Cinturato CN12 – A Pirelli Prototype Revived For The Lamborghini Countach

Cinturato CN12 – A Pirelli Prototype Revived For The Lamborghini Countach

It’s not often you come across tyres with unique sizes, and if there was a ranking for the weirdest-sized tyres ever fitted to a production car, the Lamborghini Countach would definitely be a name amongst the top spots.

The legendary Lamborghini Countach sits on thick Pirelli P Zeros rubbers, and the rears measure an incredible 345/35 R15 in size. This means the wheels are actually larger in width than diameter!

However, the P Zero wasn’t originally planned for the Countach. Back in 1971, Pirelli provided the prototype Lamborghini Countach LP500 with a set of Cinturato CN12 threads instead. This plan was later scrapped in 1974 when the Countach finally entered production. 

It’s a good thing Pirelli has kept all of the original CN12 documents in their historical archive though, as after a 50-year wait, Lamborghini has decided to recreate the historic 1971 Countach for a collector.

From The Archives

These Pirelli prototype Cinturato CN12 rubbers were first revealed to the public at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show and were the world’s first low-profile tyres, touting a slim 0.6 height-to-width ratio and 245/60 R14 front and 265/60 R14 rear sizes. At the time, the CN12 was already used by the Miura, albeit with different dimensions.

Pirelli, which has been in a partnership with Lamborghini since 1963, have faithfully recreated the prototype CN12, after a painstaking process of analysis and research using crucial information preserved in the Pirelli Foundation archive.

Even small details like the tread pattern design are identical too to the original, but other elements like the compound and structure are adapted to use the latest modern technology, offering more safety than what was available at the time.

Preserving History With Pirelli Collezione

Collezione, a range created in 2018 for the world’s most desirable sports cars built between 1950 and 1980, was crafted by Pirelli’s engineers to be the perfect fit for classic vehicles. These new tyres preserve both the performance and authentic appearance of their predecessors and fit a role which modern tyres cannot accommodate.

The Pirelli Collezione family has a mission to preserve as well as promote automotive history. As well as reproducing a classic tread pattern design or vintage lettering, Pirelli’s Collezione tyres also mirror the milestones of period tyre design. One notable example is the cross-ply carcass of the historic Stella Bianca, still produced with machinery based on the know-how of the time.

This is a win-win scenario for classic car owners too, who do not have to scour the ends of the world just to swap a set of tyres.

Did you know the BAC Mono also wears special P Zero tyres? Check it out here!

Sean Loo

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