Tires, it's easy to forget, play a major role in our safety when we’re traveling in a vehicle. They come in all sizes and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Italian tire maker Pirelli had just announced a product that it says takes things a step further, as a more "versatile" tire. The company has just launched the new generation of the Cinturato P7, a model that has the ability to adapt to different temperatures and driving conditions. Generally speaking, a tire works optimally only within a certain temperature range, not at different extremes.
As a performance-oriented summer tire, the previous generation Cinturato P7 had a fairly narrow tread. It was considered suitable for wet and dry conditions, but like all conventional summer tires, it was not optimal for low temperatures. Changes to the composition of its rubber now allow it to operate effectively in a wider range of temperatures.
How does it do this? The new model’s tread is “enriched with silica and specific resins that help to increase grip and enhance the function of the tyre’s polymers”, explains Pirelli. These materials change their characteristics depending on the ambient temperature, which helps maintain a constant level of grip.
Destined for premium vehicles, the new Cinturato P7 has also been designed to reduce rolling noise and improve shock absorption characteristics, again according to its maker. The company also said that it has focused on lowering rolling resistance for improved fuel economy.
The new Cinturato P7 is already approved by auto manufacturers for use in 23 specific applications, in addition to the 100 homologations of its predecessor. The tire is available in the flat rolling version and with Pirelli's Seal Inside function.
In recent years, we’ve a few innovative concepts introduced by tire manufacturers. At the beginning of this year, for example, Goodyear unveiled the regenerative ReCharge tire. We’ve also seen an airless tire make its appearance. Not all will make it into production in the near-future, but we can expect some real innovations in this domain.
Pirelli's new P7 tires should launch this summer in Europe and Asia. The timing of their introduction in other markets has not yet been announced, but it shouldn’t take long. In a varied-season climate like ours, it might constitute a major breakthrough for Canadian motorists.