Pirelli Winter Snowsport Sizes & review

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The Winter Snowsport is Pirelli’s Performance Winter / Snow tire developed to combine good snow and ice traction with European high-speed winter driving performance. Available in low profile, high speed sizes, Pirelli Winter Snowsport tires are for the drivers of high performance sport cars, sport coupes and sport sedans who require winter driving traction on cold, dry, wet and snow-covered roads.

Winter Snowsport tires feature an asymmetric tread design with broad, rounded outer shoulder blocks to enhance dry road handling performance. These are combined with independent intermediate tread blocks separated by wide circumferential grooves to enhance wet road traction and hydroplaning resistance. The tread blocks also feature variable geometry (slightly different sizes and shapes) and transverse sipes to provide the multiple biting edges necessary to help grip snow and ice to enhance winter traction without resorting to traditional metal studs. A pure silica tread compound is used to combine winter traction with high speed durability.

Winter Snowsport tires meet the industry’s severe snow service requirements and are branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.

Install Pirelli Winter Snowsport tires in sets of four only.

Due to the traction capabilities of Winter Snowsport tires, Pirelli recommends using Pirelli Snowsport tires only in sets of four to provide the best handling characteristics and tire performance.


  1. I havent been as impressed as other people that have bought this tire. I have been unable to make it up my driveway twice when there was light snow/ice. I have also slid off the road once with this tire. I dont know if it is just my driving style or what but I have tried everything from getting a running start to going up slowly and both ways I was unsuccessful. The only way I was able to get up was to back up it with a running start and the tires were just able to get me up. My wife has no problem in her FWD grand prix with all season dunlops. Maybe its just the RWD that is the cause but… They are comfortable and have a good tread life which makes up for the money spent I guess. They are very mushy at high speeds and while cornering compared to my summer tires (advan neova AD08) which is unfair I guess to compare. But I think next time I will try a different tire.

  2. These tires are great and an excellent choice for those who are looking for good snow traction without compromising performance in normal conditions. No excessive squirm in the dry, predictable handling, and reasonable noise levels, although the ride comfort is on the firm side. In the snow, they provide consistent traction and make the vehicle much easier and predictable to handle and stop. We’ve had it for 3 seasons and it still has a fair amount of tread left.

  3. I’ve had these tires on a 2001 Audi S4, 2004 Audi S4 and 2004 BMW M3 (in different sizes). These tires work great in the snow and handle well in the dry. Very quiet tire. I bought it again three times!

  4. I have had these tires for 5 seasons and are worn out. The first 3 winters the tires were great the last two the tires were still good given that they down to the last 40% I would say they would last 4 seasons of mostly wet winter conditions – plowed streets.Stopping on icy and slushy streets was not a problem, however, starting on the same was a little more challenging given my car is RWD and makes a bit of power. Still these tires were up to the task and I have not complaints. I live on the pacific north west so we do not get a lot of snow but a lot of wet weather and black ice, these tires handle those conditions with ease and are confidence inspiring. On the highway they handle well and are pretty quiet and responsive as promised in the product literature.I have driven in deep snow and when new they were great and were good to the end, but really deep snow more than 7 inches they are not so good but then I think it is a function of my car’s ground clearance more than the tires. For the snow we get here 3-5 inches for short periods of time these tires performed admirably. Unfortunaely, they are very expensive and are discontinued. I have had two sets of Pirelli snowsport tires – one set on another car – Pirelli make a very good winter tire with good wear and traction, I have referred several people to the snowsports and they are happy with them. A good all round tire.

  5. I have used these tires for 4 winters now and I’m totally impressed. They handle as well as my summer sport tires and go through snow as deep as my lowered Miata can handle. Winter tires are so worth the investment (and they give your stock rims a purpose again). At the time I bought these they were one of very few that came in my size (205-45/17) and I’m happy with the Pirellis. Sidewalls are really stiff with very little flex so handling is great but ride is a little rougher. Noise level is awesome for a winter tire. We rarely get snow here but when we do it’s hilly with tons of curvy roads so it’s hard going. Great tires.

  6. This was the first winter season on these tires. They handle well in all conditions and got me though some pretty thick (8+ inches) snow storms. Like some other drives, these tires did not work really well in small amounts of snow and had some trouble going up some driveways with 1-2 inches of snow present. The bad: Noise. I recently put my summer tires back on (GY F1 AS) and I can now carry on a conversation with out shouting. Would I guy them again? Right now, yes, get back to me after another season so I can judge tread wear.

  7. I was just amazed at how this winter tire handled in the rain and snow on a rear wheel drive Boxster. I made it up un-snowplowed hills that front wheel drive cars were stuck on.

