Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli says demand for its upcoming personalised coloured tyres is rather substantial in the Australian market regardless of the expected high price, prompting the company to put us on the map for the tyre launch later this year.
The Pirelli Colour Edition tyres, which were launched with the Lamborghini Huracan Performante we drove last week, are based on the brand's P ZERO performance tyres and allow the end user to pick from either one of four standard colours or customise their own colour choice to fill the P ZERO name and side wall.
The high-end tyres will be the top-of-the-line offering from Pirelli and according to the company’s managing director, Andrea Clerici, will be air freighted to Australia to order once they go on sale – online only - in September this year.
“At the beginning, we were thinking to start with ten countries, like a trial period and let us see, and see what’s going on in the future but there is great interest from press, the end user, etcetera,” Clerici told CarAdvice.
“So now due to the fact that we would be able to provide tyres (from the factory) from July, we are revising a little bit the initial markets we were forecasting and we would speed up and not be limited to ten countries. Australia is now one of them - at the beginning, it wasn’t in the ten but now the interest is quite high so why not?”
Currently, the coloured tyres are only offered for high-end vehicles, including the Ferrari 488, Aston Martin Vanquish, Lamborghini Huracan and Aventador plus selected Porsche, Maserati and Bentley models.
Pirelli will keep no stock of the tyres – which are made in Italy - to start with, treating the orders much like a tailored suit, customised to order.
“We are talking about a very specific niche of the customer and the because of this the tyre is going to be, as you can imagine, a much higher price than the standard tyre. That's because the production is much more complicated and supply is going to be on demand. It’s like a tailored suit. If you want a tailored suit it's more sophisticated and takes more time to get because you can’t get it from the shelf.”
As to how long it will take to get a set of coloured Pirelli tyres to Australia? Clerici says they will have to be air freighted to make the timeline realistic for our market.
“For Australia obviously we are fine tuning most likely, it is almost sure that we would have to air freight the sets. In Europe, the logistic pipeline is much shorter and easier, here is not, but considering this wants to be the top of the prestige offer of Pirelli, we want to provide a top service level so the tyres will need to be air freighted. It’s a bit expensive and we are fine tuning the pipeline but this is going to be the case.”
The actual timeline will take between one to two months depending on the colour chosen.
“The logistic and transit time is going to be one week, but depending on the colour choice – let’s say from the moment you place the order and when you get the tyre it can be from one to two months time. One month for those colours, let me call them, standard colours that should be regularly produced in the factory, yellow, red, silver and white. If you pick a very peculiar colour that has to be made on demand, we need to allow a longer time frame for the factory to get the right coloured produced. So this is where we are talking about two months.”
The coloured P ZEROs have their heritage in Formula One which uses coloured sidewalls to note the tyre compound for viewers and although the Pirelli road tyres will all be the same compound, Pirelli says that it will speak ‘differently’ to the end user regarding the tyres performance.
Pricing for the local market is yet to be determined, however the Pirelli website in the UK (which would have much lower transport costs) lists the prices in Pounds which, for example, shows the cost for a set for a new Audi R8 (245/30/R20 front, 305/30/20 rear) at around $AU4000 if you choose one of the four standard colours and $5000 for customised colours, however, Clerici told CarAdvice that customised colours for the Australian market will cost no more than the standard ones.