LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2016) — Pirelli Tire North America is broadening the P Zero performance family again.
This time the Rome, Ga.-based tire maker is adding the P Zero All Season Plus — designed specifically for the North American market — to complete a triad of new performance models aimed at specific niche customers.
Pirelli is rolling out the new P Zero variations — the others are the “new” P Zero and the P Zero Corsa — this week at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. Aftermarket availability is expected to be the first quarter next year.
The latest iterations of the P Zero's come in the 30th year of the line's existence, Pirelli noted. In that time, the company has chalked up more than 1,000 OE homologations for various P Zero models.
The new P Zero models for North America will come predominantly from the company's factory in Silao, Mexico, which is undergoing an expansion that will double capacity there by 2018.
At a press event Oct. 30 in Las Vegas to launch the expanded range, Pirelli executives stressed that the expanded P Zero range will feature three variants, each designed for a specific car type with different applications and performance levels.
For sports cars, the P Zero has been tailored with a less sculpted tread pattern design, favoring dynamic performance. For luxury sedans, the pattern has been adapted to feature a deeply grooved external shoulder to better absorb road surface impact and enhance comfort.
The third design, the new P Zero Corsa, relies on a more aggressive tread design more closely related to the P Zero motorsport slick tires, the company said.
Pirelli Tire North America CEO and Chairman Pierluigi Dinelli noted that Pirelli's P Zero strategy is focused heavily on OEM accounts, especially with the “prestige” and “premium” car brands. Pirelli's work with the OEMs has evolved to the point where Pirelli is supplying “marked” tires for each brand that indicate those P Zero variants are distinctive with that car brand.
One of Pirelli's biggest challenges going forward, Mr. Dinelli said, is helping the aftermarket distribution channel understand these distinctions and to help them evolve from retail fitter to customer consultants.
Among the technologies Pirelli is incorporating into these latest P Zero versions are:
• F1 Bead, a racing-inspired bead for Formula 1-style handling;
• Extended Range Profile for more even wear and top performance;
• Re-engineered tread patterns to deliver improved lateral aquaplaning performance;
• Tread patterns designed specifically to reduce cabin noise and improves driver comfort.
• Rolling resistance cut by 15 percent, based on new modeling techniques, weight reduction and new high silica content materials.
Pirelli said it anticipates the P Zero range will deliver more than 100 OEM homologations by year-end, having already achieved 60 homologations since its European launch in March.