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Pirelli P Zero: the high-performance tyre for supercars

In the beginning, P Zero was the name, chosen almost at random, of a tyre developed for one specific race, the San Remo Rally, for which Pirelli’s experience in Formula One in the 1980s was adapted to the needs of the Ferrari F40, the first of hundreds of homologations to come. Today, after nearly 30 years of constant evolution in technology and the development of versions that followed that of the cars on which they were to be used, the P Zero remains a dominant force, having become the original-equipment tyre preferred by car manufacturers for their supersport and other high-end models, as well as by the most demanding drivers looking for both performance and safety.  Designed in 1986, the name and pedigree of that first tyre resulted in a brand that has shaped the history of the tyre industry and has consolidated Pirelli’s place as a global leader in high-performance tyres. That brand has become the benchmark for the entire industry and in all its versions over time, from System and Rosso to Nero and the 2007 P Zero. Each of the various versions features its own innovations and has set standards in the tyre industry, such as the low and ultra-low profiles. They have even set a minor record: the P Zero Giallo was the first road tyre ever to be based on a racing tyre, uniting the needs of racing with those of comfort and security required by ordinary drivers. 

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Running hand in hand with this industrial history, Pirelli technology draws experience and ideas from Formula, rally and touring-car racing to constantly develop and evolve the company’s tyres so as to offer solutions suited to the incessant changes in the needs both of drivers and of the automotive industry. In particular, this constant development of Pirelli tyres has benefitted from an interactive development process derived from motorsports, which provides Pirelli researchers with an approach that combines the experience and skill of multiple teams of engineers and which dedicates testing and development to each tyre. The ultimate goal is to provide every car manufacturer and every customer with the best tyre for their needs and to transfer racing technology right to the end user. As original equipment for new cars in particular, Pirelli researchers work hand in hand with car engineers in order to develop a version of the P Zero that meets the needs of a specific model of car, in terms of both performance (integration with the breaking system, steering response, etc.) and comfort (noise, handling). What results are tyres that are custom designed for each model and are specifically marked on the sidewall to underscore this dedicated development, so that, along side the Pirelli logo, original-equipment P Zero tyres also bear the symbol of the car manufacturer for which they were developed (“F” for Ferrari, “AO” for Audi, “L” for Lamborghini, a star for BMW, etc.), thereby confirming the exclusive association between car and tyre.  

Today, the P Zero range centres around the Corsa, designed for high-performance cars, and around the current P Zero, which has evolved over time and embodies the ongoing innovations developed together with the most prestigious car manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes, McLaren, and Porsche.

Road tyres with racing spirit: a union of performance and safety

P Zero is Pirelli’s ultra-high-performance tyre, backed by a level of technology that has made it the leading tyre of the premium segment. Launched by Pirelli in 2007, the P Zero has constantly evolved over the years through collaborations with the leading car manufacturers, which have chosen it for their highest-performance models.
This development and adaptation to the various needs of each model have made it so that there is no longer just one single P Zero for original equipment, but rather a core tyre from which many specific versions have been derived and specifically developed for their target vehicles. Some of the most recently developed versions include those for the Porsche 911, the Lamborghini Aventador, and the McLaren MP4-12C, all the result of joint development by Pirelli researchers and the engineers of the car manufacturers, just as was done for the Ferrari F40 back in 1987. Since 2007, there have been 250 P Zero homologations.
Completing the range, replacement tyres also reflect the evolving performance of the original-equipment P Zero.
The core characteristics of the P Zero are its high levels of safety, including reduced breaking distances in both dry and wet conditions, grip in curves and in straight driving, handling and comfort. 
The P Zero makes use of special nano-composites in both the tread and bead compounds, which provides the vehicle with both driving comfort and race-level handling. With three wide longitudinal channels, the tread pattern give the tyre maximum grip on wet surfaces while also ensuring low levels of noise, while the asymmetrical tread profile results in regular wear. The structure of the P Zero also limits deformation in the tyre profile even at very high speeds (of up to 370 km/h). 


On the track with the P Zero Corsa System

P Zero Corsa System is the highest-performance product of Pirelli’s range of road tyres and has been developed in collaboration with the manufacturers of supercars that have been derived directly from race cars. Design and development of this system began in 2003 with a partnership between Pirelli and Ferrari for the fitment of the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. In 2010, through a partnership with Lamborghini, Pirelli introduced the new P Zero Corsa System designed for the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, which added the new P Zero Corsa Asimmetrico to the evolution of the previous directional version. 
Thanks to its high-performance nature, the Corsa System can be used both on the road and on the track, ensuring maximum performance in both contexts.
Its specific structure gives the P Zero Corsa System maximum stability at high speeds and in curves, so that can also be used on the track. With two different tread patterns—directional for the front and asymmetrical for the rear—the P Zero Corsa System is able to delay the aquaplaning typically experienced with semi-slick wet tyres derived from motorsports. The directional tread pattern features longitudinal channels that expel water from the contact patch for precision steering and increased grip in curves. With its wider contact patch and greater rigidity, the asymmetrical pattern improves handling. The robust full-shoulder tread blocks give the asymmetrical tread pattern maximum performance on dry surfaces even under the most extreme conditions. 
P Zero Corsa System is original equipment on the most prestigious performance cars: Aston Martin, Audi, BMW-M, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, AMG-Mercedes, and Porsche GT.

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