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A “candy shop” for car lovers in LA

This is not your average tyre shop. Pirelli chose Los Angeles for its first US premium tyre concept store

Home life A “candy shop” for car lovers in LA
A “candy shop” for car lovers in LA

Blue skies, palm trees and ocean-road drives – surely no four wheels have laid tracks on better cruising ground than the glamorous zip codes of sunny Los Angeles. So it’s fitting that Pirelli chose this epicentre of car culture for its first ever premium tyre concept store.

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P Zero World, which opened its doors in July 2016, has a 750m2 location, nestled on Santa Monica Boulevard and close to Beverly Hills, and is more of an experience centre than a tyre shop. Here motor enthusiasts can relax, admire beautiful display cars and drink coffee while a Pirelli technician fits their new wheels.

Celebrity clientele
Given its Tinseltown location, P Zero World is no stranger to the stars. Actor Matt LeBlanc, one of the co-hosts of the BBC show Top Gear, zoomed in for the opening-night cocktail reception. While singing sensation Usher, actress Brooke Burke and former racing driver Patrick Long all visited the store in its first few months and had custom Pirelli tyres fitted – Burke chose a $10,000 set of CEC light alloy forged wheels for her black Cadillac Escalade SUV. 

Rafael Navarro, Pirelli’s senior vice-president for media and events, says it takes around an hour to install a set of wheels in one of the centre’s three service bays – but promises a candy shop-like experience for car lovers while they wait – all from the comfort of black leather seating, with an espresso bar and access to a back catalogue of the iconic Pirelli Calendar dating back to 1963 via a digital touch table.

Exotic motors
In the showroom patrons can admire a fleet of super-luxury cars fitted with high-performance Pirelli tyres, all of which are bespoke to the individual manufacturer so as to fit your car “like a glove”, as Navarro explains. The showpiece is a Red Bull race car which greets you as you walk through the doors and on to the onyx black showroom floor; it is also a symbol, of course, of Pirelli’s exclusive affiliation with Formula One as the sole tyre provider.

Typically, another four or five super-cars are on show alongside the Formula One racer. These have included a canary yellow McLaren 650S Spider (just a drop in the Pacific Ocean at $300,000), a $150,000 Maserati GT convertible, a $110,000 Porsche GT3 and a $200,000 Foose Hemisfear. That’s a whole lot of horsepower under one roof!

While not for sale, these cars – which are replaced every two to three weeks with different models – are there to be admired, showcase Pirelli’s top-of-the-line P Zero tyres and also encourage locals to make a pit-stop and display their own joy-mobiles at one of the regular cars and coffee socials.

Car community
P Zero World is holding some kind of event every week, including grands prix screenings where guests can enjoy watching the race on huge TV screens while sipping beers and cocktails and nibbling on hors d'oeuvres. The venue is also hosting regional meetings for the Porsche Club of America and the Hispanic Motor Press Awards. 

Pirelli’s North America chairman and chief executive Pierluigi Dinelli has talked of plans to roll out more P Zero Worlds in other US locations and globally, but with its high concentration of luxury motors, Los Angeles was the obvious starting point for the company to launch the new concept. Some 24 per cent of US prestige vehicles are registered in California.

As Navarro impresses, P Zero World Los Angeles is an opportunity to build a car community in a “dynamic city” that loves cars, connecting passionate customers directly with Pirelli’s stellar brand, market-leading products and more than a century of expertise. “The brand is as dynamic as the city," he says. "It fits lock and step, it’s in sync, moving together. And the people who live in Los Angeles, they appreciate luxury. And when you’re supplying luxury premium car makers, it all makes for a perfect fit.” 

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