Pirelli Cinturato Rosso: Getting a grip

The Pirelli Cinturato tyre range used to be targeted at car owners only but with the new Cinturato Rosso, the Italian tyre maker has expanded its reach in the market.

This is spurred by the growing popularity of multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) as well as crossovers among vehicle owners.

While it has the Scorpion range to cater specifically to the SUV market, Pirelli has chosen to widen the well-established Cinturato model to cater the entire vehicle range – cars, MPVs and SUVs.


The Cinturato range that was introduced more than 70 years ago has come to be synonymous with the Pirelli brand of top performance tyre.

By widening the Cinturato range to meet broader market demands, Pirelli believes it would gain better market acceptance from vehicle owners across the board.

With the high standards set by the previous Cinturato range such as the P1, Pirelli seems to have excelled itself by coming out with an even better product in the Rosso in just about all areas of tyre performance.

Naturally, it all begins with a new tread pattern and design and Pirelli says the Cinturato Rosso is ‘engineered to offer incredible safety’ in dry and wet conditions as well as enhancing water drainage.


Under hard braking, the footprint area of the tyre tread in contact with the road surface is 6% larger than the static footprint, thus enhancing stopping performance.

In addition, Pirelli says the five longitudinal channels would provide improved wet weather grip.

New design elements include the high shoulder curvature that is said to improve braking and handling performance; sipes on the centre rib that lead to improved mileage and the variable depth of the transversal grooves to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.

Another design element is the full grooved rib pattern that improved ride comfort and driving pleasure.

Subjective evaluation carried out by Pirelli based on two tyre sizes – 245/40 R18 and 185/65 R15 – on the Cinturato Rosso against the Cinturato P1 shows a higher comfort level of 4%.


Improved tread pattern harmonics have led to a quieter ride that in turn should provide a higher level of comfort for short and long distance drives.

Four Toyota Alphards shod with the Cinturato Rosso were provided during the media experience at the Sepang International Circuit for us to enjoy the quiet ride as a driver and passenger.

The 15km-plus route includes roads near the circuit that gave us an audible insight over a fair variety of road surfaces and conditions. The Alphard is already a quiet-running premium MPV and the Cinturato Rosso appeared to complement this feature.

Road roar was suitably suppressed with the tyre’s improved harmonics and road impacts were nicely ironed out as well. Pirelli says sound measuring instruments have determined that the vehicle interior noise level is lower by one decibel (dB) against the Cinturato P1.

We also took part in the braking performance runs on dry and simulated wet surfaces (with 0.5 to 1mm of water).


This involved driving Toyota Camry Hybrids, with one running on 215/55 R17 Cinturato P1 and the other on 235/50 R18 Cinturato Rosso; each car is also equipped with a measuring device to indicate stopping distance and the time it took to come to a complete stop.

We had to accelerate up to 80kph and hit the brakes hard when the instructor ordered. At dry braking, we came to a stop on the Cinturato P1 over a distance of 29m in 2.9 seconds; with the Cinturato Rosso, we came to a complete stop over a shorter span of 28m and in 2.788 seconds.

Our wet braking experience had unexpected results though; with Cinturato P1, we clocked a stopping distance of 29m (surprisingly the same length on the dry run) and the same stopping time of 2.9 seconds.


However, we fared worse with the Cinturato Rosso, coming to a complete stop on the wet stretch over 30m and a time of 3.0 seconds.

In this respect, our ‘co-driver’ fared better with distances of 31m and 27m respectively during his time at the wheel.

Pirelli also says the Cinturato Rosso provides increased mileage and efficiency compared to the Cinturato P1 of 8%.

This is achieved with additional sipes on the central rib that provide a more uniform tread pattern stiffness. The Cinturato Rosso is available in more than 50 sizes, from 15-inch to 21-inch, to cater to all and sundry in Malaysia.
Autos Pirelli