Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S - traction AA vs traction A

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by y_p_w, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    As I was researching the set of tires I bought for my 2004
    Subaru Impreza WRX. There were Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S in
    P205/55-ZR16 size, made in Germany with a marking of 02/04.

    My tires were marked with a UTQG traction rating of A. I
    noticed that the sidewall picture in the dealer pamhplet showed
    a rating of AA. TireRack (where I didn't get my tires) indicates
    that most of the sizes of this model come in both AA and A
    traction rated versions, including my size.

    I recall someone ("J.") posted in r.a.m.h last year that the
    difference in the AA were in where they were made.


    "Be aware that U.S. Pirelli cannot explain whether this tire
    has the advertised UTOG traction rating of 'AA' or just 'A'.
    Tirerack, NHTSA and U.S. Pirelli claim the superior AA rating,
    but the sidewalls of all four tires say A. Pirelli says this
    tire used to be made in the US and the new compound did test
    at AA. However, production was shipped to Germany (my tires
    are dated 4th week of 2004 and marked 'Germany') and U.S.
    Pirelli is still trying to get an answer from the factory as
    to what compound and what rating the tires really have."

    --end of quote--

    I sent a message to Pirelli's US division, and got a rather
    useless answer that "AA provides better traction than A". I
    wasn't satisfied, and called their 800 number -(800) PIRELLI.
    When I asked the question, the operator put me on hold, went
    for someone more knowledgeable, and answered back that the
    rubber compound used in the German tires is different, but
    shouldn't result in poorer performance.

    It might simply have been a snafu in how they marked the tires
    or the sequence of tests run. I'm guessing that they probably
    would test out to the AA traction rating standard. If they're
    working well, I'm not going to worry too much about whether they
    have an extra A.

    Regardless, the tires seem to work pretty well compared to the
    Bridgestone Potenza RE92 tires that came stock. They seem to
    corner much better in the dry and wet, although they are a bit
    squishy. I haven't checked out their hydroplane resistance
    (only light rain so far) yet, but the huge water channels look
    like they should help. They're a bit noisy now, but I've got
    less than 200 miles on them; they might quiet down as they
    wear in (or not).
    y_p_w, Feb 7, 2005
  2. y_p_w

    disallow Guest

    I tried emailing Pirelli here in Canada regarding
    an issue I had with treadwear on some P3000s. I
    got not response. Also, I found out that most
    stores in my city (Winnipeg), no longer stock
    pirelli tires, and I would have to special order

    The verdict? I loved my P3000s, but man they
    don't really have a clue when it comes to sales.
    I was forced to buy another brand.

    disallow, Feb 7, 2005
  3. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    Well - I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and getting tires
    is almost never a problem. Pretty much all independents
    (and some chains) go to the same warehouses. Even the local
    Firestone shop said they could have ordered Pirellis.

    As for my email response from Pirelli US (Rome, Georgia?), I
    sent my inquiry on a Sunday afternoon, and the response
    (albeit not very helpful) was in this morning (Mon).
    So far the P Zero Nero M+S seem to be fine. Like I said -
    a little squishy but grip is much improved over OEM.
    y_p_w, Feb 8, 2005
  4. y_p_w

    J. Guest

    Yup, you quoted me correctly.

    My P Zero Nero M+S 205/50-ZR16's came with the sidewall traction marked 'A'
    while the sticky tag on the tires indicated 'AA'. The last communication I
    had with Pirelli was that they were going to find out from the German
    factory if they just "forgot" to change the sidewall stamping plate from A
    to AA or if they really do use a different compound. The Pirelli contact
    was almost always "away from his desk" and calls were constantly being
    missed, so I gave up. Tirerack said they would refund my money and pay for
    shipping back but the hassle of finding suitable replacements (not easy at
    that size) and unmounting them wasn't worth it.

    So far, I haven't had to do any panic stops (or even activate ABS) in the
    wet. No complaints about wet stopping, so the traction rating issue of A or
    AA is now moot for me.

