Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus Review

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The Italian Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus is an all terrain tire which focuses of providing the best of both on and off road worlds. The tire upgraded the Scorpion ATR and now provides better overall traction values.

Pirelli Scorpion all terrain plus
Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus has a central area of thicker lugs clearly separated by straight vertical outer channels.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus provides a great dry grip without producing too much rolling resistance (so less fuel is consumed), this is because it uses a next generation tread compound which though also provides flexibility, it’s wet traction is just average (it’s okay, just not as impressive as it’s wet grip). But the tire rocks on snow, and it probably provides the best forward momentum on snow compared to others in the same category. That’s why the tire earns 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating.

Tire Sizes

Pirelli Scorpion AT+ comes in a very limited total number of sizes (just 22), ranging from 16 to 20 inches (wheel diameter).

Talking about load ratings, the sizes get to be available in SL XL D and some are even in E and so weigh range is also a lot, where it goes form 29 to 60 lbs.

Talking about speed ratings, the sizes come with R, S, T and 3 sizes, 225/65R17, 265/60R18, 275/65R20 are also available in H.

Moreover, it’s tread depth stays in 13, 15 and maximum 15.5/32″.

To give you an idea, the BF Goodrich KO2 comes with 15/32″ of tread depth (on almost all sizes).

Other than that, all of them are rated with M+S as well as 3PMSFR providing you with all season traction.

Moreover all sizes have 50k miles warranty as well.

Tread Appearance

Have you ever noticed Pirelli Scorpions tread design closely? Well if you haven’t its pretty genius looking.

Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus
Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus comes with groove cones, which are just block supports.

The tread consists of 2 unique ribs, where one is shaped as S and the other is shaped P, and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or they intentionally tired to make Pirelli Scorpion initials.

Anyways, these are not for looks at all.

The S shaped blocks in the middle have very rugged edges and full depth sipes.

So are the other surrounding blocks, carrying the same features. All of them are also strengthened with foundations, and Pirelli calls it Groove cones

These also act as stone ejectors for this tire, though the tire still loves to invite dirt in).

Moving towards the shoulders, the tire offers staggered ribs here.

Pirelli Scorpion all terrain plus
Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus sidewall lugs remind me of the ones on Falken Wildpeak AT3w (review).

But these edges come up with very small scoops (the concave shaped engraving).

There is also an aggressive looking pattern on these shoulder blocks on the outer most edges.

And this also goes for it’s sidewall lugs, which are thick enough to provide off road traction.

The thick lugs on sidewalls actually do two things.

One, it provided traction aid when you air down the tires off road, which is always crucial.

(These lugs help the most on rocky terrains as well as deep sand, as you’ll see in their sections).

And the other, it protects the sides, so added durability. Let’s discuss it.

Compare Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus with others

Durability Review

Off road, the tire needs most of the protection to its sidewalls, that’s why the number of internal plies covering the sides are important for an all terrain tire.

In case of Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus, you get a 2 ply polyester cover, and this is the only layer which goes underneath the lugs of the sidewalls.

Covering the middle tread area from underneath, 2 wide steel belts run around the tire (made out of thick steel cords).

And these belts are then layered with 2 more plies of polyamide covering (another polymer for added durability and strength, to overall tire’s architecture).

Most durable tire: BF Goodrich KO2 (review).

On Road Performance

When it comes to highways, all terrain tires have to limit their performance slightly, but still some AT tires are more aligned towards on road traction, and Pirelli Scorpion AT plus is one of those.

Let’s analyze its performance by seeing some important on road factors below.

Dry Traction

On dry roads, the Pirelli Scorpion is very civil and provide decent traction values.

Compared to the best performing tires on dry (in all terrain category) the tire only lacks slightly.

You can check out the list of AT tires here.

The softer rubber tread of the tire sticks on tarmacs very nicely, while the reinforced foundations underneath its blocks provides stability, so the less rigid blocks gets to stay in place.

But one thing to note here is that, with higher temperatures, like in summers, the tire starts to lose it’s grip values, as the compound further gets loose.

Steering Response

Steering response of Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus is very sporty. Its a nice rounded tire meaning it’s contact patch is round where most of the emphasis gets on the middle part of the tread, and this besides providing high speed stability also offers quick steering times.

But on wet roads, the response gets diminished a little bit, it over-steers at first and then jumps in all of a sudden and it tires to over steer. It’s not as dramatic as I am making it sound as I’m saying this while keeping the best on road oriented AT tires in my mind like the Continental AT, and the Goodyear Wrangler AT.

Handling Stability

The handling again on Pirelli Scorpion is great on dry but just average on wet.

On dry tarmacs, it offers a direct and straight forward control with good lateral stability. This has to do with it’s perfect balancing mixture of softer tread and stiffer internal construction.

Wet Performance

Wet performance is divided in to two parts, where one is the wet grip which depends on the tread’s construction and the overall siping.

And the second, is hydroplaning. Let’s talk these both.

Wet Grip

Now Pirelli Scorpion AT plus has no issues in terms of treads composition as it’s one of the softest tire you can get out there, and so the sipes get ample flexibility.

But still wet traction is not as impressive, as the siping design is not very effective.

The sipes are although full depth, they are not interlocking internally, meaning they only seem that way from top, but as the tread wears off, the don’t form similar pattern throughout till base.

So it’s wet grip is not as strong compared to it’s dry.

But the tire is still pretty good in terms of hydroplaning.


