A new breed of truck needs a new breed of tire.
A car's tires are possibly one of its most important components, not just for the fact that they enable the car to move, but because those four tiny contact patches are all that exist between you and oblivion; so it comes as no surprise that auto manufacturers and tire companies spend millions in developing them to suit each car's needs. When it comes to bespoke tire development, few do it better than Pirelli, who has designed tires for some of the world's most exotic supercars, including machines such as the McLaren Senna. Pirelli has now turned its focus to newcomer Rivian and its R1S SUV and R1T Truck. These all-electric vehicles are being thoroughly tested out in the real world, and with specialized new tires from Pirelli, these cars will be taking the fight directly to the Tesla Cybertruck and other upcoming EV off-roaders.
Codeveloped over two years, three tire ranges have been developed in 20-, 21-, and 22-inch specifications: the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season, Scorpion Zero All Season, and Scorpion All Terrain. These tires will be identifiable as Rivian-specific by the "RIV" and "Elect" markings on the shoulder, with the latter pointing to their electric vehicle-specific makeup. Each tire range has a specific set of advantages, including low rolling resistance, reduction in noise, and improved traction to deal with all that low-down torque.
The Scorpion Verde tire was developed as a low rolling resistance tire to improve economy and range, utilizing a higher-silica compound to decrease energy consumption. A dedicated tread pattern also features to improve pressure distribution and reduce surface-to-ground contact. Developed specifically for the R1T and R1S, these tires were developed in an industry-unique profile of 275/55/R21.
For those who prioritize grip over efficiency, the Scorpion Zero is the performance-oriented rubber in the lineup. Rivian specifically asked for an even grippier version of the Scorpion Zero for its models, and Pirelli responded with a nano-composite compound and a larger tread width, improving handling performance and allowing Rivian models to maintain grip even in snowy conditions.
Of course, the true tell of an off-road EV's superiority is its ability to go off-road. The Scorpion All-Terrain Plus caters to these needs, developed as a 275/65R20 tire for true adventure. It balances on-road composure and off-road ability and durability, and is molded with a high-void pattern to be quiet on-road and grippy off it, particularly on loose terrain. Conical 'stone ejectors' push small rocks out of the tread, preventing punctures when you're off the beaten track.
Each of these tires has been specifically engineered to Rivian's strict requirements, and all are lightweight and durable. When the R1T and R1S officially debut, we'll see if the tires meet the necessary standard.