This month's review focuses on a super-premium rolling stock combination: a set of the new Intro Twisted Vista Matrix 22-inch billet wheels wrapped with Pirelli Scorpion Zero P265/35ZR22 high-performance tires on a dropped Hemi Ram 1500 Quad Cab. The Dodge Ram connection is especially cool for this review since Pirelli's Scorpion Zero is OE on several high-performance light trucks, including the Dodge Ram SRT-10, the "world's fastest production pickup truck." So the Scorpion Zero has certainly made a name for itself regarding its high-performance capabilities.
Pirelli touts the strengths of its Scorpion Zero, a low-profile sport tire designed for light trucks and SUVs, as its outstanding steering and braking response, especially in the wet. While we didn't have a chance to drive it in the wet, we can report that in driving the Scorpion Zero in the dry, the tire lived up to the promises made by Pirelli's marketing materials.
In terms of handling, we had more tire than suspension. The tires generated such a high level of grip in the lane-change exercise that we could feel the chassis flex, which caused the rear to lose grip prematurely. Turn-in was quick and sensitive. The short sidewalls of the 35-series tires transmit every little bit of steering wheel input into action at road level. The combination of sensitivity and the fact that the tires generated cornering force smoothly and predictably gave us a very secure sense of control over the vehicle, even when the suspension allowed it to move in unexpected ways at the limit. It's quick on turn-in, but the tires tell you how much grip you have to work with, so maintaining control of the vehicle is very natural and comfortable. This is perhaps one of the more important characteristics of a streetable performance tire, and in our opinion, it's hard to imagine a tire doing it better, at this level of grip, than this set of Scorpion Zeros.
As for ride quality, we were impressed with how little it altered the ride from the stock wheels and tires on the lowered suspension. We were expecting the 2-inch sidewalls of the 35-series tire to cause a very rough ride, and to be honest, it did increase the sharpness of the ride, though the magnitude of the change wasn't near the level anticipated. The Pirellis did generate a little more noise over sections of the freeway with pronounced anti-hydroplane grooving than the OE rolling stock. It's not enough to be a negative factor in your purchase decision in our opinion, but it was noticeable.
Given the target market, the Scorpion Zero designers know the wheels most owners would match with their Pirellis would be expensive, so they provided a rim-protection rib to help prevent damage to the expensive aluminum-alloy wheels.
Oh, how right they were! The set of 22-inch Intro Twisted Vista Matrix wheels featured in this review approach $4,000. So what does nearly a grand a corner get you? Well, you get a billet wheel machined from T6061 aircraft-quality aluminum. The wheels are very strong and reasonably lightweight given their size. Intro says its 22-inch wheels weigh approximately 37-38 pounds, depending on rim width and lug configuration - they're offered in 8.5- or 10-inch widths and five- or six-lug configurations. More important, though, is the precise machine work and polished finish of the wheels. These are literally, as the images supporting this article attest, jewelry for your ride.