PIRELLI: HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ALL-SEASON AND WINTER TYRES
FOR URBAN DRIVERS, MODERN "ALL SEASON" TYRES ARE EFFECTIVE AND SAFE EVEN IN WINTER THANKS TO PIRELLI'S TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS
WINTER TYRES ARE THE PREFERRED CHOICE FOR THOSE WHO TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES, FREQUENT SNOWY AREAS, OR DRIVE PERFORMANCE CARS
Milan, 25 October 2023. Winter tyres or all-season tyres? It depends on how you use your car. In the case of heavy vehicle usage specific seasonal tyres would be the right choice, but "all-season" has become an excellent alternative for urban commuting thanks to the innovations found in the latest products, such as the Pirelli Cinturato All Season SF2 or Scorpion All Season SF2. Last year, this type of tyre had a market share in Europe close to 20%, even higher I in fitments over 18" on crossovers and SUVs (+60% between 2019 and 2022.) There are several reasons for this, starting with milder winter conditions, but also thanks to the technological leap that all-season tyres have made. Pirelli has transferred its expertise in the winter tyre segment to these products, where it is a market leader, equipping nearly 50% of premium and prestige models that have custom-made winter tyres 18"-up. So, how do you determine which tyre better suits your needs?
ALL-SEASON TYRES FOR CITY DRIVERS
For those who drive fewer miles (up to 25,000 per year) and do not frequently encounter mountainous roads, modern all-season tyres offer an effective solution without the compromises of the past. This starts with the mileage. Pirelli has extended its development through virtual modeling, perfected in Formula 1, to all its products, including all-season tyres. This has enabled an optimization of the contact patch, reducing wear. In wet conditions, the new generation of tyres shows performance comparable to seasonal products, if not better in intermediate temperature situations. This is thanks to the numerous "V"-shaped grooves in the tread pattern that aid in water dispersion in rainy conditions. The effectiveness of these tyres is reflected in the values on the European label, with nearly 90% of Pirelli Scorpion All Season SF2 sizes achieving the highest rating for wet braking. The tread pattern of Pirelli's all-season tyres, in the Cinturato and Scorpion families, has been designed to provide year-round effectiveness. It features adaptive sipes that remain closed and compact in typical summer conditions but spread open to provide strong grip on slippery or snowy surfaces during the colder months.
WINTER TYRES FOR TRAVELERS AND SNOW ENTHUSIASTS
The switch between summer and winter tyres remains the best choice for drivers who travel long distances, go to areas with a higher risk of snowfall, and seek maximum performance even in the most severe conditions. Winter tyres are designed to perform best in challenging conditions, such as low temperatures and icy or snowy road surfaces. The chemical properties of winter tyre compounds deliver shorter braking distances on wet roads (up to 15%) and significantly better performance on snowy roads (up to 50%) compared to summer tyres. The tread pattern of winter tyres, especially the sipes, is designed to collect and retain snow, improving grip through a "snow-on-snow friction" effect, allowing for maximum mobility without the need for chains. Winter tyres are also frequently chosen by the owners of high-performance sports cars that demand maximum traction.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE RIGHT TYRE?
Whether winter or all-season tyres, it's important to ensure that the tyre carries the M+S (Mud and Snow) marking on the sidewall, which is necessary to comply with winter regulations. To achieve maximum safety on snow, however, look for the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. This specific marking indicates that the tyre has passed approval tests in the most critical winter conditions. Today, all Pirelli new generation all-season tyres bear this symbol, indicating that these tyres have undergone a development path similar to that of winter tyres, especially in challenging conditions.
THE PIRELLI ALL-SEASON AND WINTER TYRE RANGE
To cater for all types of drivers, Pirelli has developed both winter and all-season tyres with the same level of technology and safety for the two product families, Cinturato and Scorpion. The former is dedicated to traditional cars, and the latter to crossovers and SUVs. These two tyre families have been recognized for their performance in various driving conditions by the certifying body TÜV SÜD, which has awarded them the "Performance Mark" following specific safety tests. All these tyres are also available for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, featuring Pirelli's dedicated Elect technology in a selected range of sizes. With the expansion of the range, Pirelli now covers 97% of the European market’s demand for sizes larger than 16". For high-performance vehicles, for which winter equipment remains the preferred solution, the P Zero Winter tyre is available and approved by many premium and prestige automakers.