Pirelli has just launched a brand-new high-performance summer tyre, the Cinturato P7 in Europe and Asia, which gives increased safety, greater efficiency and sustainability. The ride comfort has also been improved, thanks largely to Pirelli working closely with premium car manufacturers in the development of the new tyre.
The Cinturato has 70 years of history behind it and has been developed capitalising on all the lessons learned from the continuous development of the previous-generation P7. The tyre has a clever ‘intelligent’ compound that adapts to the temperature and driving conditions.
The previous generation tyre was launched back in 2009 and has since become a homologation leader. Since then, the Cinturato P7 has been constantly updated and improved thanks to the close partnerships between Pirelli and the world’s premium car makers.
This latest generation of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 has been designed to take account of the demands of today’s modern motorist, with safety and efficiency and being the main priorities.
The programme of research and development carried out by Pirelli’s engineers has meant that the new tyre has built in technology that makes the P7 capable of reconciling conflicting requirements, such as the tyre’s performance in the wet and low rolling resistance, achieving a new technological standard in an effort to satisfy drivers and car manufacturers around the world. The Cinturato is made with a clever new compound equipped with a type of ‘mechanical intelligence’ that can change according to ambient temperatures. It’s a bit like having two compounds in one.
Safety is a bigger priority
A recent survey commissioned by Pirelli, which took place between the end of April and beginning of May among drivers using tyres of 18-inch size or higher, highlighted the tendency for increased car use in future, particularly while social distancing measures remain in place. For example, in China, 68% of respondents said they would use their cars more, whilst in Italy it was 31% and in Germany 20%.
Interestingly, over 50% of those surveyed said they wanted to change their tyres before the end of the year to ensure optimal safety for their cars. The percentage of respondents prioritising safety characteristics increased to 59% in Germany, 78% in Italy and 86% in China.
As a result, safety is the key characteristic of the new Pirelli Cinturato P7. The tyre greatly improves wet handling, aquaplaning and braking in particular, with it taking four metres less to come to a stop from 100kph. Acoustic comfort is also improved with less intrusive road noise and improved ride comfort, with the tyre able to absorb bumps in the road far better than its predecessor. Another welcome improvement is that the overall tyre life which has been increased by six per cent, meaning that tyres don’t have to be changed quite so frequently. Rolling resistance has also been reduced, improving fuel consumption by four per cent as well as helping to reduce CO₂ emissions.
The tread pattern created for the new Cinturato P7 is enriched with specific silicon resins that help to increase grip and enhance the function of the tyre’s polymers. These are synthetic elastic materials that are chemically modified to improve the interaction with silicon. The polymers can change according to the tyre’s working temperature, meaning that the new compound benefits from a sort of ‘mechanical intelligence’ thanks to better distribution of the silicon particles and more effective interaction between them. As a result, the tyre’s characteristics can alter according to driving and temperature conditions, giving the driver an extremely wide optimal working range.
The tread pattern has also been optimised to work in synergy with the car’s own electronics meaning that it is able to brake sooner. Tests carried out when braking from 100kph have shown that the new Cinturato P7 needs an average of four fewer metres to stop, which is a 7-10% reduction. The tyre has also been developed to work with existing driver aids built in on higher end car models, such as lane control systems.
The new Cinturato P7 has been adapted for all the different new car models that the tyres are homologated for. These include the recently-launched Pirelli Elect range, with a package of technologies specifically tailored for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, featuring instantly available grip to suit the strong performance characteristics of electric engines, lower rolling resistance to maximise battery range, as well as reduced noise to benefit from the quietness and comfort an electric powered car gives. The new Cinturato P7 can also include Run Flat and Seal Inside technologies, avoiding the inconvenience of having to change a tyre by the side of the road should you get a puncture. The first system uses reinforced sidewalls to support the weight of the car, whilst the second deploys a special mousse that can instantly plug holes that are up to four millimetres wide. Clever stuff!
For more information on the new Pirelli Cinturato P7, please visit www.pirelli.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Pirelli