The decision to focus on the premium segment forces Pirelli to develop and introduce increasingly sophisticated products on the market in a macroeconomic scenario that is undergoing constant, rapid evolution.
The major corporate investment in research and development on ever-more innovative compounds, structures and tread patterns allows Pirelli products to achieve extremely high performance in terms of braking under dry and wet conditions and, at the same time, improved environmental performance such as:
- decreased rolling resistance - lower CO2 emissions;
- less noise – reduced noise pollution;
- increased mileage – lengthening of tyre life and reduced exploitation of resources;
- improved retreadability – less waste to be disposed of;
- reduced weight – less use of raw materials and lower impact on natural resources.
As already mentioned in the section “Pirelli and the regulation on labelling of tyres”, from 2012 in the European market an environmental and safety labelling system came into force on tyres for the replacement market. This legislation provides for the obligation on the part of tyre producers, through the application of a label (Eurolabel), to inform consumers on the important features of the product, such as rolling resistance (energy efficiency index), wet grip (safety index, wet grip) and external noise from rolling (environmental impact index).
Energy efficiency and safety are ranked by classes that run from “A” to “G”, while external noise is measured in decibels and is shown with the sound wave symbol. The Eurolabel is applied to car tyres (C1) and light and heavy commercial vehicle tyres (C2 and C3).
Accordingly, as part of the presentation of the Industrial Plan 2013- 2017, Pirelli Research and Development adopted targets to improve the environmental performance of its own products in an objective, measurable and transparent manner. In particular, the Group focused its commitment to the parameters of the European labelling — Rolling Resistance, Wet Grip and Noise — without neglecting all the other fundamental parameters in the Green Performance strategy. With regard to the more important environmental aspect, Pirelli has committed to reduce by 2020, compared to the average in 2007, the weighted average rolling resistance of its products by 40% in car products, by 20% in truck products and by 10% in motorcycle products.
This product strategy, focused on rolling resistance, sees its highest expression in the Cinturato P7 Blue; with this solution Pirelli was the first manufacturer in the world to present a tyre to the market which, in some measurements, boasts the double A in the Eurolabel scale. This product is available, depending on the measurements, both in double A class, as mentioned, and in B class of rolling however always maintaining A for wet grip. On average the Cinturato P7 Blue guarantees: 23% less rolling resistance than the Pirelli reference (class C of rolling resistance), therefore lower fuel consumption and fewer harmful emissions. A concrete example: a sedan using Cinturato P7 Blue tyres that is driven for 15,000 km a year consumes 5.1% less fuel, equivalent to 52 litres of fuel, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 123.5 kilograms of CO2; it has a wet braking distance 9% lower than the Pirelli reference (class B of wet grip) in the same segment.
Comparative tests of TÜV SÜD showed that, at a speed of 80 km/h on wet surface, the P7TM Blue reduces braking by 2.6 meters compared to a tyre classified B. The Cinturato P7 Blue was developed for medium-high cylinder cars, as a further evolution of the Cinturato P7, famous Pirelli Green Performance tyre presented in 2009.