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Pirelli P Zero Rosso: passion and technology

Max choice, zero limits with the new P Zero

Miami, Florida, February, 2000 – Pirelli
is to launch the new P Zero Rosso, the fastest, quietest, most
comfortable product in the history of Italian sports car tyres, in
markets across the world.

The tyre is called P Zero because that name has
become a milestone marking a fundamental turning point in Pirelli
ultra-high performance tyre technology: Zero as in “zero

And it is called Rosso, the Italian for red,
because rosso has always symbolised a love of driving fast cars;
that is what led to the birth of the first P Zero, the founding
father of the dynasty, which continues to give life to this new
generation of ultra-low profile tyres.

P Zero Rosso is already homologated for the
Audis TT and RS4 and it is under advanced testing phase for
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Porsche.

With P Zero Rosso, a new Pirelli ultra-high
performance car tyre range has been completed for drivers who want
the maximum, not only on the road but off it, too. Altogether, they
comprise the P Zero Collection: Pirelli is responding to the
specifications set down by the leading carmakers with a range of
tyres that accept no compromises.

P Zero Rosso, P Zero System, Scorpion Zero:
three zeroes, a whole Millennium…

P Zero Rosso: the comfort of high

Not so long ago, words like “comfort” and “silence” were no part
of a sporting supercar’s language. Performance and wet grip were
enough: the love of driving meant the bump-thump which small road
undulations transmitted to the cockpit fell on deaf ears.

Then electronics arrived: electronic traction, suspension and
stability control. Ever more sophisticated management systems in
the areas of safety and driving comfort made their way aboard
sports cars as well as most other modern motor vehicles.

Laws were also enacted governing acoustic pollution: thunderous
engine and exhaust notes, aerodynamic noise, tyres squealing as
they bite into the asphalt have all played their last symphony.

As part of this evolution in the sports car segment, Pirelli has
created the P Zero Rosso: comfortable, quiet, ultra-high
performance with no trade-off.

Naturally, P Zero Rosso is the top performer of the breed.
Sports handling made up of quick, sharp response, progressiveness,
precision of trajectory, straight line speed, cornering power: the
qualities on which Pirelli founded its lineage of low profile tyres
more than 25 years ago with the P7, created for the mythical Lancia

And then there is safety in the wet: behind all P Zeroes are
years of intensive study of profiles, tread compounds and patterns
which guarantees the ultra-low profile will provide maximum safety
in potential aquaplaning situations. To the point that Pirelli
introduced the exclusive P Zero System, two different tread
patterns for a car’s front and rear axles, which provide
exceptional handling in wet and dry conditions.

To those elements of top performance, P Zero Rosso today adds
top comfort, because the makers and buyers of modern luxury
supercars demand from their tyres quiet running, the ability to
absorb road surface undulations, handling uniformity,

Top project

To be top in performance and comfort is the
objective for which P Zero Rosso has been conceived, developed,
built and tested; and that has been done together with the top
sports car manufacturers from the first design stage and with the
help of the most advanced methods of calculus.

With P Zero Rosso, virtual and integrated
systems of tyre development achieved the maximum of their
respective capabilities. Thousands of small coloured bricks in
movement, shared with car designers so that Pirelli could know in
advance the characteristics each primary component should embody so
as to become part of a specific car under development. Simulation
under load, steering, change of trajectory, on the steering pad,
the impact of an obstacle: P Zero Rosso underwent exhaustive
advanced “virtual” tests.

The design of the tyre using finite elements is
what enabled Pirelli to identify its primary objective: weight
reduction. A lighter, more resistant structure was created for P
Zero Rosso so that the tyre brakes better and accelerates more
progressively, cutting down thermal strain under stress and
maintaining the tyre’s integrity, regulating its wear.

New materials, such as Aramid Pulp, have also
contributed to this result.

Aramid Pulp used in the basic tread compound
acts to stiffen the compound and maintains thermal stability under
prolonged stress with no decline in performance.

In the short term it is planned also the use of
PenTec . Used as light belt wrapped at zero degree on the steel
belt, the Pen Tec will give more high speed stability together with
reduced flat spotting and weight of tyre. Produced by AlliedSignal
and originally developed for space exploration, PenTec has already
been tested with success in motorcycle tyres – the Pirelli Dragon
Evo- and now, for the car tyres.

The development of P Zero Rosso has also
introduced important process innovations, including the use of the
highly automatized Flexi system in the production phase. The Flexi
system allows the minimisation of the production lots at the
customisation limit, and ensures continuous control of the tension
of the belt material on the carcass to provide maximum built
uniformity. The result is a profile which produces an absolutely
uniform footprint at high speed for outstanding handling and road
holding in a corner.

The structure’s weight has been further reduced
by the use of a steel cord 20% lighter and more resistant than
traditional material, exclusively produced by the Pirelli Steelcord
division: this benefits handling and comfort by improving the
tyre’s ability to “envelop” obstacles.

A simple but valuable idea for the bead: a
single wire with a “diamond” winding, tough but flexible, for
uniform distribution of tension during roll.

Tread pattern: designed by computer

And then there is the silica, here used in the
tread compound to provide outstanding wet grip in low temperatures
and lower rolling resistance in the dry.

In this area, P Zero Rosso has pioneered new
mixing processes to ensure better dispersion of the silica through
the rubber polymers, in particular as a result of using innovative
instruments of analysis.

Ample use of the most modern methods of
predictive calculus in the curing phase, in which F.E.A. simulation
- Finite Element Analysis – has enabled Pirelli to find the optimum
value of curing of each of the tyre’s 10 different compounds.

The P Zero Rosso’s tread pattern is completely
new and elegant: in fact there are two versions, asymmetric and
directional, in line with P Zero tradition. Considerable use has
been made of curved grooves, which alternate with wide longitudinal
grooves: protection from aquaplaning.

It is a “multi-ring” pattern, able to
drastically lower noise generation.

The new tyre retains the “Zero concept” of
central semi-slick rib, which guarantees driving precision under
acceleration in the same way that the outer design -with robust
blocks- ensures excellent dry grip while the inner circumferential
segment has wider grooves through which to quickly eject water.

The shoulder siping minimises the longitudinal
tread blocks’ rigidity, to improve quietness and comfort. But above
all, quietness is governed by the multi- pitch pattern. Comfort
comes not just from the use of a soft tread compound but also from
the “multi-groove” tread design.

<!–- The “P Zero Collection”
<!–- A market in fast and continuous growth
<!–- 2000: the year of America
<!–- Pirelli-Cadillac: Daytona debut–>

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