Review: Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Tire
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The Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season tire is a favorite among devotees of this Italian brand. Reviewers say this tire is a good choice for anyone who likes to give their driving a bit of a performance kick. However, there are a few drawbacks as well.

Pros and Cons

Some reviewers shy away from Pirelli tires in general because some brands have had sidewall issues. That's not the case with the P Zero Nero, one of several P Zero tire models. Owners and reviewers say these are the biggest pros and cons:

  • Run-flat design
  • Excellent dry traction
  • Sporty, precise handling
  • Good treadwear
  • Grip suffers in winter conditions
  • Immediate breakaway at the limit
  • Tread wears quickly under extreme driving conditions

Tire Technology

Like most ultra-high performance (UHP) tires, the P Zero Nero uses twin steel belts under nylon cap plies. Other construction features, according to the manufacturer's website, include the following:

  • Silica-enhanced compound for enhanced grip.
  • 4 lateral grooves and high void-to-tread ratio for water expulsion and hydroplaning resistance.
  • “Tuned” standard sipe designs for wet and snow grip.
  • Siped center rib for stability and grip.

The Pirelli P Zero Nero is available in sizes ranging from 17 to 20 inches and comes with a limited 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. Some models of this Pirelli tire come with run-flat technology, which allows drivers to drive on a flat tire for a short distance until the tire can be changed safely.

This tire fits a number of vehicles, ranging from sedans like the Honda Accord to performance cars like the Porsche Boxster. A set of four Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season tires will run anywhere from about $600 to $1,000 or more, depending on size.

Performance

The P Zero is acceptable on the dry autocross track, with good acceleration and braking, excellent lateral grip and a springy, sporty feel. However, once the limit of its grip is reached it breaks away far too easily and with very little warning or control. Hard turns are generally best performed by simply accepting that the tires will slide and throw the tail around the turn. It's also a good choice for touring, especially on sportscars. However, some owners say road noise can be an issue.

Wet grip, on the other hand, is slightly less impressive during lateral driving or braking. In reviews posted at retail sites like TireRack.com, owners say the P Zero Nero does worst in snowy or icy conditions when traction becomes an issue. Some drivers of high-performance vehicles like the Mustang or Camaro say they've noticed significantly quicker treadwear than on other brands when driving aggressively. 

The Bottom Line

Experts say the P Zero Nero All-Season would do much better as a summer-only tire. It definitely has a good dry grip and a responsive, sporty feel to it, although it is a bit soft and not nearly as precise as competitors such as the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 or Bridgestone's Potenza RE970AS.