FLURHEDEN, Sweden — Pirelli S.p.A. has transitioned its winter test facility, Pirelli Sottozero Centre in Lapland, Sweden, to summer testing, a first for the facility.
The 2.7 million square feet of circuits, sitting on nearly 300 acres of land located 560 miles north of Stockholm, now will serve as a test ground for summer tires because of an increased need for product development, particularly all-season and winter tires, on wet and dry roads.
The center opened in 2017 and expanded a year later. The current layout includes handling circuits, an open test area and tracks with inclines of up to 20%. The company has built a dry handling and wet handling circuit for summer use, each three-quarters of a mile long, as well as a quarter-mile straightaway to test both dry and wet braking.
The buildings feature spaces for workshops and test personnel, with facilities that also incorporate a sauna.
The tire maker said the increased rate new cars are entering into the market creates a need for the tires to be adapted to those vehicles, a reason why Pirelli said it has renewed both the Cinturato and Scorpion range in two years, with three versions (summer, winter and all-season).
Pirelli said the Sottozero Centre in Sweden complements its two other testing groups — one in the Vizzola Ticino facility near Milan, which specializes in wet handling, and the second in the new Circuito Panamericano in Brazil, which the company said is the largest circuit complex in Latin America.
Pirelli said the charging stations available at the Sottozero Centre ensure several tests can be conducted, including those suited to devEloping tires for the latest generation of plug-in hybrids or full electric cars.
Pirelli said that Croatian company Rimac recently tested new winter tires at the Swedish facility for its most recent electric hypercar, the Nevera.