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New Cinturato P7, “smart” tires rising



Pirelli celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Cinturato with a new P7 generation, studied to offer even greater safety, efficiency and comfort

Carlo Ferro

The new P7 joins the legacy of a name with 70 years of history and advanced technological solutions: this is the spirit behind the new Cinturato P7, launched in 2020 on the European and Asian market. The new Cinturato revamps the previous P7 generation, introduced in 2009, taking advantage of ongoing updates made possible by synergies with some of the world’s top car manufacturers.

Safety and efficiency, aspects that are considered crucial by all motorists, were the driving force behind the development of the new range reconciling wet performance with a low rolling resistance value.


The heart of innovation in a tire

The main innovations adopted by Pirelli for its latest tire are centred on the tread, starting with the compound, which the manufacturer defines as "intelligent", due to its ability to vary its behaviour according to driving conditions and temperature, thus offering the driver a particularly wide operating spectrum. Specially designed for the new P7, the compound is enriched with silica, resins, which have the task of increasing grip, and tailor-made polymers, i.e. synthetic elastomeric materials chemically modified to improve interaction with the silica itself. These polymers have the ability to change behaviour according to operating temperatures, giving the compound a sort of "mechanical intelligence". Furthermore, the new Cinturato boasts a significant increase in mechanical properties, such as abrasion resistance and durability. Equally noteworthy is the fact that, the compound has been developed in parallel to the design, to benefit the balance of the "tread system" which benefits from an optimised footprint; this translates into a reduction in the heat generated when moving, better grip and reduced tread wear.

The tread of the new Cinturato P7 features a lateral and longitudinal groove design that guarantees maximum efficiency in water flow, and shoulder blocks designed to guarantee the shortest braking distances on both dry and wet roads. The tread pattern and the overall stiffness of the tire are aimed at obtaining the best contact surface even when cornering, so as to increase safety and driving precision in all conditions favouring comfort at the same time: each steps in the designing phase was made to maximise acoustic and driving comfort, thanks to the tire’s enhanced ability to absorb road bumps.


Safety and sustainability driven technology

Keeping safety as a primary goal, Pirelli designers also worked on the tread's ability to "communicate" with electronic driver assistance systems, such as the most modern ADAS. For example, in the case of ABS, says Pirelli, given the same car and tire size, a tread optimised to work in synergy with the vehicle’s electronic system allows it to brake earlier. Tests carried out at a speed of 100 km/h have shown that the new Cinturato P7 requires on average up to 4 metres less braking distance, a reduction of 7-10%. The development of the tire in collaboration with car manufacturers, through virtual models, makes it possible to perfectly calibrate all assistance devices: as in the case of lane maintenance systems, if combined with an "unknown" tire, these would require continuous corrections as they cannot predict the behaviour of the tire itself. While, if the same car is equipped with a Cinturato P7 with the car manufacturer's marking – hence developed to equip that specific car - such corrections would be needless as the system can predict its reactions. 

The new P7 also makes important improvements in terms of weight. In fact, the reduction in weight is one of the car manufacturers' main requirements, functional in meeting the increasingly stringent emission targets imposed by new regulations. Having increased the mechanical resistance of the compound, made it possible to reduce the material used for the tread, optimising mileage, and reduce the weight of the entire tire unit thanks to a meticulous study of materials. Less material means less weight and consequently less rolling resistance, which translates into less fuel. Pirelli engineers have also worked on reinforcement materials: the use of fewer, very high tensile strength cords contributed to the reduction in weight. 

All of these solutions allow the new P7 not only to outperform its predecessor in wet performance (in handling, aquaplaning and braking), but also in mileage (+6%) and rolling resistance (-12%, for a fuel saving of 4%).

Already on the market with more than 70 approvals (which should exceed 100 by the end of 2020), the latest Cinturato can rely also on Pirelli patented solutions, such as Run Flat and Seal Inside, allowing a driver to travel even after a puncture. Furthermore, it will also have the new Elect marking, which distinguishes Pirelli tires designed specifically for electric or plug-in hybrid cars.

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