Based on the company’s proprietary ‘skateboard’ platform, both models will share many components, including the recently revealed, custom-made Pirelli tires.
To meet Rivian’s requirements, the Italian rubber specialists have developed unique versions of its Scorpion Verde All-Season, Scorpion Zero All-Season, and Scorpion All-Terrain tires.
According to Pirelli, each of the Rivian-specific Scorpions delivers low rolling resistance that helps maximize each EV’s range while keeping noise levels at a minimum.
Since EV powertrains deliver peak torque right from the bottom of the rev range, these tires are optimized to cope with the intense power and deliver excellent traction, biting into the road instantly.
For almost two years, Pirelli and Rivian co-developed these products resulting in three special models with 20, 21 and 22 inches in diameter. The 21-inch Scorpion Verde All-Season tires stand out due to their 275/55 R21 dimensions, which Pirelli says are unique in the automotive industry.
To develop a bespoke version of these tires, the main challenge was to meet Rivian’s low rolling resistance targets, so engineers worked on a higher-silica compound that reduces the vehicles’ energy consumption.
The next step was designing a custom mold that narrowed the tread pattern but maintained an optimal pressure distribution. Finally, they used lighter raw materials that contribute to the low-resistance properties without compromising durability or performance.
The other all-season tire developed specifically for the two EVs is the Scorpion Zero. Pirelli designed this model for powerful crossovers and SUVs, as well as performance pickup trucks.
They also modified the tread pattern, designing a dedicated mold with a larger width, able to provide a bigger contact area. This should result in improved handling compared to the Scorpion Verde tires while maintaining the same low resistance properties.
Given that the two EVs are more than off-road capable, Pirelli was also tasked with developing a specific version of its Scorpion All Terrain Plus range. These On-/Off- Road tires are designed for pickup trucks, crossovers, and SUVs that blend on-road civility with off-road capability.
The symmetric, high-void tread pattern was not modified, but Pirelli designed a dedicated mold for the Rivian version that reduces weight. Engineers also added a special compound usually found in truck tires to increase durability.
It remains to be seen whether these custom-made tires will deliver as advertised when Rivian finally releases their two EVs. The R1S SUV and R1T pickup are scheduled to hit the roads this summer.