Pirelli celebrates the BS3, forefather of the winter tire range
In October of 1959, Pirelli launched a new tyre at the Turin Motor Show, which would change the face of winter driving.
Back then, as is still the case now, autumn was the time when people started to think about preparing themselves and their cars for the winter season ahead.
But they never expected the invention from Pirelli that they were presented with in Turin 60 years ago, called the BS3. In Italian, this stood for "battistrada separata", or "separate tread". This truly innovative tyre consisted of a carcass and tread pattern as usual, but these were not vulcanised (or "cooked") together, which meant that tread patterns could be switched easily without even removing the wheel from the car, like taking on or putting off a coat. This allowed the actual tyre to be conveniently adapted for either winter or summer conditions, depending on the season. It was an innovative concept that remained in production for a number of years: foreshadowing the idea of switching tyres for each season.
The unprecedented story of the Pirelli BS3 shows how, even 60 years ago, there was a strong awareness of needing the right tyres to match the season. This need has now been frequently enshrined in law, with most countries stipulating that winter tyres have to be used during certain times of year.
As for the pioneering BS3, it then evolved into the BS, before the massive strides made in vehicle performance rendered the concept of a separate tyre and tread pattern obsolete. Pirelli then focused its efforts on pure winter tyres, which brings us right up to the present day.
Sixty years on, the Italian firm is now able to rely on a specialised family of winter tyres that ranges from the Scorpion Winter for SUVs all the way to P Zero Winter for performance cars, as well as the Cinturato Winter for compact and medium cars.
All products sprinkled with the same Italian genius that gave life to the ground-breaking BS3.