  8. Absolutely the worst snow tire I have ever owned. Was highly disappointed with the performance as the tires didn’t seem to ‘work’ in the snow or icy conditions. Seems to be a bit pointless given that these are supposedly ‘winter’ tires.

  9. These are an excellent set of tires. I’m stationed in Germany and the design of these tires is perfect for the euro driving style. The higher speed noise at 120+ mph is a little above average, but the winter performance of the tire is still among the best out there.

  10. I get two seasons on my winter tires and on my summer tires (Michelin Sport 295-30-18Z). I have separate wheels and change them on May 1st and Nov 15th. Last year was my second season on Dunlop M2 Winters, and they were very good. Not as good as my summer tires in dry hard cornering, but very good in all else. I recently bought a set of Pirelli Winter 240s, and theyre even better than the Dunlops -a pleasant surprise. Better dry hard cornering traction than the Dunlops and a little better than the Dunlops in the snow and heavy rain. The Pirellis are also superior in how quiet they are…like riding on a heavily cushioned carpet without a peep, even on rough winter roads. In addition, they seem to be very well matched to my 911 C4Ss suspension and drive system, with the all wheel drive traction and cornering. I recommend them highly for any Porsche, since theyre availablie in the Porsche extra wide sizes, and theyre N3 rated for Porsches tire specification compliance. The only one who meets that requirement.

  11. Starting my second winter on these tires. They feel better than the rft stock Eufori that came with the car. It is the only stock tire in non-rft (run flat tires) that fits my wheel size so I am thankful that I like them. This car is my daily ride and with these tires, if I can clear the snow obstacle, I can go. The ride remains firm but supple…something I cant say about the jarring rfts summer tires that came stock.

  12. I have a set of summer and now a set of winter tires and rims. I waited long to get these tires. So i drove through one snow storm in my summer tires and i was all over the place. As soon as i get the Pirellis i got them put on and as soon as i started to drive i noticed the difference. These tires hug the road very well! We just had a nasty storm two days ago, and i was coming home on the highway, i was doing an easy 80mps on my way back, had no slip no waving of the car nothing! Even once i got of the highway and hit the local unplowed streets i had no problem with these tires!In the subdivision i live in they dont plow the snow till it stops! So we have a good 5-6 inches of snow just piled on the street and i decided to see how well the car would handle with these tires. To my surprise it was driving along very well. I mean for 5-6 inches of snow on the road you expect some slip and thats all i got, very minimal slipping and sliding! I would recommend and re-buy these tires when the times comes around.

  13. I have the older 240 Wintersports. Same basic tire, I think, based on the reviews here. I’m writing because I just took a “motorcycle trip” to N. Georgia and SC. Long story there, but weather was awful in Chicago when I was to leave, so I took the Cayman instead of the bike. I was afraid the winters, which have only been on for a week this year, would wimp out on the serpentine roads that this car really shines at. Well, these tires are the bomb. Temps ranged from high 20s to low 60’s and these tires performed beautifully the whole trip. They’re a little noisy, but they handle like great summer tires with slightly better ride and a bit less dry grip, but are very progressive at the limit. I love em!

  14. I have always been an unconditional fan of Pirelli, especially for winter tires.I was very disappointed in these Pirelli’s performance in snow (light and deep). Very slippery and traction was less than average. Dry and wet was ok with minimal road noise, but what should winter tires have to be good for if not snow and ice?

  15. Replaced my first set with 195/50 16s (down from 205/55 16), about the same as the last set…the narrower profile does a bit better in deep snow. I wish these were available in a 185 width for 16″ wheels.I would advise against driving these in the summer, as has been mentioned. They perform fine, but like any other snow/winter tire the treadlife is drastically reduced. I had to run out my previous set of these last summer after my summer tires and wheels were stolen, after a month and a half they were toast.

  16. I use these on my 2005 Mustang GT & they really amplify the confidence level of winter driving. The car goes through snow & ice easily. (using common sense of course..it won’t become a snowmobile) I recommend these very highly.

  17. Excellent snow tire. I couldn’t drive here in Salt Lake City in winter without snow tires. I have used the Dunlop M3 snows, and these are every bit as good or better. The wear seems better than average, this is the second winter I have run. Should be able to use next winter no problem.

  18. I commute 80 miles a day on county roads. People at work cannot believe I drive a GTO in the winter but these tires take the worry out of winter driving. They work very well in light snow and slush. In heavy snow they work pretty good too. I have driven in 5 inches of new snow on an unplowed winding country road and was comfortable driving 35-40 mph. These tires even give some grip on smooth ice. They are a bit noisy but not bad and the handling is almost as good as the all seasons I took off the car. They are soft and will wear quick when spring comes so I am starting to shop for summer tires.

