Pirelli launches Cinturato P1 Plus in New York
Chicago has Bridgestone. Detroit has Michelin. Los Angeles has Yokohama. And New York, as in the New York International Auto Show, has Pirelli.
These tire brands are tied to the most prominent auto shows in the country. Pirelli Tire LLC recently exploited its association with the New York show by introducing the Cinturato P1 Plus among the vehicles on display at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Many of the premium vehicles sported Pirelli original equipment tires.
The new Cinturato P1 Plus is a premium ultra-high performance summer tire. “To play in this segment, you really have to have a well-performing tire,” says Riccardo Cichi, Pirelli’s senior vice president.
What separates the P1 Plus from other replacement tires in the UHP summer tire category is the 35,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. The 24-size range also takes staggered fitments into account, adds Cichi.
In addition to its unique mileage warranty, the P1 Plus is more fuel efficient than Pirelli’s other UHP summer tires. It was designed as an environmentally friendly tire, with HAOF (highly aromatic oil free) compounds and fewer raw materials. And the tread pattern is optimized to keep road noise to a minimum, even as the tire wears.
The P1 Plus is the replacement version of Pirelli’s five-year-old P1 OE tire. The replacement and OE tires share a tread pattern but are designed for their respective markets. For example, the OE tire does not emphasize long tread wear.
Key replacement fitments for the tire include the Acura RLX, TL and TSX; Buick LaCrosse and Regal; Ford Focus and Fusion; Lincoln MKZ; Mazda6 and RX-8; Nissan 350Z, Altima, Maxima, Sentra and Leaf; Subaru Impreza and Legacy; and Volvo C70.
The Plus strategy
If Pirelli’s Plus concept sounds familiar, then its marketing strategy has been successful. The P1 Plus is the third in a series of Pirelli tires that have visually identical replacement and OE counterparts. The others are the Scorpion Verde All Season Plus and the P7 All Season Plus.
The P1 Plus is Pirelli’s first tire introduction this year. There will be more, according to Chairman and CEO Paolo Ferrari. “Two or three new product ‘stories’ each year keep the brand alive,” he says. Last year, Pirelli introduced three tires.
The new tire is manufactured in China, but that will change as Pirelli increases capacity at its consumer tire plant in Silao, Mexico.
Ferrari says the plant will produce more than 5 million passenger and light truck tires in 2017, and eventually be able to produce 15 million tires annually. “We want to eventually move all our needs into Mexico.”
That also will help with Pirelli’s fill rate. It takes the North American company seven days to export tires from Mexico to the United States, compared to 45 days from the Pirelli plant in Brazil and 90 days from plants in Europe and Asia. ■
Pirelli P1 Plus sizing
The new Cinturato P1 Plus is available in 24 replacement sizes, ranging from 17 inches to 20 inches. All the 19- and 20-inch sizes are marked XL.
17-inch (eight sizes): 215/55R17 94V, 225/55R17 97Y, 215/50R17 95W, 225/50R17 98W, 225/45R17 91W, 235/45R17 97W, 245/45R17 95W and 245/40R17 91W.
18-inch (eight sizes): 225/45R18 95W, 245/45R18 100Y, 215/40R18 89W, 225/40R18 92W, 235/40R18 95W, 245/40R18 97Y, 255/35R18 94Y and 265/35R18 93Y.
19-inch (six sizes): 245/40R19 98W, 225/35R19 88W, 235/35R19 91Y, 245/35R19 93Y, 265/30R19 93Y and 275/30R19 96Y.
20-inch (two sizes): 245/35R20 95Y and 275/30R20 97Y.
Pirelli Tire LLC considers 17-inch and above sizes to be “premium” sizes. They are becoming more popular. In contrast, 16-inch sizes are decreasing in number.