The Real Story
Since we had been running the new Scorpions in unfamiliar terrain and on vehicles we weren't used to, there were three unknowns out of three and the only way to evaluate the tires fairly was to get rid of the other two unknown factors. Back on home turf and armed with a set of 265/65R17 ATRs, we could drive them on roads and trails we are intimately familiar with, using our own test vehicles.
The first thing we learned was that the Scorpion ATR is quite round and very consistent. On the Hunter GSP 9700 balancer, we got a 15.75-pound average in Road Force Variation, the highest reading being only 17 pounds. Next lesson, the silica-enhanced ATR's tread sticks to twisty canyon roads very well and is even quieter than we first thought. Add very responsive steering, a smooth ride, generous siping, good load-transitional characteristics, plus what appears to be a long-wearing tread, and you can't ask much more from a tire that is also usable in the dirt.
Unlike Pirelli, we wouldn't call the Scorpion ATR a true all-terrain tire-it's more of a street tire that works well in several off-highway situations. Real mud is not one of them. Flotation in sand isn't great, but as usual, it's the radial construction and other street-friendly design elements that show their other side. With a surprisingly low durometer of about 65, and helped by the sipes, the ATR gets good traction on rocks. Loose dirt is very doable, and harder-packed dirt is even more to the Scorpion's liking. Overall, the ATRs would largely go wherever our stock-height vehicles could, as long as we stayed clear of mud and wet clay.
Visually, the Scorpion ATR reminds us of the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo, and it also performs much the same both on the trail and on asphalt. Not surprisingly, that was one tire that Pirelli set out to meet or beat. In other words, it doesn't get much better if you want a tire that has practically impeccable road manners, yet can deliver trail traction that may exceed the capabilities of many late-model pickups and SUVs. Mainly street-driven TJs, for example, could also benefit from using Scorpion ATRs. Check these new tires out when you get a chance.
Tire: Pirelli Scorpion ATR
Load range: N/A]
Max load rarting (lb @ psi): 2,469 @ 44
Sidewall: Two-ply polyester
Tread: Two-ply polyester, two-ply steel, two-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 7.5-9.5
Tread depth (in): 141/432
Tread width (in): 8 (measured)
Section width (in): 10.6
Overall diameter (in): 30.7
Static loaded radius (in): N/A
Revs per mile: 680
Weight (lb): 45