Bridgestone Americas Inc. is leaning into the growing all-season tire segment with its new Potenza Sport AS all-season tire.
The Potenza Sport AS is an extension of Bridgestone's Potenza tire line, which includes the Potenza RE71RS, a street-legal track and competition tire; the Potenza Race; and the Potenza Sport, which is engineered for precision handling.
Bridgestone introduced the new tire via a recent ride-and-drive event at the Atlanta Motor Sports Park in Dawsonville, Ga.
Investing in all-season
Will Robbins, director of consumer product strategy for Bridgestone, says the Potenza Sport is the “bread and butter” of Bridgestone’s Potenza line, which is why the company wanted to build upon that.
“The Potenza line has been built on racing and being fast. We are really trying to push the brand — not only in racing, but also on the road, so we thought about how we could take the Potenza DNA and apply it to tires across the board.”
The Potenza Sport AS, which Bridgestone says is an evolution of its Potenza RE980 AS, features precision wet performance, responsive grip and improved winter capabilities, without compromising the Y speed rating of the tire.
The Potenza Sport AS also is Bridgestone Americas’ first ultra-high performance (UHP) all-season tire to feature Bridgestone ENLITEN technology, which is engineered to help optimize all-season performance and provide longer wear life.
And the tire is Bridgestone’s first UHP tire to incorporate PeakLife, a next-generation polymer technology that enhances resistance to wear, aiding in extended tire life. It also features a solid rib design for improved handling and reduced noise; open shoulder slots to enhance water evacuation; full-depth 3D sipes for improved winter performance; a new tread compound and more.
The new product is currently available in 48 sizes, with 28 additional sizes to be launched in 2024. The 76 total sizes will fit wheels ranging from 16 inches to 22 inches in diameter.
Dale Harrigle, chief engineer for replacement tire development at Bridgestone, says Bridgestone wanted to stretch the performance of its Potenza tires without trading off anything else.
“Each manufacturer has different strategies with how they balance their performance,” says David Severyn, lead program engineer at Bridgestone. Severyn led the engineering of the Potenza Sport AS.
“We responded to the market with the RE980AS and stretched that winter and wear performance because that’s what we saw that the consumers wanted. Now, with the Potenza Sport AS, we feel we really have the perfect mix of performance and can still have that UHP wet and dry performance that the enthusiasts want, but you’re still going to be able to make it up your driveway in the winter.”
The Potenza Sport AS has a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty.
The Potenza benefitAccording to Harrigle, Bridgestone’s Potenza line still benefits from its name recognition. (The Potenza name has been around since the 1970s.)
“We are expanding the Potenza family and seeing how we can expand its use from the street - from light snow use and all the way up to an absolute purpose race tire, so the Potenza Sport AS really fits into that family.”
Another benefit of the Potenza line is the emotion it evokes from consumers, according to Karina Gonzalez, senior manager in communications and consumer product technology for Bridgestone.
“Racing is something a lot of people aspire to do, but maybe can’t do,” she says.
“So, when you stretch the Potenza line down to a more attainable view, then you can still feel a part of that family. Customers can say, ‘Oh I don’t have an NSX super car, but I have this type of car that I can put the Potenza Sport AS on,’ so they feel connected to something they’re passionate about.”