Tires

Pirelli making specialized Scorpion tires for Rivian R1T, R1S

Pirelli and Rivian spent nearly two years developing the tires.

Photo courtesy of Pirelli

Silence is one of the hallmarks of an all-electric powertrain. If Pirelli has its way, it will also be a hallmark of the tires wrapped around the wheels of the Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV. The first models in the Rivian lineup are expected to roll off the line soon.

Pirelli has developed special versions of its Scorpion Verde All Season, Scorpion Zero All Season, and Scorpion All Terrain tires to meet Rivian's needs. Pirelli and Rivian co-developed these products over a nearly two-year timespan, which resulted in three tires making the final cut. Measuring 20, 21, and 22 inches the tires offer buyers the ability to customize their Rivian for their needs. The Scorpion Verde All Season in 21 inches have a tire size that is unique in the world, and introduced in the industry by Pirelli specifically for Rivian: 275 55R21.

Rivian R1S, R1S tire Pirelli Scorpion There are three tires for buyers to choose from for their Rivian vehicle.Photo courtesy of Pirelli

These fall into line with the tire company's Pirelli Perfect Fit strategy and carry two special markings on the shoulder: RIV and Elect. The "Elect" is a marking that identifies that the tires were developed for electric vehicles. These tires have technical characteristics that maximize a vehicle's range. They also offer improved traction in line with the intense torque demands of an electric vehicle's transmission. Unlike in a traditionally powertrain-ed vehicle, electric vehicles offer instant maximum torque off the line with the accelerator pushed down.

Some of the tires Pirelli is designating for the Rivian vehicle's have low rolling resistance and are designed to optimize fuel economy. That's great on dry, straight roads. However, these tires aren't traditionally well-performing in snow and ice, or in off-roading situations.

The Scorpion Verde All Season is Pirelli's eco-friendly all-season tire developed for the drivers of crossovers, sport utility vehicles, and pickups. Buyers of crossovers, SUVs, and performance pickup trucks looking for a combination of high-performance capability and all-season utility will want Scorpion Zero All Season tires on their Rivian. Opting for the Scorpion All Terrain Plus will give adventure-minded R1T and R1S owners the durability, traction, and wear resistance they're seeking for driving off-road.

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Larger tires headline the upgrades.

Jeep

The off-road wars are heating up. This year alone, we've seen the new Ford Bronco, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck, new off-road models of the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Silverado, and more rugged versions of the Subaru Outback and Forester. Jeep, already deep in the game, doesn't need to do much to bolster its off-road offering, but the brand is doing just that for 2022. The automaker is offering a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler Willys SUV, which brings more capability and style to the boxy off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package The package can be ordered for Wrangler Willys models later this year. Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package

Beyond beefy 35-inch tires tires, the Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gets a 1.5-inch factory lift, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, 17-inch wheels and swing gate reinforcement. Jeep says those improvements give the Willys best-in-class approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and water fording capability. Approach angle improves to 47.4 degrees, breakover angle improves to 26.7 degrees, and departure angle jumps to 40.4 degrees. The extra ride height also pushes ground clearance to 12.9 inches and the water fording depth to 33.6 inches.

The package's 35-inch tires make the Willys Jeep's third Wrangler model with hardcore rolling stock. It joins the Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Rubicon 392 in the 35-inch club, all of which can be equipped with the tires directly from the factory.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package A factory lift helps improve ground clearance and capability.Jeep

The Xtreme Recon Package can be ordered starting in October and will be available for the Jeep Wrangler Willys with 3.6-liter eTorque engine. The package adds $3,995 to the Wrangler Willys' price tag, which brings the total starting price to $40,930, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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