The dilemma of choosing between all-terrain and urban treads is that they are generally only good for their respective environments. There are only a handful of tires that behave well both on tarmac and in mud. Scorpion ATR, for its part, does exactly that. This one won’t die if you take it across sand, but it will hold its own on the highway.
However, Scorpion is a rather old chap. Pirelli released it roughly ten years ago, and you might think many better options have been brought to the market since, but no – they are still pretty great. Mind you, it has some problems, and it’s not perfect even on off-road paths.
How is it made?
Scorpion was made to be versatile, because if you want a tire that feels good both on- and off-road, it must be rather adaptable. And, well, Pirelli did a good job on this tread.
For starters, there are two belts made of steel inside the polyester body. It’s a classic solution meant to increase strength, longevity and integrity. They are further covered in nylon to make them feel better on the road. It’s also a standard procedure.
On sidewalls, the polyester is made into various cords, making this region as if sewn together rather than be just a homogenous area. The result is: longer life, more strength and also better handling. All-terrain tires do need to be sturdier than usual.
And don’t forget the ultimate ingredient – the silica. It’s now the best material to put into a tire. Silica generally promotes adaptability, which means it clutches the precarious surfaces better but also doesn’t neglect traction on smooth ground. So, better handling all round.
As you can see, they are bound to be sturdy – these treads won’t pop from a random pebble. Nevertheless, the tread life could be longer. Pirelli guarantee the life worth 65,000 km. Right now, it’s laughable for a tire with these purposes. But back then, it might’ve been alright.
Pirelli made an emphasis on great handling in most environments. That’s why you can safely drive these on asphalt and most loose surfaces, such as gravel, sand, dirt and so forth. You won’t be able to drive them in thick and deep mud or even harsher off-road elements – for this they need more void and sweeping potential.
But they still do fine if what you want is get them across an unpaved path. The tread design allows it – see for yourself.
The tread pattern is symmetric and stable, even if the pattern is peculiar. Everything speaks for stability – the broad middle section, wide continuous shoulders with many lateral grooves, and so forth. So, if you expected them to handle well enough regardless of how you drive, you’ll be right.
Scorpion ATR will give you a smooth ride, as well as a great steering response. The off-road tires usually feel awkward and bulky on tarmac, but these don’t. In fact, they are rather comfortable and quiet. So, the least you’re getting is the great traction on dry pavement.
On wet, the handling is improved by the silica components inside the tread, but it’s not all. Two peripheral grooves, as well as grooving in large reduce hydroplaning dramatically. Moreover, the design is interestingly aggressive even if it’s supposed to be stable and quiet. They balanced the pattern very well to suit both needs.
There are many angular sharp edges on the tread thanks to the balancing solutions. Furthermore, it’s positively littered with numerous sipes. What you get in result is abundance of biting edges and, therefore, great grip on slippery surfaces (not excluding the off-road terrain).
But even though these treads perform great on dry and wet tarmac, they aren’t too useful in the winter. Light snow is their best, because they aren’t designed for thick slippery masses as they aren’t designed for mud – not much to sweep with.
As for off-road driving, the aggressive design of the middle rib gives initial handling. It also helps that this section is till grooved richly, and these cavities help handle dirt and gravel. And if some pebble is stuck inside, the design of the grooves helps get rid of it quick enough – protects the tread from unnecessary damage.
The shoulders help by giving sweeping excess dirt away, but the main help comes from the blocks inside the main rib. As you can see, they are interlocked, but only barely – these blocks can move quite freely. They adapt to the surface, expand the cavities when needed and positively eat the dirt. And don’t forget the sipes and silica.
So, the off-road performance is pretty great, and on-road driving doesn’t disappoint, too. What else is there?
These tires are very stable by design. Not only it improves steering, but also makes sure they ride smoothly. The tread adaptability also makes sure you’re able to go over nasty obstacles with ease and comfort. There are many solutions to make these tires feel great on the road and even off of it.
And it also doesn’t produce too much noise. Obviously, you’ll have to suffer some when you leave the paved road but, other than that, Scorpion ATR is pretty docile. They are balanced very well, and there’s a certain effective synergy in them.
Pirelli Scorpion ATR tires are adequate both on dry/wet tarmac and loose surfaces found off-road. You won’t have any chance in deep snow or deep mud equally, so they aren’t exactly ultra-performance. You will notice high practicability, however – and that’s invaluable.
Scorpions also aren’t terribly lasting, even if the general strength is undeniable. With that said, they usually don’t cost much more than 100 USD, and it sounds like an alright investment. So, if you have need for them on your LT, SUV or CUV – go give them a try, they are positively worth it.