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Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet

The new Pirelli Cinturato Winter 2 tyre favours vehicle control to prevent aquaplaning, as well as braking in low temperatures. Here's how this remarkable new tyre works

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Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet

As temperatures begin to drop from autumn into winter, the chances of encountering rainy days increase. Winter conditions call for a very specific winter tyre, such as the Cinturato Winter 2, which offers drivers peace of mind when encountering any number of challenges on the roads.

Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet 01

AQUAPLANING

Perhaps the most dangerous element of driving on a wet road is the risk of aquaplaning. This phenomenon is caused by the force exerted by water under a tyre, which leads to the vehicle being lifted up (a bit like a water-skier) and the driver being unable to steer. The resulting consequences do not bear thinking about as the driver is left with very limited control of the car – and that’s in the best-case scenario. Aquaplaning can happen with almost no notice, giving the driver precious little time to prepare or react.

The Cinturato Winter 2 is designed to mitigate against aquaplaning, thanks to the development of the trade pattern, optimized through virtual modelling with its footprint on the ground: the directional trade design of Cinturato Winter 2 is carachterized by special V-shaped grooves that drain the water from the centre of the tyre, ejecting as much of it as possible, and increasing control as a welcome result. The modeling of the water outflow made it possible to define even the details of the grooves from the dimensions to the tread pattern, and how they should vary according to the footprint position: narrow and square in the centre, but wider and more rounded at the sides, to improve the expulsion of water from the road surface.

This system for cleaning the road of water is supported by other grooves which – like small rivers – feed into the main flow of the V channels and help maintain solid contact between the tyre and the asphalt: a crucial element for road safety.

Just to give an example, the Cinturato Winter 2 road-holding performance in aquaplaning is 15% better than Sottozero 3.

Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet 02

BRAKING AND EMERGENCY MANEUVERING ON DAMP OR WET ASPHALT

As the winter season progresses, wet roads will more than likely combine with lower temperatures: being able to rely on tyre grip in these challenging conditions is paramount and made all the more critical under braking or when making any sudden changes of direction.

Throughout all episodes of winter driving, it’s the tread of the tyre that’s doing the hard graft. The interaction between the rigidity of the structure and the compound underneath it is crucial to ensuring all-round safety.

It’s important to be on the right tyre compound for the right conditions. As ambient temperatures decrease, soft summer compounds begin to stiffen and lose their effectiveness. The compound on the new Cinturato Winter 2, on the other hand, allows uniform pressure on the wet asphalt, which gives grip thanks to innovative polymers with a revolutionary system that helps to maximize the homogeneity of the components of the compound, which characterize its viscoelastic properties.

Together with the flexibility of the tread pattern, the viscoelastic properties of the compound allow the 3D sipes to close up when making emergency manoeuvres, increasing the contact patch. This enables stopping distances to be reduced by up to five% compared to the outgoing Sottozero 3.

Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet 03

POOR GRIP ON CURVES

Even when entering a roundabout or making sudden changes of directions on a wet road, the specifics of the tread pattern and structure of this specialised tyre come into play. This helps the driver in dealing with these manoeuvres, to give increased control of the vehicle.

Cinturato Winter 2: driving safely in the wet 04
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