SEMA Show, Day Three: Pirelli channels F1

Nov. 3, 2011

The familiar Pirelli P Zero tread pattern is the same. The inside of the tire, however, is state-of-the art.

Pirelli Tire North America Inc. (PTNA) is showcasing its new Pirelli P Zero Silver at the 2011 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 1-4. It shares its modeling process, including material technology, with Pirelli's Formula One P Zero line.

Pirelli & Cie SpA was named the sole tire supplier to all Formula One teams only last year. However, it has a 104-year history of racing involvement, including, at one time, Formula One.

"That is why there wasn't a steep learning curve when we went to the series," says Rafael Navarro III, PTNA's vice president of communications and media relations.

And Pirelli’s use of the modeling and relative data gathered Gran Prix after Gran Prix allowed for a faster development of the new P Zero Silver, reducing the time required to develop a tire from the ground up from the standard two years to only a few months.

It is the first limited edition tire specifically developed for premium sport sedan and coupe drivers requiring an extended durability UHP tire, and is designed to offer the typical characteristics of Pirelli’s P Zero line:

* great road feel and performance;

* excellent wet braking and anti-aquaplaning performance.

In addition, all the compounds of the P Zero Silver are "aromatic oil free," which meets the most restrictive European regulations in terms of protecting the environment. And the extended performance durability of the tire helps reduce the impact of material disposal.

According to Matteo Battaini, chairman, CEO and president of Pirelli Tire LLC, the new tire will be produced at the company's second-generation MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System plant in the Settimo Torinese industrial and technology hub, where all the compounds for Formula One are currently produced.

(MIRS plant production is an important part of Pirelli’s premium strategy in the NAFTA region. The company is relying on the MIRS plant in Rome, Ga., and on the new industrial hub in Guanajuato, Mexico, to satisfy all the North American markets with a production capacity of five million tires per year by 2015.)

Pirelli Tire North America closed out Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week by winning the "eBay Motors People’s Pick 2011" award for “Best Performance Tire” in the “Tuner” segment. More than 3.4 million people participated in the survey this year, a significant increase over 2010’s 750,000 votes.

For more information on Pirelli's P Zero line of tires, visit

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