  19. I have to say that this is one of the very best winter tires I’ve ever had. I drive VERY spirited in my Mini Sport and have been able to plow through some of the worst snow covered mountain roads with ease. I kept these tires on through the end of April to cover any of those late season snows and I have to say that they are even great in warm dry weather. I will buy them again.

  20. 4 years ago changed the OEM Bridgestones RE92’s because of their tendency to hydroplane. Did not want to get caught with them in the Cleveland winters. 75000 miles later couldn’t be happier with the decision. Great traction dry/snow/wet and great tread life! Had the tires on the car year round despite their winter rating and they performed very well even during the summer months. I don’t believe they’re the quietest tires around (especially as the tread wears down) but overall great tires.

  21. On my Scion xB, they have finally given up the ghost at 44000 miles. Actually, since I rotated the tires, the front still has a bit of life left. Excellent value for the money. Felt confident on these tires in all conditions (I use them year around). Super wear. I have had the poor xB loaded to the gills, such that the hitch (yup, the hitch) drags on the ground over small bumps…driven from Michigan to Washington several times. Never a problem. Ran them bald from New Mexico to Washington state loaded up, and no problems. The wear was uneven, which caused a noise resonance, but they didn’t overheat (this was in September going through the desert. Am buying another set today.

  22. I just put these tires back on my car for the winter, so it probably won’t snow at all this season/LOL. But I hope it does, as these tire are tremendous in the snow and slush. They are also nearly as good as the OEM Pirellis (P-Zero Rosso) when it is dry. Actually, if they wouldn’t likely melt in the summer heat, I might be tempted to keep them on all year. They are excellent in the rain, much better than OEM Pirellis.

  23. Very happy with these tires. Replaced run flats that were OME on my Mini Cooper S. Ride and handling improvements were dramatic improvement. These tires never let me down throughout the various Midwest winter driving conditions.

  24. It just snowed up here in the New York, about 10 inches or so. After I plowed the parking lot at work, I came back with my Audi, shod with 240SNowsports. It was somewhat difficult to break them loose (a good sign if traction is what you’re after, haha) The car handled as if there were no snow on the ground. In the dry, I do hear a bit of noise, but that might be because of the negative camber on my front wheel alignment (H&R Coilover Suspension Kit, also from TireRack.com). At any rate, these tires are great, I would definately buy them again. They instill a bit of confidence when going around snowy/icy corners, uphill, and when stopping.

  25. This is a excellent performance tire although a little noisy which is to be expected for a snow tire. However, its durability over potholes is poor. I have never been able to save the tire once it hits a hole at legal driving speeds over 35 mph. The tire either blows a side wall right away or develops a bubble. Improvement here would make this tire a must buy for me. As it stands now, it is just too expensive to have to invest in a new tire every year.

  26. This is a follow-up review. I replaced the 2 rear tires (post rotation) at 35,000 miles. These fronts are being replaced at 55,000 miles. As in my previous post, my Scion is an all-purpose, haul the dog, bikes, lumber, fill it to the gills type vehicle. I should probably drive a truck, but I don’t like big vehicles. Living in Michigan and Washington State (both the wet side, and east side) I have seen plenty of snow and rain. This is the best tire out there in my opinion. I wanted to try the Blizzaks for comparison, but both times the local store was out of stock (33 locations) and if I am going to order from Tire Rack, I might as well get the less expensive Pirelli that I love.

  27. Awesome snow tire! I live in northern Michigan and use these tires as a dedicated winter tire. Awesome snow and ice traction! I couldn’t believe the difference coming from an all season tire! I would definitely buy these tires again!

  28. Bought these tires for my fiance to give her peace of mind in the snow. In NJ you never know when we’ll get it or not or how bad. Let me tell you these tires provided night and day difference between the stock high performance summer tires Lexus provided. It went from tires constantly spinning to normal traction. She loves the tires and made the car feel so much safer to drive in the snow. The confidence level was increased a lot in driving this rear wheel beast in the snow. Thanks Tire Rack!

  29. Driving in snowy Wisconsin in the winter can be hazardous. Not with these tires! This past winter for the first time in years I actually felt that my tires had good grip. I plan on keeping these tires on all year and with the way the tread is wearing I should have plenty of wear left in them for another safe winter.

  30. purchased as winter pkg as I have the 2011 550xi sport.I drive in West Virginia and Pittsburgh winters. Did very well with my previous X5 and blizzacks. Had concerns but these were recommended by BMW dealership. No regrets. These performed excellent in a variety of snow/ ice conditions on very hilly terrain, and highway speeds.

  31. Was super excited to use these tires as I was going up to flagstaff Arizona in my mustang. After seeing reviews I was confident….until I hit my first bit of snow and was reduced to a spinning mess. No traction whatsoever even with the trunk loaded down. Maybe I got a defective set or something. Ended up needing to be pulled and fish tailed a good bit of the way


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