Pirelli rolls out Scorpion STR SUV tire

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Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) is targeting its newest tire for the growing sport-utility vehicle market.

The Scorpion STR line is designed for SUVs, 4x4s, pickups, multi-purpose vehicles and crossover vehicles using Pirelli's high performance tire technology.

It has both steel and nylon belts; a polyester carcass; and a tread compound "that is active in varying operating temperatures," says the company.

The thick rubber bead, which features a nylon and steel-cord belt design, helps improve the footprint area and alleviate strain on the tire's surface due to the "optimization of the rubber/steel union."

Wide blocks and grooves and deep channels in the tread pattern are engineered for traction in wet conditions. Shoulder blocks are at pronounced angles for off-road grip.

"STR" stands for:

* dynamic Stability,

* all-weather Traction, and

* load and speed Rating.

Francesco Gori, managing director of Pirelli Tires in Italy, says the Scorpion STR is part of PTNA's emphasis on OE growth. The tire is original equipment on Ford Motor Co.'s Excursion, Super Duty F-250 and F-350 in the United States and Volvo XC-90 in Europe. It also is fitted as an OE tire on the Land Rover.

Other OE fitments are in the works, says Steve Carpino, director of research and development for PTNA.

The Scorpion STR is manufactured by Pirelli in South America. It is available in 33 15- to 18-inch sizes, which cover 84% of the SUV and crossover market, according to Carpino. The tires are T-, H- or V-rated.

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