From road to ski slopes: in St. Petersburg winter is branded with Pirelli technology

Safety and performance were at the core of “Snow on Board”, the event organised by Pirelli with the international press in St. Petersburg to present the latest innovations from group researchers designed to keep the dangers of the cold season under control, for safety on the road and on the slopes. Latest generation Pirelli winter tyres, a new snowboard developed by Pirelli PZero in collaboration with Burton, and fashion with the new snow suits, were the key ingredients of the day staged between the city centre and the Igora Park skidrome, 80 km to the north, where winter is still in full swing with temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius. Testimonials were Formula 1™ pilot Vitalij Petrov (Pirelli is Formula 1™ 2011-2013 official tyre supplier) and two gorgeous Russian top models, Eugenia Volodina (featured in the 2005 Pirelli Calendar by Patrick Demarchelier) and Tanya Mityusina who, during the tests on snow, talked to reporters about the most common experiences faced by drivers in winter. DRIVE SAFELY IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS. The dynamic tests on the snow at Igora Park with the most powerful SUVs concentrated on road safety, a core concern for Pirelli Bicocca research, which considers women the most cautious and attentive drivers. According to recent market research, while men are seduced by the car's style and performance, women focus more on safety and comfort, perhaps because they view cars primarily as a means of transport for the family and children in particular. No accident then that we chose to test our tyres on the latest SUVs, powerful high-tech vehicles commonly associated with the idea of safety and comfort by women, who already represent 30% of the drivers for this category. The Igora Park tests, conducted by Vitali Petrov, underlined the key role that tyres play in safety and performance and the importance of choosing the right type of rubber for specific weather and road conditions. Tyres represent the only point of contact with the road surface and in the majority of cases the actual contact area is only slightly wider than a credit card. This minimal surface has to guarantee the grip of the whole vehicle, determining its braking distance and stability. The tests were conducted comparing winter and summer tyres in three different situations representative of the most common driving conditions during the cold season. The first comparison focused on braking and demonstrated how the wrong tyre can increase the vehicle’s braking distance by as much as 30 metres, even at relatively low speeds, a difference which can dangerously compromise the chances of avoiding an obstacle. The second comparison showed how the wrong tyres make it impossible to control the vehicle, especially on a bend. The final test revealed that a snow climb can be tricky even for a powerful SUV. Choice of tyres is fundamental not just in extreme conditions of snow and ice, but throughout the autumn and winter months until spring, when pouring rain or morning frost can often make roads treacherous. Even in a Mediterranean climate winter tyres are more suitable for winter conditions, primarily because of the materials used in their manufacture. For summer tyres “colder” materials are used which adapt better to higher road temperatures, while for winter tyres we use “warmer” ingredients that heat up more quickly and give the grip needed for braking and stability. Winter materials also contain substances that shed snow flakes or water molecules more readily, to counter the instability that makes them slippery. Another basic difference between summer and winter tyres is the tread, that part of the tyre in contact with the tarmac. In a summer tyre the channels are less well defined, while in a winter tyre the grooves are deeper cut and run outwards to drain as much water or snow as possible, leaving a cleaner surface for the rest of the tyre, thus improving stability and braking. In addition, winter tyres usually have tiny blades that act like hundreds of little feet to grip the road and better ensure control of the vehicle. A SNOWBOARD WITH SUPERCAR GRIP. “The Snow on Board” event also presented an opportunity to launch the latest entries to the Pirelli winter tyres family, such as the complete PZero snowboarding kit, fruit of technological collaboration with industry leader Burton. This includes Mistery, the lightest snowboard ever made by Burton, custom-built like the racing cars which inspired its line and colours, and ION bindings and boots which represent the core of the Pirelli / Burton partnership. For the sole of the boots Pirelli