    I've got 9,000 miles on the tires and while the tread depth is still
    excellent, they have gotten noisier. I don't recall them being noisy in the
    first couple hundred of miles though. As long as they don't get anywhere
    near as noisy as the Dunlop D60A2's on a previous 'lude, I'll be happy. My
    Prelude OEM RE92's did stay quiet for 40,000+ miles and lasted even longer
    despite having a fairly low wear rating.

    J., Feb 9, 2005
  5. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    Direct cut and past from the Google Groups archive.
    Well - I can't really say what it is, except that the customer service
    operator did verify that there's a difference in rubber compound. I
    bought it at a local shop, so they didn't give me an option as to
    which source I wanted. Apparently TireRack does list two different
    tires (same price) in most sizes, although you have to look at the
    spec list first to figure which one is "AA" vs "A". If there are two
    in the same size, it's usually AA second.


    I didn't see any label on the tread. I don't know if it just didn't
    come with one or it was taken off before delivery. I saw the tires
    before they were installed - the delivery truck had just deposited
    them in front.
    It may very well test out to a AA traction rating, even with different
    rubber. Worrying too much about it is like a friend who was convinced
    he had to get Z-rated tires for his econobox car.
    Apparently the Potenza RE92 tires are warranted for 40K miles. I still
    had plenty of tread left after almost 11K miles. Regardless of all
    that, they sucked as a "performance tire", and I was glad to be rid
    of them.

    My only problem with the Pirellis is that they tramline on grooved
    roads. There aren't many where I live, but I had a little road trip
    yesterday and went over several grooved sections of freeway. It felt
    a little bit jittery but never dangerous. Basically there are three
    straight edges around the circumference and they bite into the road
    grooves. Then they tend to jump from groove to groove.
    y_p_w, Feb 9, 2005
  6. y_p_w

    J. Guest


    Thanks for pointing that out. Tirerack has revamped their spec page. IIRC,
    back in June there were only 2 or 3 'A' traction tires and I don't recall
    seeing ANY sizes dual listed with 'A' and 'AA'. They have since downgraded
    my 205/50-16 size to 'A', so I give them credit for that.
    I don't recall my Prelude having a mileage warranty pamphlet on the stock
    RE92's. They only had a treadwear of 160 and lasted well over 40Kmiles.
    With the Pirelli's 400 rating, can I expect over 100,000 miles? (yeah,
    sure - I've got land in FL for sale too!). As far as performance, they
    weren't as bad as the stock Michelin XGT-Vs (another high / ultra high perf
    all-season) on my earlier 'lude. But, comparing different cars and
    different sizes really isn't fair.
    J., Feb 13, 2005
  7. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    They don't make it easy to specify them though. I'd also take a wild
    guess that which one ordered doesn't really matter, since they'll be
    retrieved at the warehouse by make/model/size.
    I hated the XGT-V4 on my '95 Integra. Pirelli P6000s were a definite
    step up (stock 195/55-15 size). I even had a flat tire, but it didn't
    sink. The stiff sidewalls kept the tire standing straight up with no
    pressure. Then I went for Dunlop SP Sport 9000, which were nice
    enough that I got replaced them. They were quiet and great in the
    rain, although I suspect there better handling tires out there. All
    tires I've tried lasted at least 30K miles.

    Ratings suck. Ever feel suspicious that almost every tire size in a
    model range has the same treadwear rating? The tires I've used had
    treadwear ratings of 180/220/300, and they all lasted a while. The
    RE92 is notorious for either wearing out quickly or lasting forever.

    The Potenza RE92 has a 40,000 mile treadwear warranty only as a
    replacement tire.

    y_p_w, Feb 14, 2005
  8. y_p_w

    y_p_w Guest

    Did I really write that? Let's rewind. That would have said:

    "Then I went for Dunlop SP Sport 9000, which were nice enough
    that I got them again when it came time for replacement."
    y_p_w, Feb 14, 2005
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