LAS VEGAS—Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. is looking to grab greater shares of the all-season high performance passenger and the light truck/sport utility vehicle markets with two tires introduced Jan. 13-17 in Las Vegas. The P6000 SportVeloce (veloce in Italian means ``fast'') is an all-season version of the company's popular summer tire, the P6000, which Pirelli said has been a commercial success in both the original equipment and replacement markets.
The second tire, the Scorpion A/T, is PATC's answer to the fast-growing light truck/sport utility vehicle market.
PATC unveiled the tires before 200 of the company's independent tire dealers during a meeting at Caesar's Palace hotel in Las Vegas. Dealers also spent two days testing them against leading competitive tires at the nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With the P6000 SportVeloce, PATC said it aims to improve its position in the all-season, high performance market, which grew 9 percent in the U.S. last year. The Pirelli brand leads this segment, PATC added, with more than a 10-percent market share.
Designed specifically for North America, the P6000 SportVeloce features several unique Pirelli technologies including the Pirelli Active Safety System (PASS)—a special set of parameters that improves the performance of the tire's contact patch providing more control, grip and braking power.
It also incorporates Pirelli's ``new wave'' tread design, which includes a large, central groove connected with a grid of flat, stable tread blocks. Combined with siping, the tire provides ``outstanding performance and handling with all-season and M & S reliability,'' the company said.
The H- and V-rated tire offers reduced rolling resistance, lower noise, more comfort, and better wet and dry handling than its nearest competitors, PATC said.
The H-rated version carries a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty; the V-rated 40,000 miles. The tire is available in nine 60- and 65-series sizes in 14- and 15-inch rim diameters. By June, it will come in 23 sizes including 55-and 50-series sizes and 16-inch diameters.
The tire carries a UTQG rating of 320 A/A. It will be priced 8 percent higher than the company's P4000 SuperTouring tire, said Franco Carini, vice president of marketing.
Pirelli will make the tire at plants in Europe, South America and at PATC's factory in Hanford, Calif.
The Scorpion A/T is PATC's solution to the growing sport utility vehicle market, which Mr. Carini said has expanded at an average of more than 200,000 vehicles annually for the past four years.
PATC's newest light truck tire is designed for all-terrain handling and on-road comfort and, like the P6000 SportVeloce, is part of a global manufacturing project by Pirelli. It will be made in South America and at the Hanford plant.
The Scorpion A/T features an all-season, symmetrical tread pattern for optimum off- and on-road handling, the company said.
It carries an S speed rating and employs variable pitch sequencing to reduce road noise.
In addition, the tread pattern incorporates an accentuated cross transversal design with circumferential groove to expel water and clean mud and snow.
PATC said the tire is built using segmented molds for better uniformity and driving comfort. It's constructed with zero-degree nylon overlays to increase the tire's contact patch and improve handling.
The Scorpion A/T comes in raised white outline letters, and raised black serrated letters, as well as the raised scorpion logo.
The Scorpion A/T currently is available in 14 sizes with rim diameters of 15, 16 and 16.5 inches.
The UTQG rating is 360 A/B (P-metric).
The Scorpion A/T will be priced 5 percent above the Scorpion I light truck tire, Mr. Carini said.