LAS VEGAS—Pirelli Tire North America Inc. used the 2014 SEMA show to launch the P-Zero All Season Plus tire, an aftermarket-tuned version of the venerable P Zero All Season used widely as an original equipment fitment.
Pirelli invited a few journalists and tire industry people to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to test the new rubber and check out some of the old stuff too.
The All Season Plus was developed specifically for North America, according to Pirelli, which claims the tire offers shorter wet stopping distance, more safety in aquaplaning situations and a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty. Inner block winter siping improves snow traction, while lateral siping on the outer blocks helps in cornering performance. Sipes are small slits cut into the tire to allow for better water and snow dispersal, Pirelli said.
Pirelli also launched its Confidence Plus Plan, which includes consumers a 30-day trial of the new tires when purchased in sets of four. Dissatisfied buyers can exchange the set for another Pirelli tire model, as long as it's within the trial period, Pirelli said.
Right now10 sizes are available, according to Pirelli, and about 50 will be on sale by February in 17- to 20-inch rim diameters.
Pirelli explained that its racing endeavors do trickle down to street cars. To drive the point home, the Rome, Ga.-based tire maker let journalists sample cars from the Dream Racing driving experience, all with Pirelli rubber.
On the road course at LVMS the All Season Plus tires were a good mix of performance and comfort. At the limit they broke away very predictably and gripped well even on the slippery, shiny curbing on the inside road course.
After, we jumped into Chevy Camaros and Infiniti Q50S sedans for the wet portion of the testing. Though much of the water was drying by the time we tested, the All Season Plus tires held on through the standing water. We were basically told to panic stop from about 50 mph, and we barely reached the measuring breaking cones marked 70, 80 and 90 feet.
“The launch of the new P Zero All Season Plus is another sign of Pirelli's strong commitment to the U.S. market. We're proud that this product, tailored specifically for the US, has been produced locally here in North America at our Silao factory in Mexico,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO/Chairman of Pirelli NAFTA. “We're excited to continue expansion and production at this factory to meet both consumer and dealer needs in the region.”
In a separate presentation at the SEMA Show, Steve Carpino, chief technical officer, explained that Pirelli's Plus line concept addresses concerns many aftermarket customers have about OE-specific tires, such as treadwear mileage, wet braking, snow grip, UHP tire "feel" and comfort.