The majority of cars built by Porsche are still in running condition (70 percent, Porsche estimates), and the earlier models have likely replaced tires several times by now. But since Porsche believes that not just any tire will do, it collaborated with Pirelli to create a line of tires inspired by the original-equipment offerings and, using modern tire technology, each properly tuned to the specific vehicle generation they're designed for.
The tires themselves have been developed to match the originals in look and profile design, but meet the requirements of modern tire performance. Porsche and Pirelli created 32 tires for model years 1959 to 2005, for models including the 356 (B and C), Boxster (986), and 911 (G model, 964, 993, and 996). The tires will also be available on front-engine models including the 924, 928, 944, and 968.
To create the tires, the team used a rubber mixture with additives used in modern tires to offer better grip and rolling resistance, giving classic Porsche cars a more balanced drive. Former rally world champion Walter Rhrl helped tune the tires. "The driving properties in the early years were not as full or balanced as they are today. The new generation of tires is more fitting than ever to the driving style of a challenging sports car," said Rhrl in a release.
All of the newly developed classic tires will feature the quality seal of Porsche, along with the "N" certification designator to identify them as special Porsche release tires. To earn these designations, the tires undergo testing to fulfill 33 strict criteria before release. The new heritage tires are now available for order from any Porsche Classic Center.