Pirelli has taken the wraps off the all-new Pirelli P Zero high-performance tyre in Shanghai this week, revealing two different tread patterns and 11 variants.
The latest P Zero tyre joins a line of P Zeros that first launched in 1986 with tyres attached to the incredible Lancia Delta Integrale.
Since then, Pirelli has achieved an impressive 1000 homologations across a range of vehicles that include high-end marques such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Some of the more famous models include the Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Centenario, Pagani Huayra and now, the entire Formula 1 line up.
Homologations are important for the company, as they represent a tyre that is designed to be part of the engineering process for a new vehicle. Despite only being launched recently, the new P Zero has already been equipped to production versions of the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, Ferrari F12 tdf, Mercedes-AMG GT and the Porsche 718 Boxster.
Some manufacturers work with Pirelli to develop unique tyres for their vehicles. While these custom tyres may look like regular P Zeros, some are fitted with 'options' that allow manufacturers to further customise the tyre for their particular vehicle type. Some of these options include increased noise cancellation and solid sidewalls for runflat applications.
Pirelli's involvement in Formula 1 has helped it produce a new version of the P Zero that features a 15 per cent reduction in rolling resistance, increased tyre life, reduced noise levels and new F1 bead technology that uses an especially rigid compound within the bead area to increase steering response.
One of the main benefits of the new F1 bead technology is more predictive traction handling. The compound evenly distributes forces to reduce drops in performance, along with increasing the integrity of the tyre's structure during high loads and speeds.
On-road noise reduction comes courtesy of a clever tread pattern redesign that uses transverse grooves that sit out of sequence, thus distributing noise generated by air percussion over a number of frequencies. This causes the audible tyre noise to reduce significantly inside the cabin.
The latest range of P Zero tyres includes the Nero, Corsa, Rosso and System. The introduction of the new P Zero helps bolster an already incredible 80 million tyre sales since the P Zero was launched 30 years ago.
Pirelli also used this event as a launching pad for its latest consumer tyre, exclusive to the Asia Pacific market. The Dragon Sport range, which is purely aimed at the aftermarket, offers impressive dynamic and handling characteristics and has been engineered as a sporty alternative to the P Zero, which will remain as the brand's halo tyre.
Another cool innovation is an F1-esque colour package available to run alongside the P Zero tyre wall. The colour package aims to mimic the brand's Formula 1 involvement with a number of colours available.
How does this all translate on the road? We hit the Shanghai Formula 1 circuit to put the new P Zero and Dragon Sport through its paces.Check out the review and pictures of us putting the new treads through their paces.
Click on the Photos tab to see more images of the new Pirelli P Zero tyre.