What an Eye Opener: Pirelli’s Fantastic New P Zero AS Plus 3 Tires

Do tires really make a difference? A Girls Guide to Cars got to test out Pirelli’s new ultra high-performance P Zero AS Plus 3 tires and here's what we learned.

The First Thing I Got To Do Was Test Pirelli'S New P Zero As Plus 3 Tires On The Track In This Toyota Supra.
The first thing I got to do was test Pirelli's new P Zero AS Plus 3 tires on the track in this Toyota Supra. Photo: Allison Bell

Like good shoes, your car tires need to match their job description. 

Imagine, if you will, a world where ballerinas pirouette in soccer cleats, NFL kickers don ice skates and basketball players shoot hoops in stilettos. Sounds ridiculous, right? Believe it or not, it’s no less crazy than fitting your car with the wrong tires. I learned this when I had the chance to test out Pirelli Tire’s P Zero AS Plus 3 tires.

Obviously, you want your footwear to match the activity — and your car’s “shoes” are its tires. Sure, you can go running in flip-flops or play baseball in hiking boots if you want. But if Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it’s that just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should.

I wasn’t always this wise. In fact, until a few days ago I was the equivalent of a flip-flop-wearing runner when it came to my car’s tires. But after spending a day with Pirelli and Dream Racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway testing out Pirelli’s new P Zero AS Plus 3 tires among others, I am a changed woman. For my fellow tire novices out there who want to know which “shoes” will best fit their car, I hope this helps!

Pirelli Blends High Performance And Comfort With The New P Zero As Plus 3 Tire. Photo: Pirelli

Pirelli blends high performance and comfort with the new P Zero AS Plus 3 tire. Photo: Pirelli

What Job Do You Want Your Tires to Perform? 

You might think of Pirelli as a company that makes tires for race cars and high-end performance cars. But they also design tires for everyone else, and they know that the needs of the North American market are unique from other parts of the world. Their “Plus” line of tires caters specifically to the demands of American drivers by offering durable, all-season tires that are capable of covering many miles with great handling. 

But now they’ve found a way to enhance this offering even further. Combining the comfort and durability of their “Plus” line with the sporty performance of their P Zero range, they’ve recently added a new member to the “Plus” line family: the P Zero AS Plus 3. This new ultra high-performance tire was exclusively developed for the North American market using 3D sipe technology, the lines and channels on the tire’s tread, and completely new compounds for both better road grip and longer wear. 

Claudio Zanardo, Ceo_President Of Pirelli North America.

Claudio Zanardo, CEO_President of Pirelli North America. Photo: Allison Bell

“The P Zero AS Plus 3 is a testament to Pirelli’s focus on the North American Region and its commitment to develop products that answer to the specific needs of this market,” Claudio Zanardo, President and CEO of Pirelli North America, said. “We’re confident that this tire will exceed our customers’ expectations, providing a great driving experience and delivering exceptional performance in all conditions.”

But Pirelli didn’t just want us to take their word for it. They wanted us to experience this for ourselves. 

Related: Meet Hannah Grisham, Pirelli Tires First – and Only – Female Test Track Driver

The New Pirelli P Zero As Plus 3 Tire Was Designed Using 3D Sipe Technology To Enhance Performance, Traction, Comfort And More.

The new Pirelli P Zero AS Plus 3 tire was designed using 3D sipe technology to enhance performance, traction, comfort and more. Photo: Pirelli

Pirelli P Zero AS Plus 3: A Marriage of Comfort and High-Performance

“Power is nothing without control.” This has been Pirelli’s slogan for nearly 30 years and the new P Zero AS Plus 3 tires definitely proved that on the track. Hopping behind the wheel of a Toyota Supra with a driving instructor by my side, I spent 10 minutes speeding and braking around sharp turns and corners to get a feel for that combo of sporty performance and comfort the P Zero AS Plus 3 was made for.

Though not a racer myself, it was pretty clear that this tire was more than capable of handling anything that even the most seasoned of drivers could throw at it. I especially loved when I got to take my feet off the pedals and feel the car glide smoothly around curves as if it were on ice skates. And yet, this tire won’t be for everybody. As impressive as it is, it wasn’t made for my Kia Telluride, for example.

Apparently, This Is My Racing Face.

Apparently, this is my racing face. Photo: Allison Bell

What You Need to Know about the P Zero AS Plus 3: 

  • It comes in 31 sizes from 17 to 22 inches.
  • It features a new tread pattern, compound and construction.
  • It comes with a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty, which is among the best in class in its category.
  • It’s for high-performance cars, such as the Ford Mustang, Genesis G80, BMW 3 series and the Mercedes Benz C-Class.
  • It’s designed to deliver smooth wear, better traction in snowy and wet conditions and a comfortable ride with reduced cabin noise.
Second Tire Test Pirelli_S P7 As Plus 3 Line, Made Specifically For Sedans And Coupes.

Second tire test Pirelli_s P7 AS Plus 3 line, made specifically for sedans and coupes. Photo: Allison Bell

Which Tire Does Your Car Need?

Since most of us won’t be driving around in sporty, high-performance cars on the regular, Pirelli gave us a chance to test out some other tires in the “Plus” line that were tailored to daily driving needs. The P7 AS Plus 3 is their touring all-season tire for sedans and coupes and the Scorpion AS Plus 3 is their solution for crossovers, SUVs and pickups. We got to try both.

