchased in sets of four. Dissatisfied buyers can exchange the set for another Pirelli tire model, as long as it's within the trial period, the tire maker said.
Right now10 sizes are available, according to Pirelli, and about 50 will be on sale by February in 17- to 20-inch rim diameters.
Pirelli said it hopes the Confidence Plus Plan will provide consumers with confidence to try the Pirelli Plus lines of productstires derived from original equipment product development that are dedicated to the aftermarketproviding maximum driving pleasure without abandoning treadwear.
The plan is offered on purchases of four P Zero All Season Plus, Cinturato P1 Plus, Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, P4 Four Seasons Plus and Scorpion Verde All Season, Pirelli said. By tire, the treadwear warranties are: P Zero All Season Plus, 50,000 miles; Cinturato P1 Plus, 35,000 miles; Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, 70,000 miles; P4 Four Seasons Plus, 90,000 miles; and Scorpion Verde All Season, 65,000 miles.
At the P Zero All Season launch, Pirelli explained that its racing endeavors really do trickle down to the street cars. To drive the point home, the Rome, Ga.-based tire maker let the invited journalists sample cars from the Dream Racing driving experience, all shod with Pirelli rubber.
On the road course at LVMS the All Season Plus tires were a good mix of performance and comfort. At the limit they broke away very predictably and gripped well even on the slippery, shiny curbing on the inside road course.
After, we jumped into Chevy Camaros and Infiniti Q50S sedans for the wet portion of the testing. Though much of the water was drying by the time we tested, the All Season Plus tires held on through the standing water.
Drivers were basically told to panic stop from about 50 mph, and we barely reached the measuring breaking cones marked 70, 80 and 90 feet.
The launch of the new P Zero All Season Plus is another sign of Pirelli's strong commitment to the U.S. market. We're proud that this product, tailored specifically for the US, has been produced locally here in North America at our Silao factory in Mexico, said Paolo Ferrari, chairman and CEO of Pirelli NAFTA.
We're excited to continue expansion and production at this factory to meet both consumer and dealer needs in the region.
In a separate presentation at the SEMA Show, Steve Carpino, Pirelli's chief technical officer, explained that the company's Plus line concept addresses concerns many aftermarket customers have about OE-specific tires, such as treadwear mileage, wet braking, snow grip, UHP tire feel and comfort.
Jake Lingeman is a reporter for Autoweek, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.