If you’ve ever wondered how the perfect tires for both the road and the race track are created, then look no further than Pirelli. As the most famous tire manufacturer in the world, Pirelli produces 75 million car tires annually, with a workforce of 32,000 employees – including 1,400 engineers – stationed all around the globe. In fact, the most prestigious car manufacturers in the world rely on their expertise and experience.
In a recent documentary, we followed the fascinating production process of Pirelli’s flagship product: the P Zero tire. With the help of 100 constituent materials, 15 manufacturing steps, and over 50 performance tests undertaken in high-tech laboratories, Pirelli strives to achieve the best possible compromise between three irreconcilable and contradictory properties: low rolling resistance, strong grip, and low wear. Only then will the P Zero tire, admired by so many, take to the streets of the world.
Take a trip to Settimo Torinese, Italy, where Pirelli manufactures its high-tech tires on 200,000 square meters of floor space. With natural rubber as a basic raw material, the company has been producing tires for around 130 years. But yet, a tire is so much more than simply rubber. The secrets of this Mega Manufacturing operation lie in the other ingredients too: A precisely measured blend of fillers, antioxidants, plasticizers, and curing agents.
A car tire is a complex high-tech product with many individual layers. Up to ten different rubber compounds are required for different zones of the tire, along with textile fibers and steel wires. Only then can the tires withstand extreme stresses. It is evident that tires are no small feat of engineering!
What’s even more remarkable is that a new tire is specially developed for each car brand, with the P-Zeros development based on the experience gathered in the Formula One World Championship, for which Pirelli is the sole supplier. We even made a detour to the company’s development and testing department at their headquarters in Milan, where we had the pleasure of accompanying a new P Zero tire to the test track.
In summary, Pirelli’s quest for perfection is a never-ending process, with no shortcuts taken in the creation of their prized P Zero tire. That’s why we encourage you to watch the documentary on how they bring this incredible product to life!