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The Pirelli P6 at Grattan…and a National Police Tire Program

The Ride & Drive during the 2005 Police Fleet Expo gave Grand Rapids, MI Police EVOC instructors a chance to wring out the wet-weather handling of the Chevy Impala with its Pirelli P6 Four Seasons tires. It rained hard the entire day. Overall, the feedback from the instructors about these Pirelli tires was excellent.

• “I was very impressed with the tires on the car. It was raining almost the entire time we were on the track. Those tires held like it was dry.”
• “There was very little, if any, slippage. I felt very confident in the tires’ capabilities to hold the car on the track while in the rain.”

• “A few times, when I did not have a passenger riding with me, I pushed the vehicle to the limits to see how the car would hold. I could not get the car to slip. I am very impressed with the Pirelli tires.”

• “I thought the tires worked very well. It would have been nice to see how they perform in dry conditions though. They handled excellently in the rain.”

• “I thought they were excellent. No hydroplaning at all, at least at speeds up to 70 mph or so.”

The P6 Four Seasons are competent high-performance tires. The P6 Four Seasons, in addition to being OE on the new police package Impala, are also OE on the Audi A6 and A8, BMW 3-series and 5-series, Mercedes C-class, E-class and S-class; Volvo S60 and V50, and the Jaguar S-Type.

Pirelli tires are grouped into three areas. Ultra-high-performance tires comprise the P Zero series. The Passenger (P-series) line is a variety of high performance, all-season tires. The P6 Four Seasons tires (introduced in 2001) are in this series. The P6 is a replacement for the P6000 tire, which was Pirelli’s most successful line of OE tires. Pirelli designed the P6 for the driver wanting all-season traction with a comfortable and quiet ride, while the P7 was designed for higher performance driving.

Both the P6 Four Seasons and the P Zero Nero M+S have a continuous center rib (no sipes) for dry handling responsiveness and steering precision, a trait of ultra-high-performance tires. The P6 uses a symmetrical tread pattern and can rotate in either direction. The 16-inch Pirelli P6 Four Seasons are the OE tires for the police Impala.

The 17-inch Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S is available for the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. In Police Fleet Manager testing, we found it to be an excellent alternative to, if not an overall performance improvement over, the Goodyear Eagle RS-A in the event of Goodyear tire supply interruptions. The P Zero Nero, however, is also a more expensive tire.

Winter Tires

In terms of winter tires, the Pirelli Winter 240 SottoZero passed the testing conducted by the Michigan State Police on cold, dry pavement. This testing was 65 miles under pursuit conditions on the MSP Academy track. In terms of driving impressions, this Pirelli tire was slightly faster around the road course than a more open-tread Goodyear winter tire, and slightly slower than a more closed-tread Bridgestone winter tire.

This same Pirelli Winter 240 SottoZero also passed the testing conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff on hot, dry pavement. Passing the LASD test means it survived a 64-mile pursuit on a flat track with no loss of tire integrity or tread block chucking. Passing also means, just like it did with the MSP testing, that it met the subjective handling approval of two LASD and two Los Angeles Police EVOC instructors.

A similar Pirelli winter tire, the Winter 210 SnowSport passed the NIJ’s deep-snow testing conducted in Regina, Saskatchewan. These tests included straightline acceleration and braking, followed by turn-in testing and transient (slalom) response. Both the Winter 240 SottoZero and the Winter 210 SnowSport are severe snow-rated, i.e., embossed with the snowflake-on-the-mountaintop symbol.

National Police Tire Program

Pirelli officials understand that the police tire market is driven by both low price and immediate availability. With this in mind, new for 2006, Pirelli began its National Police Tire Program. This is essentially “state bid” pricing with none of the paperwork, and it is available through all of the 3,000 Pirelli tire dealers. The National Police Tire Program includes three police tires that fit the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and the Chevrolet Impala.

The Pirelli P6 Fours Seasons P225/60VR16 are the OE tire for the 2006 Impala, i.e. the General Motors (TPC approved) tires. The program price is $75 each in any quantity, shipped to any location.

Ford CVPI. Pirelli has two 17-inch tires for the Police Interceptor. One is the P Zero Nero M+S in size P235/55ZR17, which has a program price of $79 each. The other is the Winter 240 SottoZero in size P235/55VR17, which has a program price of $132 each.

The Pirelli National Police Tire Program also includes a 50% discount off the MSRP for ALL other Pirelli tires. That includes 16-inch winter tires for the Impala and 16-inch all-season tires for the older Ford CVPIs.

To enroll in the program, the police fleet managers should contact Hiskia (Hiss-key-ah) van der Ley, the national account program administrator at Pirelli headquarters, 100 Pirelli Drive, Rome, GA 30162. Her phone number is (800) PIRELLI, Ext. 5842. She will set up a national billing account for the police department or municipality. Pirelli guarantees delivery of these three police tires within 48 hours of an order. In the majority of cases, the delivery is the same or the next day.

Once the application has been processed, the department can buy the tires in one of two ways. It can buy directly from any of Pirelli’s 3,000 dealers. A dealer locator is on the company Web site, and all dealers are aware of the special police pricing.

The second option is by calling Pirelli headquarters directly at the above number and coordinating the delivery through the company. Pirelli can ship the tires to the department from a couple of its national warehouses, but the freight is free when shipped to a local dealer.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Nov/Dec 2006

Rating : 10.0

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