Pirelli P Zero (PZ4) review
Pirelli's P Zero is another staple performance car tyre, but how does it stack up against key rivals?
The P Zero has been a byword for high-performance tyres since Pirelli developed the first one as a Group B rally tyre in San Remo before launching the first road-going version on the Ferrari F40 in 1987. It’s since been fitted to a huge variety of sports and supercars as original factory equipment, and it’s hard to think of a performance tyre brand that enjoys more global recognition.
Pirelli maintains the P Zero continues to be developed by combining knowledge gained from motorsport and input from the world’s top car makers, and the P Zero is available in a wide range of sizes, some of which include Run Flat capability, the Pirelli Noise Cancelling System, and the Seal Inside system which prevents air loss following a puncture. As befits a sporting icon, the P Zero is designed for maximum wet and dry performance, with less focus on comfort and economy.
We tested the Pirelli P Zero alongside the following rival products in the 2021 evo Performance Tyre Test held at Continental’s Hanover test track and MIRA in the UK:
Continental SportContact 6; Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2; Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport; Michelin Sport Pilot 4; Nokian Powerproof; Vredestein Ultrac Vorti.
The Pirelli was the star of our wet handling test, being almost a second quicker than rivals and earning our best subjective score by some margin. In fact we said it was in a different league, with terrific grip and balance. High front-end grip could be relied on without the risk of the rear feeling loose, and the tyres felt fast and secure. In the wet circle tests the P Zero also performed strongly, coming in a close third behind its Michelin and Goodyear rivals.
Rival test tyres also pushed the Pirelli down the rankings when it came to braking, with the P Zero being edged to fourth and third places in wet and dry tests respectively. For any driver interested in economy, the P Zero’s sixth place in the rolling resistance tests won’t impress.
The P Zero ranked highly in our aquaplaning tests, but when it came to dry handling a great lap time was undermined by less impressive subjective scores – the tyre seemed to lose its edge by the second lap, with responses softening noticeably.
Test results: Pirelli P Zero (PZ4)
The full test results for the Pirelli P Zero are below...
% of best rival result
Wet circle lap time
Wet braking distance
Rolling resistance coefficient
Aquaplaning max speed
Curved aquaplaning lateral acceleration
Size tested: 235/35 ZR19
Test vehicle: VW Golf GTI
Price when tested: £124
Available size range: 225/45 ZR16 – 325/35 ZR23
Location: Hanover Test Track/MIRA Proving Ground