Pirelli P Zero Rosso Asimmetrico Tires
265/35ZR18 - 93Y

by Jeff Lucius

Using the most advanced CAD techniques, Pirelli designed the ultra-high performance P Zero Rosso tires to have "stunning handling performance" and "exceptional ride and comfort characteristics." Pirelli's primary objectives with this tire series were "weight reduction, acoustic and plastic comfort, dry and wet handling plus aquaplaning resistance." I have been very pleased with these tires. Despite the low sidewall height (265/35), they have protected my SSR GT1 wheels. For the street, these tires perform exceptionally well. I have not tested them on a race track, but a German-language web site gave the P Zero Rosso high marks "beating the best competition ... with its steering precision [and] good grip." Each tire weighs 26 lbs. The "regular" P Zero tires in this size weigh a pound or two less. For comparison, the Nitto NT-555 245/45-17 tires I had on my stock 1992 TT wheels weighed 28 pounds each.

The following information is from Pirelli's old product info web page (may not be available), http://www.taxitalk.co.uk/pages/issue79/pirelli.htm, and Pirelli's new product info web page.

A lighter, more resistant structure was created for P Zero Rosso, resulting in more efficient braking and more progressive acceleration. This reduced thermal strain in extreme conditions maintaining the tire's integrity and regulating its wear. The weight of the structure is further reduced by the use of steel cord 20% lighter and stronger than traditional material, together with an innovative bead design. The steel cord is exclusively produced by Pirelli Steelcord Division and benefits handling and comfort by improving the tire's ability to "envelop" obstacles. The simple but effective idea for the bead, a single wire with a tough but flexible "diamond" winding, gives uniform distribution of tension during roll.

A new material, Aramid Pulp, stiffens the tread compound, helping it to maintain thermal stability under prolonged stress with no decline in performance. Needless to say, the Project is one of continuous improvement and further short-term developments are planned. Silica is used in the tread compound to provide outstanding wet grip and lower rolling resistance in the dry. Innovative methods of analysis have resulted in new mixing processes being pioneered and adopted to ensure better dispersion of the silica through the rubber polymers.

The development of P Zero Rosso has also meant the introduction of important process innovations, including a highly automated Flexi System. Amongst other benefits, the Flexi System allows continuous control over the tension of the belt material resulting in maximum build uniformity. The result is a profile that produces an absolutely uniform footprint at high speed, giving outstanding handling and road holding during cornering.

Tire Size Comparison
Tire size Width Sidewall Diameter Circumference Revs/mile % too fast
245/45-17   9.65 in 4.34 in 25.68 in 80.68 in 785.33 -
255/40-17 10.04 in 4.02 in 25.03 in 78.64 in 805.71 + 2.53
265/40-17 10.43 in 4.17 in 25.35 in 79.63 in 795.70 + 1.30
275/40-17 10.83 in 4.33 in 25.66 in 80.62 in 785.93 + 0.08
245/40-18   9.65 in 3.86 in 25.72 in 80.79 in 784.26 - 0.14
255/35-18 10.04 in 3.51 in 25.03 in 78.63 in 805.84 +2.54
255/40-18 10.04 in 4.02 in 26.03 in 81.78 in 774.76 - 1.36
265/35-18 10.43 in 3.65 in 25.30 in 79.49 in 797.06 + 1.47
265/40-18 10.43 in 4.17 in 26.35 in 82.77 in 765.50 - 2.59
275/35-18 10.83 in 3.79 in 25.58 in 80.36 in 788.45 + 0.40
275/40-18 10.83 in 4.33 in 26.66 in 83.76 in 756.45 - 3.82

Pirelli P Zero Rosso 2

Pirelli P Zero Rosso 1

SSR GT1 and stock '92 wheels

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Page last updated November 6, 2003.