- Excellent dry and wet performance
- Handling is very responsive and direct
- Decent refinement for daily driving
- A wide range of sizes is available
- No treadwear warranty
- May begin to struggle with traction if it gets too hot
Choosing the right tire for your car is crucial to getting the most out of it. In modern times, there are multiple types of cars, depending on the shape, size, and application. Some are designed to be comfortable and spacious, while others can get you around a corner with maximum G force. Today, I’ll be talking about the ones that are more fun.
Performance-oriented tires are designed for maximum traction at the expense of comfort and longevity. I’m not saying that these tires are the harshest ones or that they’ll turn to pieces in 15 minutes, but these things aren’t a priority. This goes for the manufacturers and the people that buy them.
When it comes to these kinds of tires, manufacturers compete to make the best one. Naturally, the premium ones are the better performers, while the mid-range ones are trailing slightly behind. This isn’t always the case, but it’s an unwritten rule that you go to expensive brands like Pirelli if you want a better tire.
Speaking of, the company is known for making some excellent tires in the past, and the one I have for you today is the Pirelli P Zero PZ4. This is a UHP summer tire, which comes as an upgrade over the regular P Zero, which is a common mistake, as these are not the same tire.
With the introduction aside, let’s look at the features Pirelli packed into the P Zero PZ4 and how they translate into real-world performance.
What are the features of the Pirelli P Zero PZ4?
Pirelli is a manufacturer known for many innovative technologies that enabled the company to make good-performing tires. One such technology is the advanced rubber compound that allows the tire to deliver the performance needed.
The company mixed silica and carbon black in the compound, which improves grip and traction and allows for tweaks based on the requirements from the manufacturers. Keep in mind that this is something that Pirelli does for the OEM models.
For the tires off the shelves, Pirelli designed the tread pattern with an asymmetric design and wider shoulder blocks. The goal of this is to ensure that the handling characteristics of the P Zero PZ4 are superb like you’d expect from a UHP tire.
Despite the emphasis on dry performance, tires like the P Zero PZ4 also have some features that help them with rainy conditions. The silica in the compound isn’t found only in all-season tires but in summer ones as well. Its goal is to make the tire “softer” for when the roads are wet and colder, and with the combination of the sipes in the design, the tire should result in excellent traction on damp roads.
In harsher rainy conditions, the P Zero PZ4 is designed to remain stable at higher speeds. The tire features 4 circumferential grooves, which help it with aquaplaning resistance.
The internal construction of the P Zero PZ4 is another area where it shows that Pirelli knows what it’s doing. There are two steel belts wrapped with nylon and Kevlar ZeroDegree cap ply, which should give the tire some stiffness in the sidewall so it won’t flex.
Even though refinement isn’t a priority with UHP tires, Pirelli utilized its Noise Canceling System technology or PNCS. It’s a specially designed foam that absorbs the noise produced by the tire, but this is a feature that isn’t available on all models.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
As with most UHP summer tires, the P Zero PZ4 is one that doesn’t disappoint in dry conditions. Even though I cannot say that it’s the best in its class, I can definitely say that it’s among the best.
Immediately when you start driving, you’ll notice the sporty nature of the tire. Even when you drive normally, you’ll have more than enough grip and traction for getting around town. At higher speeds down a twisty road, you’ll find the tire to be an excellent one. You can go into a corner at higher speeds, and the P Zero PZ4 won’t even break a sweat. Sure, it may not be as grippy as something like the Pilot Sport 4S, but it’s a bit better than the Pilot Sport 4.
The tire continues to impress in the safety department, namely the braking distances. While it’s a tad off from Michelin’s latest UHP tire, the differences aren’t massive.
If you want to push it hard on a track, you can, and the P Zero PZ4 won’t disappoint in that regard either. It has loads of grip and traction, and combined with the neutral character and direct handling, you are looking at a great option on the track. With that said, it’s not all perfect.
