On Thursday, October 10th, I had the pleasure of being invited to Bridgestone Tire's Drive and Learn Event. The Drive and Learn event is designed for Bridgestone Tire to teach influential people (media, their customers, as well as companies that sell tires- such as Firestone) about their new tires. From there, you get to test out the product. More on that later.
Bridgestone Tires introduced four new tires. They are: The Ecopia EP422, Potenza RE97AS, Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, and the Potenza S04 Pole Position. I put them in this specific order in which you'll find out why in the drive part of this post.
The Ecopia EP422 is a fuel-efficient line of tire. The more usage you get out the tire, the more money you save because of the improved fuel efficiency it provides. I refer to this tire as a practical tire, because it goes GREAT with the more practical cars- i.e. the top selling vehicle: the Toyota Camry.
The second tire is the Potenza RE97AS. The difference between this and the Ecopia, is that the RE97AS gives a little more performance than the Ecopia, but it offers the smooth, quiet ride that the Ecopia offers. Luxury sedans, like the Audi A3, benefit great from this particular tire.
The third tire, and the tire that I spent the most time with is the Potenza RE970AS. At first, I liked the last tire, but now that I had a chance to sit down and process everything, I like this tire more. It's an uber high performance handling tire, however, it has the added benefit of enhanced wear and all-season traction. Sports Sedans like the Infiniti G37 would benefit from this tire.
The last tire is the Potenza S-04 tire. It's like the previous tire (RE970AS), the difference is that it is a summer tire, it delivers great wet and dry performance, and it has great responsiveness and cornering. It's great for when you want to drive fast on the open road. I do not have a pdf like I had for the previous tires (but I did include a close up of the tread), however, the S-04 works GREAT on Ford Mustangs. And an interesting little fact, the S-04s are used at the World Class Racing in Las Vegas. So all of the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audi R8s, etc that they offer to race in are wearing the Potenza S-04 tires.
Now for the fun part. Once we stepped outside, there were 8 BMW 325i cars waiting on us. Each pair of cars were wearing each line of tires. Bridgestone tires created a faux track for everyone to drive the cars so you can really get a feel for how the car performs. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they wet the track.
I happened to learn in the reverse order. I went from the highest performance all the way down to the fuel efficient one. I started out in the S-04. It gripped the road even though it was wet. It was hard to skid or hydroplane in that car with those tires. From there, I went to the RE970AS, and the cornering wasn't as great as it was in the S-04. Then it was the RE97AS, and the cornering gotten worse, but the ride was getting quieter. Finally there was the Ecopia, where I didn't hear any tire screeching.
The finale of the event was the LeMans Competition, where Bridgestone Tires split everyone into three teams, and whichever team made it around the track the fastest wins.
All in all, it was a great event, and it was my first time actually testing tires. I did learn a great deal about tires, and definitely learned how to do high performance driving that I couldn't do in an SUV. I would love to have the opportunity to do it again. Special thanks to Bridgestone Tires for inviting me to such a thoroughly educational event.