Pirelli Brings forward P7 Cinturato Launch
Pirelli has launched a new version of its P7 tyre – the P7 Cinturato. In addition to offering the kind of high performance edge characteristic of the Pirelli brand, the new tyre features a 20 per cent reduction in rolling resistance which, according to company figures, results in a 4 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. Pirelli’s decision to offer a high performance eco-tyre is immaculately timed as it follows the first reading publication of new EU laws raising the bar in terms of rolling resistance, noise pollution and wet-braking performance – all areas that Pirelli’s R&D department have improved upon the standard product in the development of the P7 Cinturato.
The launch of the new tyre, which was originally scheduled for 2010, was brought forward a year in light of the new regulations and following unprecedented drops in tyre sales at the end of 2008 and through the first quarter of 2009. With this in mind the launch can also be seen as a kind or proactive market impetus – offering tyre customers and end-consumers a something of high quality and performance that also offers potential fuel savings and ecological benefits. Green tyres are not new, but till now they have largely been combined to smaller cars and have reportedly conceded performance for fuel economy. Pirelli officially presented the Cinturato P7 at the Nardò International Test Track on 3 April.
The P7 completes the Cinturato range, whose P4 and P6 versions for medium powered cars were launched last year. Tens of thousands of the new tyre have already been produced, but company representatives confirmed that the new tyre should reach mainstream aftermarket distribution by May. Pirelli has already secured OE contracts with Audi, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Volvo and specifically on the high-profile Mercedes Class E vehicle.
The P7’s eco profile reveals a tyre made without aromatic oil materials that offers a per cent 4 per cent fuel reduction, and a 30 per cent cut in noise. As far as safety is
concerned, the P7 takes 2 metres off the wet braking stopping distance of its predecessor and one metre of braking in dry conditions.
Pirelli also launched a tyre scrappage campaign in the Italian market. The self-funded scheme includes a fuel purchase contribution for anyone deciding to replace their tyres with an eco-compatible product.
Pirelli’s R&D department has five centres of excellence in the world (Italy, Germany, Brazil, US and UK). These employ about one thousand professionals and whose annual expenditure is said to be the highest in the tyre sector (as a percentage of sales).