Bicocca researchers developed a compound and a tread inspired by Pirelli tyres to guarantee snowboarders maximum grip, comfort and control, comparable to high performance cars. PIRELLI PZERO SNOW SUITS: HI-TECH GLAMOUR. All the latest technological solutions used on PZero sporting gear come from the Pirelli labs. The Pirelli Industrial Design project shares the same high performance materials and basic philosophy that lies behind our tyres: the best possible solution for the specific weather conditions. The high-tech Winter Sottozero snow is the perfect blend of innovation, comfort and glamour. THE SNOW SUIT. The suit is made of waterproof, transpiring bi-elastic technical fabric with 10” water column resistance. The filling is termoactive, a new generation active fabric that guarantees maximum thermal protection even in extremely cold weather. The seams and appliques are all heat-welded and there are numerous details such as rubberized protections from snowboard edges, an inner pocket with a foldaway neck warmer in technical fabric, windstop wristbands and multipurpose pockets. PIRELLI PZERO AND BURTON COLLABORATE ON A DEDICATED SNOWBOARDING LINE Pirelli PZero and Burton have launched a high-tech partnership to develop a complete high performance snowboarding kit (boots, snowboard and bindings) in distinctive gold and black. The lines and colours - black and gold, glamour and technology - were inspired by the fascinating and daredevil world of 1970s motor racing. On the one hand there is BURTON, pioneer of snowboard manufacturing, up to meeting any challenge on the snow, whether on the slopes, freeriding or in the park. On the other there's PIRELLI, the brand that is synonymous with excellence in performance and style. The pivotal product of this collaboration is ION: the Burton boot with a Pirelli branded sole. Top of the range and equipped with “Total Comfort” technology, the boot is lightweight and delivers high performance. Drawing on its tyre manufacturing expertise, Pirelli has developed a special compound to meet the rider’s needs with a design inspired by winter tyres for unprecedented grip. The collaboration also produced: MISTERY: a one-of-kind snowboard, custom-built like a racing car fitted with Pirelli tyres, it is the lightest snowboard ever made by Burton, fast and agile in glossy black with gold detail. The 2013 Burton Diode EST MADE FOR PIRELLI bindings: total control in all possible conditions, like driving an F1 car. Top performance and minimum weight. The boots will be available at all BURTON retailers worldwide from August 2012 and from Pirelli Corso Venezia in Milan. The snowboard and bindings will be sold exclusively at Pirelli Corso Venezia in Milan for the 2012-2013 winter season. THE NEW PZERO 2012/2013 COLLECTION WATERPROOF RAIN A preview of the 2012-2013 Fall/Winter Collection Rain and fabrics work together as a team in this collection for some surprising results. Drops of water from the sky slip right off these specially waterproofed garments. For the next 2012-2013 Fall/Winter Collection, Pirelli PZero has decided to play a new “creative tailor” card, coupling the latest technology with traditional garment manufacture. With an extra challenge: protection that doesn't show, keeping the essential ingredient hidden. Today's sports gear is moving from tech to wear to tech to hide. As with the latest cars, where the technology is there but you can’t see it (just think about airbags or ABS), we decided to hide the technical components, which do their job without being seen. The Prince of Wales men's trench coat conceals a gel-based polyurethane membrane and highly colourful thermotaping that guarantees maximum protection and waterproofing, in the finest Pirelli tradition. The Pirelli heritage can be seen on the labels and the images on the inside jacket pocket, taken from the Pirelli Collection archives. Tradition meets innovation in textiles and materials, with a bomber jacket made of PVC- coated flannel with thermotape stitching and technical woven hems. Creative tailoring for the women's collection too: blouson-capes with an imitation raccoon collar, technical fabric and padding, down jackets in metallic colours with functional details and high wind and rain resistant jackets in resinated ripstop nylon. For further media information, please contact: Sarah Brown, Communications, Pirelli Ltd , Pirelli UK Tyres Ltd - +44 (0) 1283 525479 – PR Office - sarah.brown.st@pirelli.com Pirelli Press Office - Tel. +39 02 64424270 - ressoffice@pirelli.com Pirelli Investor Relations - Tel. +39 02 64422949 - ir@pirelli.com PIRELLI PZERO Press Office Daniela Carati daniela.carati@pirelli.com Valentina Piccioni valentina.piccioni@pirelli.com