Pirelli P Zero
Back in 2008, the P Zero won our test of 17-inch tyres, finishing ahead of 15 other challengers. Over the years, the design has no doubt been tweaked – Pirelli tells us it has even made further modifications since we conducted our test – but the P Zero remains fundamentally the same tyre, and must be nearing the end of its life.
While other premium manufacturers have come up with new designs and developed the almost universal asymmetric pattern in the run-up to the introduction of tyre labelling, this tyre retains its same distinctive tread.
Still, despite its advancing years, the Pirelli still felt planted on a wet track, with no rear movement, despite the strong front-end grip. You could get on the throttle early, with little or no risk of the front wheels pushing wide.
The Pirelli also fared well in our wet cornering and braking tests, albeit some way behind the remarkable Continental in both assessments. Its limitations came to the fore in our aquaplaning tests, however – here, it propped up the results table, and found itself some way off the pace of the leading performers.
The tyre did little better in the dry, but was closer to the best in our braking tests and finished in the midfield in the closely matched handling test. Although it was unable to do the lap times, it felt good, with positive turn-in and a stable rear. Yet there was another poor showing in the rolling resistance test – the P Zero would get through about five per cent more fuel than the most efficient tyre, the Dunlop.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe test the best tyres for your car
- 21st Continental ContiSportContact 5The new ContiSportContact 5 scored a victory on its tyre test debut, albeit by a very narrow margin. Key to this success were our braking tests.
- 32nd Michelin Pilot Sport 3 New designs dominated our top six this year, but the exception is this Michelin, which is the best of the 17-inch tyres we last tested in 2011.
- 43rd Dunlop Sport Maxx RTHigh-mileage drivers would do well to consider the Sport Maxx RT.
- 5=4th Hankook Ventus S1 evo2Korean tyres are fast gaining credibility against premium brands: Nexen finished third in last year’s tyre test, and Hankook flies the flag again with a fine showing to come joint fourth in 2013.
- 6=4th Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2Our winner of this tyre test in 2011 has to settle for joint fourth this time around, giving best to the new tyres from Continental and Dunlop and tying with test newcomer Hankook.
- 76th Yokohama Advan Sport V105The V105 is new for 2013, and you can clearly see Yokohama’s track roots in the tyre, which replaced the popular V103 at the top of the brand’s road range.
- 87th Bridgestone Potenza S001Yet again, Bridgestone found it tough in our tyre test, finishing last among its premium rivals.
- 98th Vredestein Ultrac VortiVredestein was the star of the dry handling circuit.
- 109th Pirelli P Zero - currently reading
- 1110th GT Radial Champiro HPYChinese company GT Radial makes its Auto Express tyre test debut this year, and its Champiro HPY undercut rivals here by a comfortable margin – buy four, and you’d save around £100 over an equivalent set from a premium brand.