Last week, Pirelli unveiled their new Scorpion tyre range specifically designed for Sports Utility Vehicles. This is a growing segment of the market that is set to become one of the most popular around the world, as more and more people buy SUVs for recreational use.
Pirelli has been producing tyres for SUVs for over 35 years now, with this new tyre range being geared towards premium models, featuring specialised tyres for different seasons of the year with the summer Scorpion, the Scorpion All Season SF2 and the new Scorpion Winter 2, all of which have been developed specifically to cater for the heavier weight, higher centre of gravity and driving dynamics that are characteristic of today’s SUVs.
Different from more traditional car designs, SUVs require high-quality bespoke tyres which is exactly what the new range of Scorpion tyres are, transferring many of the technological innovations recently introduced by Pirelli in the new Cinturato tyre range to the world of SUVs, so as to match the characteristics of these larger and heavier vehicles. This means that the new Scorpion tyre range features the most modern technologies available, able to better adapt themselves to the performance of today’s vehicles, including those with electric engines and heavy battery packs. Therefore, the Scorpion range has the highest number of homologations for electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the entire Pirelli portfolio.
The tyres are recognisable through the ‘Elect’ marking on the tyre sidewall and offer a number of optional extras, such as the Pirelli Noise Cancelling System (PNCS) which helps reduce road noise inside the vehicle. While Run Flat and Seal Inside options allow drivers to continue travelling ever after getting a puncture.
A key element to the development of the new Scorpion range has been Pirelli’s ‘Eco-Safety’ design approach, which combines a low environmental impact with the best possible performance and safety. i.e., shorter braking distances, higher grip, better vehicle stability and a decreased risk of aquaplaning, attributable to the innovative materials and cutting-edge modelling used during the development process.
The new tyre is also more efficient when it comes to reducing fuel consumption or battery consumption in the case of electric vehicles. It is also quieter and lasts longer compared with previous generations of tyres.
The structure of the tyre has been reinforced to cope with the dynamics and greater weight of SUVs during emergency manoeuvres, such as sudden direction changes or braking; ensuring the driver has greater control. It is also able to cope with significant loads through the tyres, generating the correct distribution of pressure throughout the footprint to give better balance and control.
Tests have been carried out by prestigious German certification body TÜV SÜD, which has awarded the new Scorpion tyre range its coveted Performance Mark.
A safe and quiet summer tyre
The Pirelli Scorpion summer tyre features a new asymmetrical tread pattern that allows for better braking both on dry and wet surfaces. Safety is central to the design of the new Scorpion and thanks to the stiffness of the tread and innovative design of the blocks and compound, braking on both dry and wet surfaces has been improved by seven per cent compared to the previous Scorpion Verde, with all new Scorpion tyres scoring either A or B on the European tyre label.
The compound of the new Scorpion contains new-generation synthetic rubber capable of providing low rolling resistance, excellent braking performance in the wet and uniform tread wear throughout the life of the tyre.
The compound is enriched with silica, specific resins that increase grip and bespoke polymers. These polymeric materials are able to alter themselves depending on operating temperatures, giving this new compound a form of ‘mechanical intelligence’ which means that it can vary its behaviour according to driving conditions and temperatures. The new Scorpion is also much quieter, emitting up to three decibels less than the previous-generation tyre.
Scorpion All Season SF2
The new Scorpion All Season SF2 is for drivers who need be able to comply with winter tyre regulations but don’t want the hassle of having to do seasonal tyre changes. The M+S symbols accompanied by the 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snowflake) mark on the tyre wall certifies excellent performance even in winter conditions. Tyres with this 3PMSF marking are covered by European legislation as a guarantee of compliance with winter tyre traffic regulations.
The Scorpion All Season SF2 features a compound and a tread pattern inspired by that of the Cinturato, with some unique peculiarities to cater for the specific characteristics of SUVs. The directional tread pattern is characterised by prominent V-shaped grooves that retain snow that improve vehicle control on snowy surfaces while draining water from the footprint when driving on wet roads, helping to prevent sudden aquaplaning.
There are reinforced blocks in the tread, larger in size to the Cinturato All Season SF2, to help cope with the driving dynamics and additional weight of SUVs. The geometry of the tread pattern is also laid out to help reduce road noise.
Scorpion Winter 2
The Scorpion Winter 2 for SUVs focuses on safety in all types of seasonal conditions, which include snowy to wet surfaces as well as slippery surfaces and dry roads at low temperatures. The tread features ‘extendable’ variable geometry sipes which change shape according to the state of wear of the tread, going from a linear shape to a sinusoidal (zig zag) pattern, which increases their surface area and effectiveness. This allows the Scorpion Winter 2 to perform well on snow as well as wet or dry surfaces even when worn.
For more information on the new Pirelli New Scorpion tyre range For SUVs, please visit: www.pirelli.com.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Pirelli