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Green underneath

Pirelli Cinturato P1

They call it green even though it is still black. The offer of tyres with high environmental grading has been extended to the ranges of smallest cars, which have always been the most widespread. This is the latest arrival in the Pirelli family, the Cinturato P1, also in a run flat version

by Duilio Damiani

The versatility of the range is confirmed by the wide availability of sizes from 14 to 16 inches, widths of between 155 and 205 mm and a shoulder ratio between 70 and 50%, with T, H and V speed ratings.


Ecology and saving; fewer acoustic and environmental emissions and polluting substances for increasingly longer life are the constants of tyres of the past decade. Together with performance and driveability, consumption and rolling resistance has been the focus of the alchemy in the research laboratories, the same ones at the Pirelli headquarters in Milan that develop its entire road and competition range, from products for city cars to specific products for rallies and Formula 1.
This prerogative also applies to the new Cinturato P1, an innovative product for cars in the A, B and C segments (from the Smart to the Golf, in other words), which promises lower fuel consumption combined with longer life. Dictated by the need to offer more mileage at less cost combined with eco-sustainability, this ambitious aim was launched about three years ago at the debut of the Cinturato range with Green Performance already applied to P4 and P6, developed on the high performance P7 and the Scorpion Verde for SUVs, 4x4 and crossovers, and now ideally completed by the smallest member of the family. But the “small” only refers to the size of the P1 considering the technology that permeates the new product that made its debut this year. All the know-how acquired with the development of the other ranges by the Italian manufacturer has been poured into this product and refined to create a modern premium tyre for the newest vehicles in the medium-small class that also have sporty ambitions.

Global Cinturato
There are four souls Pirelli likes to refer to when talking about the Cinturato P1: safety, ecology, driving pleasure and versatility, the characteristics of the brand which are of strategic importance for market logics and have been inherited by the latest arrival with a capacity for global diffusion. Along with the ever-increasing growth of the range, Pirelli’s presence in emerging markets, in addition to traditional markets, has also been consolidated with widespread distribution in Europe, Asia and South America. And it is precisely on the P1 that the development plans for the industrial centres in Brazil and China have been focused: modern production facilities, like the ones in Brazil, with a capacity of 88,000 tyres a day (2010 data) – and in China, with over 12,00 tyres a day (2010 data).
And it will be P1 that will mobilize the masses by gradually replacing the popular P4, which will remain in production at essential levels for the next two-three years.
During the tests in Puglia last spring, we tried out its dynamic properties in a large variety of conditions on different B and C class cars, but focused on the road aspect rather than pure performance at speed, in urban and rural locations that represented the average conditions in which it will be used for most of its life.

Character and synergy
Economy and grip, with the dynamic properties of a premium tyre. Developed to perform well on dry and wet surfaces, the stabilized deformation of the casing gives the Cinturato P1 more even contact with the road, just like its big brother P7. Braking distances are considerably shortened and improved, Pirelli emphasized, by 4% compared to the Cinturato P4 - in tests carried out at 100 km/h the stopping distance is just over 38 metres – and  3% in rain, and durability has increased.
But it is the full silica compound and innovative materials that have been used  to make the entire structure that have also led to considerable weight containment, reduced by 15%, which lowers rolling resistance by a good 25%, and therefore saves fuel and 4% CO2 emissions. Lightness and flexibility also means a reduction in non-suspended masses to increase driving comfort and response when manoeuvring while maintaining precision at speed.
While waiting for the introduction of the energy label envisaged for end 2012, the Pirelli range is preparing for strict and merciless certification also for noise emissions. An optimized profile and aerodynamic shoulders cut down the generation of acoustic energy and gives improved aerodynamics by limiting air friction and rolling noise by 1.5 dB, according to the external assessment, by 1 dB less inside the car. In addition to contributing to the reduction of resonance, the continuity of tread depth gives good handling in the main driving situations, from city manoeuvres to precision on fast motorway bends, and grip management even in emergency situations, such as sudden swerving or braking. The Tension Control system applied to the casing minimizes disturbance by maximizing shock absorption when the wheel hits the kerb, steps or other obstacles.
Today’s city cars and saloons  expect characteristics that until a short time ago were just for much more sophisticated vehicles, so to meet the requests of some manufacturers for a version with a self-supporting structure, for certain sizes the Cinturato P1 is also available in the run flat version that will keep going for up to 80 km at a speed of 80 km/h, and you will see it, for example, on the Mini and BMW Series 1.
Currently being experimented is an interesting “self sealing” version that will automatically seal  a hole made by a nail, for example, by means of an internal coating of self-sealing mastic; a simple and immediate solution that is already in the Cinturato P7 on the Volkswagen Scirocco, and which will offer the automobile industry an alternative to the run flat concept. The versatility of the range is confirmed by the wide availability of sizes from 14 to 16 inches, widths of between 155 and 205 mm and a shoulder ratio between 70 and 50%, with T, H and V speed ratings.

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