While the tire is one of the best performers, it’s not the most consistent tire. You can have some consistency while bringing it to temperature, and things will be fine in that temperature window. If you go over it, the performance will degrade a bit.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Wet roads aren’t the perfect condition for driving, but luckily a tire like the P Zero PZ4 is designed to be able to deliver excellent performance. Pirelli’s compound does wonders and enables the tire to be among the best in its class.
For normal driving around town, the P Zero PZ4 is more than capable of keeping things in check. It grips excellently to the road, and there are almost no cases where you’ll notice it struggling. Sure, if you give it full gas, it will break traction, but that’s an aggressive move.
Speaking of aggressive, the P Zero PZ4 is a tire that doesn’t mind getting pushed and even seems to like it. Load up the front end during braking, and you can point the car anywhere you want to. With that said, if you brake a bit more aggressively, you’ll load up the front end more, and you can end up with oversteer. I know it sounds fun, but this is something that I haven’t experienced with the SportContact 7.
Braking is another area of the P Zero PZ4 where it delivers very good results. It manages to outperform the Potenza Sport, which is a very short stopper in wet conditions.
In heavy rain, the aquaplaning resistance is good, but not in all cases. While the P Zero PZ4 is very planted in the corners, some of its rivals can remain stable at higher straight-line speeds.
Is it comfortable and refined?
If you are in the market for a UHP tire, you’re probably aren’t too concerned with how comfortable or quiet the P Zero PZ4 is. Despite that, it’s not the worst daily driving tire in the world.
The comfort levels are acceptable, and the P Zero PZ4 won’t deliver an extremely harsh ride. Even though the sidewall is designed to be stiffer, it does well with bumps and manages to absorb them.
Pirelli’s technology for noise reduction is doing a decent job, making the P Zero PZ4 a quiet-ish tire. It’s not comparable with something from the grand touring category, but it’s far from the worst experience in the world.
Is the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 ideal for sporty driving?
Sporty driving is what the P Zero PZ4 does best, and it’s not a tire that will disappoint you.
On the grip and traction side of things, I have no complaints. There are loads of both, and the tire can deliver on the performance on the road and on the track. While it will struggle a bit if it gets too hot, you can remedy that and get consistent results with careful management.
Handling is another area where the P Zero PZ4 excels, and I can easily say that it’s among the best. You have a very quick response, and the tire doesn’t even hesitate. It’s also a very communicative tire, and you won’t struggle to feel what each tire is doing. A slight criticism is that the on-center feel could use a bit of work, as some of its rivals give more feedback. On the other hand, once you start turning the steering wheel, you notice the progressive nature as the feedback increases. Also, thanks to the internal construction, there is very minimal sidewall flex.
Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Warranty
When you consider the type of tire the P Zero PZ4 is, you won’t blame Pirelli for not putting a treadwear warranty in the box. The same can be said about most manufacturers that have tires in this category, except Michelin, who is the only one offering them with a treadwear warranty.
Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
When you compare the P Zero PZ4 with its main rivals, you’ll see that it’s surprisingly cheaper. An 18-inch model is roughly $20 cheaper than the Potenza Sport and $40 more than the Pilot Sport 4S. With that said, you may find that the larger sizes are a bit more expensive.
Should I buy the Pirelli P Zero PZ4?
The P Zero PZ4 is a very capable tire, and I have no problem recommending it. As an overall package, it manages to deliver on all fronts, which is why it’s such a popular choice. The performance in dry and wet is excellent and combined with the dynamic handling characteristics, it’s one of the best tires out there.
To be honest, there are some minor tradeoffs that some of its rivals, like the Pilot Sport 4S and the SportContact 7, seem to do a better job at. As long as you’re okay with those, the P Zero PZ4 is a tire that can put a smile on your face.
What Vehicles Will the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 will fit:
- Audi A4. A6
- BMW M3, M5
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Dodge Charger, Challenger
- Ford Focus RS
- Honda Civic Type R
- Lexus IS, LC
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Nissan GT-R
- Subaru Impreza WRX STi
- Toyota GT86, GR Yaris
- Volkswagen Golf R
Tire Sizes for Pirelli P Zero PZ4
List of Pirelli Reviews