Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years

The Lamborghini LM002, a one-of-a-kind car that has gone down in history for its superior qualities, accompanied the launch of the Scorpion. Strong of that heritage, today the Scorpion range features several models to suit all high-performance needs

Home Road Cars Tyres Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years

The Lamborghini LM002 towed a tank in an exciting stunt for the presentation of the car to the international press asserting it as an outstanding car for which an outstanding set of tyres had been created. It was 1986 and the first Pirelli Scorpion with its remarkable strength, adaptability and ability to withstand stress has been launched.

Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years 01
Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years 01


Specifically designed for cars engineered to overcome the limits they encounter along the way, the Pirelli Scorpion tyres were created to assist this nature and were a revolution because of their ability to provide grip on a variety of surfaces, from tarmac to sand, besides allowing driving when underinflated. Several technologies were carried across the rally world, where Pirelli had won several world titles and where the crews who suffered the fewest punctures often won.

All Scorpion tyres for the Lamborghini LM002 had a very tough carcass with a steel belt and zero-degree nylon. They were also capable of absorbing shocks making them more reactive in fast manoeuvres. These huge 345/60 VR17 tyres also needed to keep the exuberance of the V12 engine at bay on the tarmac where sporty performance was expressed. The Scorpion tyres also had to be able to operate in the typical high-temperature conditions of the desert areas where they were often used. Their capabilities were put to the test during development at top speeds over 220 km/h, beyond the capabilities of the LM002, with a focus on overload strength by running for 46 hours non-stop at 140 km/h and a weight of 1,000 kg on the wheel. The zero-pressure test, on the other hand, consisted in applying gradually increasing loads over a distance of 1,100 km. After re-inflating, the same tyres were tested for 165 more hours with a load of 1,650 kg. In a nutshell, an unstoppable car with unstoppable tyres. So much so that at the 1988 Paris-Dakar, Pirelli kitted out several crews racing with Porsche, Nissan and, of course, Lamborghini.

Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years 02
Pirelli Scorpion, unstoppable for almost 40 years 02


Initially designed as an indefatigable tyre, over the years the Pirelli Scorpion adapted to a wide range of needs reaching from the super-specialised LM002 to other, less adventurous, tarmac-oriented cars. Today, the Pirelli Scorpion is the only family of tyres among the main brands dedicated to SUVs, crossovers and off-road vehicles to offer a range spanning from the ATR for off-roaders and the Scorpion Verde All Season SF for SUVs on the tarmac to the Winter and Ice & Snow versions. In addition to an unstoppable attitude, the tyres also earned the fame of being able to offer safety at all times, even in the trickiest situations. These qualities are acknowledged by motorists with a passion for high-speed driving who have chosen Pirelli Scorpion millions of times since 1986.

Photo credits: Fondazione Pirelli - www.fondazionepirelli.org