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.
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.