Safer, more comfortable, better performance. These three qualities are what Pirelli says motorists can now expect from its Scorpion range of SUV tyres following the range’s recent revamp, which the tyre maker undertook in response to forecasted global growth in SUV sales over the next few years.
New for 2022, the Mercedes-Benz EQB is a fully electric compact SUV that weighs in at 2.1 tonnes and delivers up to 292hp through its 66.5 kWh motor, power that will get it from 0 to 62mph in as little as 6 seconds. Versions of the EQB delivered with 19-inch rims as standard will roll from the factory on Continental tyres. Continental is supplying its EcoContact 6 to Mercedes-Benz in size 235/50 R19 103T XL.
With a wave of new ultra-high performance products from global brands arriving in the post-pandemic market, Tyres & Accessories looks at data supplied by specialist tyre industry analyst Astutus Research showing just how quickly the market for high rim diameter (HRD) tyres is now growing in Western and Central Europe (this data excludes Russia, Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe).
Hankook has been instrumental in setting a new Guinness World Records title with Challenge4 record-breaking driver Rainer Zietlow, in conquering the South American Andes. The all-electric vehicle reached a height of 5,816 metres up the Uturuncu volcano, which has two peaks reaching 6,008 and 5,930 metres. Zietlow set the new record on Hankook’s new all-terrain tyre, the Dynapro AT2.
Continuing our ongoing series of Torque from the top special interviews with influential industry figures, here Tyres & Accessories hears from Keon Park managing director, Kumho Tyre UK, who shares Kumho’s perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the last couple of years as well as the well-known brand’s hopes for the future.
The latest Michelin all-season tyre for SUVs has been launched in European markets. Arriving from 1 May, Michelin says the CrossClimate 2 SUV is targeted at “drivers seeking a safe ride first and foremost, regardless of the SUV category.” It adds that this “new generation of four-season tyres” combines “multiple performances” and allows drivers to “contend with the majority of weather conditions, no matter the season.” CrossClimate 2 SUV is available at launch in 40 dimensions for 17- to 20-inch rim diameters.
During 2020, the whole of the sell-out market declined albeit not as badly as was feared. Still, with the exception of some distinct niches – such as instances in the logistics industry where tyre service providers were kept busy throughout the lockdowns – everyone was affected. SUV tyres were no different and saw overall value and volume figures fall 12 per cent, according to market analyst GfK’s January to December 2020 panelmarket data. 2021, however, was almost the mirror image of 2020 with the value of UK 4×4 and SUV tyre sales up 12 per cent compared with the equivalent full-year 2020 data. In other words, SUV tyre sales returned to growth mode in 2021, something that sets 2022 up for an even better year for those selling SUV and 4×4 tyres.
Pirelli will supply P Zero Elect tyres to BMW for its iX electric SUV and specifically for the xDrive50 and sportier M60 versions. P Zero Elect tires are available for the BMW iX xDrive50 version in 255/50 R21 109Y XL and 275/40 R22 107Y XL sizes, with the latter size also available for the M60. All these tyres are marked with a star to indicate homologation for BMW. Pirelli’s OE supply range includes a 22-inch BMW iX tyre with even more grip than the other two. This tyre has an “I” on the side, in addition to the star marking.
The Terratoura A/T from Davanti Tyres is designed to excel off-road and on-road in all weather conditions, while keeping the driver safe and in control, characteristics the brand suggests make the tyre: “unstoppable…across all terrains”. But what do its users say?
While Continental’s General Tire brand may be best known for its off-road and all-terrain products, General Tire offers a wide range of road tyres. The Grabber GT Plus is the latest tyre to join the General Tire line-up. Replacing the Grabber GT, the Grabber GT Plus offers “a marked improvement in performance in all areas including economy and safety”, according to its manufacturer. Specifically, this means a 12 per cent reduction in rolling resistance and a five per cent improvement in mileage along with “enhanced wet-weather performance”.
Introducing its 2022 summer tyre comparative test, Auto Bild Allrad comments that SUV tyres really can “make a noticeable hole in the household budget.” – but motorists can nevertheless save money by choosing the right tyre.
A campaign group made up of anonymous climate change activists reports that it has deflated the tyres of hundreds of SUVs across more than 13 locations in the UK. The group, which calls itself “The Tyre Extinguishers” claims that it “disarmed” SUVs in Chelsea, Chiswick, Harley Street, Hampstead Heath, Notting Hill, Belgravia, Clapham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Sheffield, Liverpool and Edinburgh on the evening of 7 March 2022. However, it is less clear whether they considered the safety and indeed environment implications of such vehicles driving on underinflated tyres.
Earlier today Pirelli launched a totally overhauled Scorpion SUV tyre range. In short, the company is taking great steps towards a leading position in the future electric SUV tyre market and is already dominating in the SUV/CUV tyre sector of today. With the new tyres scoring 100 per cent AB tyre label ratings as well as upwards of 7 per cent improvements across the range in wet and dry braking, the company is making a strong case that it can achieve its goals.
International contract tyre producer SD International is expanding its range of private brand Zeta car and SUV tyres. The range now includes seven models, with runflat, all-season and winter options for extended mobility joining the key Alventi and Impero lines of summer tyres.
Pirelli is supplying a specially developed edition of its P Zero tyre for fitment on the new Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV range. Alfa’s first production electric vehicle, which comes in hybrid and plug-in hybrid editions as well as diesel and petrol ICE models, will roll on size 235/40R20 96V XL Pirelli P Zero tyres, the tyre manufacturer’s performance range.