Hydroplaning means tire floating on water, and you don’t want that. So here water evacuation is required.

And that’s not an issue with Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus, as it offers interconnect web of channels providing ample space for water to move around and out of the tire quickly.

Its groove volume maximizes the path from which water forces out effectively, so the tire gets to have great float speeds (which is the max. speed at tire can move over water without floating).

Winter Performance

Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus offers a great interlocking design of grooves where deep full depth notches and groove cones help in grabbing in the snow and forcefully entering it in the tread voids.

This way the tire makes contact with the surface with the confined snow and, which is exactly what you want on snowy areas.

Moreover, the tire also offers a very narrow tread, section width, and a rounded contact patch, and both of these ensures that the snow gets stuck in the grooves effectively.

Furthermore, the softer softer compound of the tire helps it a lot as well (just like the winter tires), so even with cold negative temperatures, the Pirelli Scorpio does not loose its traction.

Overall, the performance here is pretty solid, and the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol really suits it’s sidewalls.

For Your Info: My go to tire for winter (in the category of aggressive off roaders) is Mickey Baja Boss A/T (review).


Comfort depends on the tire’s ability to absorb the imperfections of the road and handling of bumpy off road terrains and here the performance of a tire depends on its internal construction combined with tread composition.

The Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus provides a very weird mixture of a stiff internal construction and a very soft outer rubber.

So, most of the bumps on road get diminished off quickly in it’s softer tread, larger impacts are felt more.

So in a way, in order to keep it short, you can say, it’s better in terms of comfort on road, then off road on gravel or roads filled with dirt.

Most comfortable AT tire: Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 (review).


Noise is another factor playing a significant part in overall ride quality and although here cabin insulation is also taken in to account, a louder tire would still be heard regardless.

And for some reason, the Italian tires aren’t good at it, and Pirelli Scorpion AT plus is no exception.

Although this tire improved a lot over its predecessor, it still generates considerable noise levels on road, despite providing variable pitch technology (where different variations of rib sizes generated different sound waves which try to cancel out each other), but its not enough.

Basically, noise is just air and with a softer rubber, the tread generates more resonation when air particles hit its walls.

Moreover, with wide shoulder gaps, a lot of air is able to get in and strike the tread with full force.

So where this tire is loud and if not rotated properly after every 5k miles, its going to get very loud.

Fuel Efficiency

Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus provides very low amount of rolling resistance despite providing one of the best dry grip on roads.

This is because the tire provides a rounded contact patch and less overall weight, both of these lower the rolling resistance values and hence the tire consumes less fuel.

To put things in to perspective, one of the best tire for fuel economy is Firestone Destination AT, and this tire is a very close 2nd.

Most capable A/T tire for Fuel Efficiency: Firestone Destination A/T2 (review).

Tread Wear:

Tread life depends on a few things, and these include weight, tire’s rolling resistance and overall composition of the tread’s rubber.

In case of Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus the tire’s although is light weight, and it also checks the box of rolling resistance (as its not too much).

But the tire still does not give impressive overall mileage and this has to do with it’s softer rubber.

Although the tire offers good enough tread depth of 15.5/32″, it’s softer tread burns off quickly. So it’s one of the area where you may have to compromise.

Most capable A/T tire for Wear Life: General Grabber A/TX (review)

Off Road Performance

Off road there are many different terrains to consider, so let’ take a look at all of them one by one.

Dirt and Gravel

Although the conical stone ejectors try to clean its tread off, the tire still gets lodged with stones quite frequently.

But still the it’s performance is bearable here and I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing.

Mud traction

On muddy terrains you need a tire with big block valleys, so the mud can get cleared off quickly and effectively.

The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus does the opposite here, it’s interlocking design and the groove cones (supporting blocks) are good at holding on to the dirt particles instead.

So the tire gets packed very quickly and loses it’s mud traction.

Sand Traction

Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus is well suited tire on sand. The tire is light weight and provides good circumferential traction. And both of these are highly needed features on sandy terrains.

Being light weight the tire can climb on slopes effectively, where its lugs (on sidewalls) provide additional support, especially when you air down the tire to a lower PSI values.

But still the tire lacks slightly due to it’s narrower tread construction and sharp edged shoulders. With these both , its hard to keep the tire’s forward momentum going as the tire wants to dig in, and this is not what you want on this terrain.

Traction on Rocks

On rocks the tire’s durability is highly crucial along with the lateral traction component.

Luckily the Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus bring in both, so the tire is not going to disappoint at all (though don’t expect this tire to perform like Nitto Ridge Grappler).

It’s staggered shoulder lugs provide very great lateral traction values, while it’s slanted sharp sidewall lugs which also provide protection form close encounters, aids the tire in traction by providing better footprint when you lower the pressure down.

In terms of durability, the 2 ply sidewalls offer decent protection, which is although average, still good enough especially if you compare it with weaker tires, like the Toyo AT3.

My go to tire for rocks: Nitto Ridge Grappler (review).

What’s the verdict?

Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus is well all rounder all terrain tire, which provides a good balanced traction on and off road. On roads the tire is one of the best ones in terms of handling, where its also going to impress with it’s fuel consumption.

However, it’s loud on roads and so does not provide satisfactory on road comfort.

Off road the tire does okay, where on rocks its performance is very efficient.

Lastly, it’s winter performance is it’s highlighting feature where it provides you with one of the best circumferential traction in the all terrain category so it earns with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.

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