Porsche teams up with Pirelli to offer new tires for old models

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 4, 2016

Remember when Porsche teamed up with Michelin to develop new tires for the Carrera GT? Well, Porsche is once again doing a collaboration to offer new tires— this time with Pirelli.

For classic car owners, the real dilemma lies in finding new tires to replace old ones with. This is why Porsche has collaborated with Pirelli to offer new tire recommendations and options for Porsche models launched in 1959 to 2005. The special tires look like the original ones but bear new properties.

According to Porsche, as much as 70% of all its models are still being used and are drivable. This new partnership with Pirelli will help these car owners save a huge amount of money when it comes to maintaining their beloved Porsche. There is no need to pay for expensive custom tires and restoration fees— thanks to the commitment of Porsche in preserving their classics.

The B and C variants of the 356 and the G, 964, 993, and 996 variants of the 911 will have 32 new tire options. Meanwhile, for the front-engined models, specific tires for the 924, 928, 944, and 968 variants will also be available.

Overall, Porsche and Pirelli will offer a total of 161 summer tire models and a total of 131 winter tires. Taking into account all the tires for the 993 and 996 vehicles and all Porsche models released over the past 10 model years, there are now more than 2,000 tire recommendations from the carmaker.

Do not be mistaken; this is not just pure Porsche marketing. These new tires are specifically tailored to meet the demands of car enthusiasts. Porsche guarantees that with Walter Röhrl working his magic on the modernly tuned rubber. More than 30 individual criteria were used to evaluate the final designs of the tires.

Further separating them from other tires is a remarkable “N” placed on the sidewall. It is without a doubt that these tires will not only improve overall driving experience but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the already-classic Porsche models. Porsche has spent a significant amount of resources on coming up with these new offerings so quality is not to be questioned.

As Röhrl explained, driving properties years ago were not as stable and as efficient as today’s set of tires. Having said that, it’s easy to see why there is a huge demand for new tires to satisfy contemporary driving styles and conditions.

Press Release

New tyres for historic sports cars: modern technology in an original look

Around 70 per cent of all Porsche models ever built are still in drivable condition today. To satisfy the need for suitable tyres, Porsche has developed, tested and released tyre products that are properly tuned to specific vehicle generations – including tyres released in coordination with Pirelli. The new developments match the historic originals in terms of their look and profile design, but when it comes to driving properties they fulfil the requirements of modern generations of tyres. For model years 1959 through 2005, a total of 32 new tyre recommendations are available for the Porsche model series 356 (B and C), Boxster (986), 911 (G model, 964, 993 and 996) and 914 as well as for the transaxle model series 924, 928, 944 and 968. The classic tyres also have the Porsche “N” certification designator, which identifies them as tyres with special Porsche release.

These tyres are not simply reissues of the historic models. Rather they combine the look of the originals with the driving properties of modern tyres. Authentic profile patterns, tyre dimensions and cross-section ratios – from the 1960s to the 1990s – accentuate the exceptionally genuine appearance of historic sports cars from Zuffenhausen. The material composition of the tyres delivers ideal properties in terms of traction and loads. The supporting structure of the tyres matches that of current tyre carcasses. The rubber mixture has additives used in today’s tyre technology. The new tyres combine excellent grip with good rolling resistance figures. Despite excellent wet grip, they are quiet – and therefore they fulfil all vehicle approval criteria of official EU tyre regulations. Thanks to these newly tuned tyres, classic Porsche models can exhibit much more balanced driving properties today.
In tuning the tyres, the Porsche tyre testers also worked together with former rally world champion Walter Röhrl, who was able to offer valuable tips on the driving properties of tyres based on his extensive background of experience with the historic Porsche models. Walter Röhrl summarises the benefits of the tyres, which were re-developed from the ground up, as follows: “The driving properties in the early years were not as full or balanced as they are today. The new generation of tyres is more fitting than ever to the driving style of a challenging sports car.” Porsche tyre tester Dieter Röscheisen discusses the benefits customers can expect from the specially tuned tyres: “The new tyre releases will make it possible for classic models to follow the curve into the modern era with exceptionally good and balanced driving properties.”

Pirelli tyres that were available for the current release test series by the Porsche team, in addition to the Pirelli CN36, were the Pirelli P7 and Pirelli Zero Rosso models. Originally, Pirelli P Zero Rosso tyres made contact with the road on Porsche 911 (Type 993) cars from 1994; today these tyres are available again in eleven commonly used sizes. In addition to vintage and classic tyres for normal road use, Porsche has developed special tyres for motorsport use of historic vehicles. For instance, the P Zero Trofeo R that is designed as a semi-slick can be delivered in sizes ranging between 16 and 18 inches. This tyre was specially designed for use in historic motorsport – such as for circuit track or rally racing – and for the high thermal loads that occur.

All classic tyres developed and released by Porsche bear the official quality seal of the Porsche company. The common designator for all factory releases is an “N” on the tyre sidewall, which is added exclusively to those tyre models that have performed very well in testing before release. To earn this designation, the new tyres must undergo tough testing on Europe’s test tracks and fulfil a total of 33 strictly evaluated criteria.

For model years 1959 through 2006 alone, there are currently 161 different recommendations for summer tyres. An additional 131 recommendations for winter tyres round out the programme for the Porsche classic tyres. Including the programme for the popular modern classic cars (911 models 993 and 996), and current models from the past ten model years, the total number of recommendations is 2,200 for all company models and all currently released tyre types. These tyres, as well as the recently released tyres, can now be ordered from any Porsche Classic Partner and Porsche Centre.

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