The biggest standout for me was when I drove a BMW X5 through a watered-down portion of the raceway. My brain was screaming at me to slow down while my instructor was simultaneously encouraging me to “give it some gas.” I let the car speed through the wet ground, bracing myself for some resistance. But it didn’t happen. It sailed straight through without a hitch.

Time To Race Some Supercars With On The Las Vegas Motor Speedway! No Big Deal.

Time to race some supercars on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway! No big deal. Photo: Allison Bell

If you want to know the fastest way to my heart as a mom of small kids, it’s something like this. Anything that reduces my chance of aquaplaning is an automatic winner, so I made a mental note to keep the Scorpion AS Plus 3 tires in mind for our family car.

Both the P7 AS Plus 3 and the Scorpion AS Plus 3 were made for drivers who crave peace of mind in all types of conditions. They last longer, they’re comfortable and they both include a 70,000-mile limited treadwear warranty. If you need help finding the right tire for your car, Pirelli’s website can point you in the right direction.

Related: 10 Best Run-Flat Tires for Your Next Vehicle Upgrade

First Time Driving A Ferrari On A Race Track! My Driving Instructor, Reggie, Guided Me Through Every Lap.

First time driving a Ferrari on a race track! Reggie, my driving instructor, guided me through every lap. Photo: Allison Bell

My Favorite Part of the Day

Then Pirelli spoiled us. On top of trying out all their best all-season tires, they treated each of us to some hot laps around the oval in an Alfa Romeo Giulia and then paired us up with beautiful exotic cars that we got to race around the track several times. 

But all this might betray how boring I am. As much fun as it was to push high-performance cars to the limit on the race track, my favorite part of the day came when we took a leisurely scenic drive through Valley of Fire State Park.

Time To Test The Tires Off The Track! These Ford And Buick Suvs Fitted With Pirelli Tires Are Ready For A Two-Hour Scenic Drive.

Time to test the tires off the track! These Ford and Buick SUVs fitted with Pirelli tires are ready for a two-hour scenic drive. Photo: Allison Bell

The Real Test? On Streets and Highways with Traffic (and Other Cars)

Following the adrenaline rush of the morning, it was nice to relax while I wound my way through wide vistas of red rock formations. This is definitely more my speed, I thought.

Each of us was assigned an SUV fitted with Pirelli’s Scorpion AS Plus 3s. After my experience with the X5 on the track, I was looking forward to seeing how these tires would hold up on our two-hour drive. I had confidence in the grip and handling already — but what about noise reduction and comfort on those gravelly roads?

Well, I’m happy to report that the entire ride felt smooth, comfortable and relatively silent, allowing me to enjoy my favorite Apple CarPlay tunes at a lower volume level. 

A Laid Back Scenic Drive Was The Perfect Way To End An Adrenaline-Packed Day.

A laid back scenic drive was the perfect way to end an adrenaline-packed day. Photo: Allison Bell

It’s Not You, It’s the Tires

When all was said and done, I think I may have actually learned the most while I was talking to Jayden Lee, Pirelli North America’s Head of Product Marketing. (I owe him the credit for the tire/shoe analogy.) He told me about one instance where a car manufacturer requested a high-performance tire for a car that really didn’t need it.

Their goal was to wow consumers by giving them something they didn’t expect. They wanted to turn an otherwise mild-mannered family car into a sporty beast on the road. And it worked! For a minute. After some time went by, those high-performance tires wore down and with that, so did the thrills. 

We Got To Test Pirelli'S All Season Tires On Several Different Cars At The Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Photo By Allison Bell

We got to test Pirelli’s all season tires on several different cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Photo: Allison Bell

Who Knew Tires Could Have Such an Impact?

And here’s the thing: I’ve driven the exact car he was talking about. That’s when a lightbulb went off in my brain. When we got the 2022 model, I was shocked by how much fun it was to drive this “mom car.” I told all my friends and family how great it was. My husband and I even considered buying one. But when we drove the 2023 model, it was a completely different experience.

The car’s specs were all the same — it was virtually unchanged. Except we didn’t like it. It was dull and unresponsive on the road. It suddenly felt sluggish and boring. I couldn’t figure out what the difference was, but now I know — it was probably the tires. Our 2023 model must’ve already used up all of its high-performance tread, leaving us with what felt like a completely different car.

So, if your once exciting car suddenly feels less fun than it used to, the problem might not be the car. It might be the tires.

Related: 10 Tips To Buy Smarter and Save Money

Among Its Many Perks, The New Pirelli P Zero As Plus 3 Tires Cut Down On Road Noise.

Among its many perks, the new Pirelli P Zero AS Plus 3 tires cut down on road noise. Photo: Pirelli.

The Right Tires Make a Difference

I’m definitely no expert when it comes to tires. I still don’t understand the nuances of tread patterns and sidewalls. But I can tell you this much: tires matter. As Lee told me, “they’re the only parts of your car that touch the ground.”

Educate yourself. Do your research. Not only will you save time and money, but when you find that perfect glass slipper fit, you likely have a lot more fun, too. And if you’re looking for high-quality, ultra high-performance tires for your car, I highly suggest checking out the new Pirelli P Zero AS Plus 3.

Disclosure: I was Pirelli’s guest for this event. All opinions are my own. 

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Allison is a freelance writer, a mother of two, and the wife of a car-obsessed husband who got her... More about Allison Bell