South African roads are littered with Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), despite the proverbial target on their back’s in terms of their environmental impact, which as it seems, is not enough to outweigh the metaphorical appeal of ‘getting on your high horse’. Advances in engine technology and efficiencies have seen CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures plummet in recent years, going someway to curb the gas-guzzler image, but there is still an unspoken element of indulgent guilt implied upon the SUV market. Possibly as a result, and quite ironically, market research shows SUV owners are amongst the most eco-conscious motorists.
Consequently, suppliers who cater for the SUVs are more focused on efficiency than ever before and one of the most important components on any vehicle is of course the tyres. Pirelli South Africa has announced their new Scorpion Verde as, “the first high-performance eco-tyre for vehicles with the highest environmental impact – SUVs and Crossovers”. The new tyre has been designed to provide stability, improved safety, reduced fuel consumption, as well as to ensure a comfortable ride.
Benefiting from Pirelli’s engineering expertise employed in the high-performance P-Zero range and ecologically focused P7 range, the Scorpion Verde boasts a number of innovations. Firstly, the tyre is manufactured from aromatic-free oils, meaning less air pollution throughout the life cycle of the tyre. New nano-compound and hybrid-fibre technology, mean the rubber adapts to various road conditions – providing stability at high speed with a 25 percent reduction in the tyre’s tendency to distort, improved braking performance, as well as more uniform tyre wear and improved tyre life.
The tread pattern also borrows from the P-Zero range and reduces the Scorpion Verde’s road noise, lowers the tyre’s rolling resistance by 20 percent and, according to Pirelli, offers improved fuel economy of up to 3.9 percent. In addition, the tyre is capable of expelling 41-litres of water per second, features a lightweight construction and uses 10 percent less raw materials than an equivalent sized tyre.
The Scorpion Verde’s green credentials have earned it popularity with Volkswagen, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, as original equipment on their Touareg, XC60, M-Class and Q5 SUVs. The Scorpion Verde is available in South Africa in sizes ranging from 16-inch to 20-inch.