Keeping a cool grip on road

August 21 - 27 , 2019

Gulf Weekly Keeping a cool grip on road

For the first time, Pirelli has developed its most performance-focussed road tyre and it is specifically for a new Pagani.

The Huayra Roadster BC, which recently made its debut during Monterey Car Week in the US, adopted the P Zero Trofeo R tyres as original equipment. These tyres will be in charge of translating the monstrous performance of the new Pagani twin-turbo V12 six-litre engine into forward motion, with its 800 horsepower and 1050 Nm of torque.

This vehicle is capable of more than 300kph and can generate in excess of 1.9g through corners, with peak lateral loads of 2.2g. These figures can perfectly illustrate the scale of the task entrusted to the Pirelli tyres.

“We’re proud to celebrate more than 10 years of mutual respect and partnership with Pirelli, in a shared mission for constant improvement,” said Horacio Pagani, the founder and chief designer of Pagani Automobili. “One of the objectives that we set ourselves for the new P Zero Trofeo R was definitely for it to provide a good feel through the steering wheel; as if your hands were gripping the road. The know-how and ability of Pirelli’s engineers have made this a really communicative tyre, which lets you know exactly when you are approaching the limit of adhesion.”

These tyres go over and above the actual technical characteristics to cope with the performance levels desired by Pagani for his latest hypercar. For the first time, the two Italian firms got tyre development underway by using modelling and predictive simulation; a virtual pre-development process that allows a computer model to accurately replicate the dynamic characteristics of the car without the need to actually make real tyres for it.

It’s another step forwards for Pirelli’s renowned ‘Perfect Fit’ strategy, thanks to the same simulation techniques used to develop P Zero tyres for Formula 1.

The joint development process between engineers from Pirelli and Pagani began by establishing a new size for the front tyre with wider channels, a bigger cord, and larger rims. This offers an increased contact patch which has the added benefit of greater strength to support the extra aerodynamic downforce loads. The driving dynamics have also been improved thanks to less sliding from a stiffer tyre structure.

The Roadster BC consequently benefits from a sharper turn-in, with a more linear driving experience and less tendency towards under steer. Another advantage of the increased tyre size is better braking. The latest Pagani now manages to pull 2.2g under braking. The work on the new P Zero Trofeo R front also meant that the rear tyre had to be revised, to maintain the right balance between the two axles. Pirelli’s engineers modified the tread pattern design – laying it out differently and increasing the size of the blocks as well as the longitudinal grooves – which has resulted in better traction under acceleration: a like-for-like improvement of 7 per cent.

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