Another new premium tire
Pirelli dealers are beginning to see a pattern at Pirelli Tire LLC. When Chairman, CEO and President Paolo Ferrari took over less than two years ago, he wanted to improve fill rates, regularly introduce new premium products, and go to market in a way that differentiates his company from the competition.
The new Scorpion Verde All Season Plus is a reflection of all three of those goals. Its compound was developed at Pirelli’s new plant in Silao, Mexico, where the tire is manufactured. The facility produced 1.2 million premium tires this year; the plant will be able to produce 2 million tires by the end of 2014.
It also is Pirelli’s third replacement tire introduced this year. The other two are the Cinturato P7 All Season Plus touring tire and the P Zero Nero summer tire.
Both the Verde All Season Plus and the P7 All Season Plus have identical original equipment versions that are tuned to their respective vehicles. The replacement versions feature higher tread wear warranties.
Pirelli supports the Verde All Season Plus with a 65,000-mile limited warranty. The highway SUV/CUV tire is designed for vehicles such as the Audi Q5 and Q7; Acura MDX and RDX; Cadillac Escalade and SRX; Chevrolet Equinox and Suburban; Ford Edge and Explorer; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Infiniti QX60 and QX70; Mercedes GLK and ML; Toyota Highlander and RAV4; and Porsche Cayenne.
“We interviewed 13,000 premium consumers to get feedback on how to help differentiate ourselves from the competition using our technology and OE pull through” says Senior Vice President Riccardo Cichi. “They said they are looking for tire wear-ability, mileage, comfort, handling and wet traction. And that’s why we focused on those characteristics in products like last year’s P7 All Season Plus and this year’s Verde All Season Plus. Price wasn’t the answer.
“Yes, there is a certain portion of the market that only looks at price, but there is another segment of the market that looks at these other characteristics. You can find them in the Verde All Season Plus.”
The Verde All Season Plus will be available in 16 replacement sizes by the end of this year. The rollout will be complete by July, when 39 sizes will be available. They will cover more than 65% of the SUV/CUV replacement market.
Ferrari says the lineup will consist of "premium" (17 inches and above) and "super premium" (18 inches and above) sizes.
17-inch (seven): ranging from 265/70R17 115T and H to 255/60R17 106V.
18-inch (12): 235/65R18 106H to 255/55R18 XL 109H and V.
19-inch (nine): 255/60R19 109H to 265/50R19 XL 110V.
20-inch (eight): 235/55R20 102H to 275/45R20 XL 110V.
22-inch (two): 275/50R22 111H and 285/45R22 XL 114H.
There is also one 16-inch size: 235/70R16 106T.
Pirelli's previous highway SUV/CUV tire, the Scorpion STR, will not be discontinued because of its numerous OE fitments, adds Ferrari.
Noise cancellation: Pirelli’s goal: a quieter ride
Pirelli Tire LLC is making a lot of noise about the quiet ride of the Scorpion Verde All Season Plus.
“Our Scorpion Verde All Season Plus premium replacement tire is significantly quieter than our previous generation SUV/CUV all-season tire,” says Steve Carpino, vice president of research and development for Pirelli Tire LLC. That applies to direct and indirect tire noise.
1. Airborne noise. Generated by the tread pattern, airborne noise is measured in a semi-anechoic chamber. Pirelli has reduced tread noise by as much as 2 decibels at some speeds compared to the company’s previous generation SUV/CUV tire. That translates into a 7% decrease in airborne noise.
2. Structure-borne noise. “The noise that is becoming more important today is not affected by the tread pattern,” says Carpino. “It is that lower frequency rumbling caused by the small imperfections in the road interacting with the tire structure.
“Those small vibrations weren’t so much a factor when that car was 500 pounds heavier 15 years ago. But as vehicles get lighter in order to reduce rolling resistance, those vibrations are starting to become a factor.”
Carpino says the Verde All Season original equipment tire is even quieter than its replacement counterpart. Selected OE fitments feature a special acoustic foam placed inside the tire that is specifically designed to reduce structure-borne noise.