Bridgestone Southern Africa has launched the new flagship ultra-high-performance tyre: the Bridgestone Potenza Sport into the Southern Africa market, cementing its global leadership in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility. The tyre combines Bridgestone’s pioneering spirit and expertise in high performance tyres with extensive market research to keep drivers in control while unlocking the performance of their vehicle.
A new excellence in sports performance
Bridgestone has a strong legacy of expertise in high performance tyres thanks to its heritage in Formula One racing and long-term partnerships with premium, high performance car manufacturers. Building on these experiences, Bridgestone has developed a new, cutting-edge high-performance product: the Bridgestone Potenza Sport. This next generation tyre represents a new standard in premium, high-end sports performance, providing best-in-class performance in the dry supported by a premium wet package.
“This is a very exciting journey for the South African market,” says Bridgestone Southern Africa CEO, Jacques Fourie. “While we have continued to update, refine, and refresh our existing products, this has been an entirely new development, involving extensive research and development. Another cause for excitement is the launch of this ground-breaking product as Bridgestone celebrates the group’s 90th anniversary around the world.
“This year is especially significant for South Africa, as we also celebrate the 50th year anniversary since the launch of our manufacturing plant in Brits, a facility which has consistently contributed to the country’s economy, job creation and technological innovation. While the Potenza Sport will not initially be manufactured in our local facility, the launch reinforces this enduring dedication to the country, as we are able to deliver the highest quality products, alongside our enduring production capacity,” Fourie says.
Tested by TÜV SÜD, one of Europe’s most respected independent automotive testing institutes, Potenza Sport achieves the best performance in both dry braking (shortest braking distance on a dry surface) and cornering and straight line stability (maintaining vehicle stability when travelling both in a straight line and through a curve) versus competitors in the premium segment. And, with an EU label A-grade in wet grip across its full line-up and deemed best performer in wet cornering and handling in further tests performed by TÜV SÜD1, Bridgestone Potenza Sport also offers outstanding wet performance.
The tyre’s excellent capabilities in both the dry and wet come with higher levels of mileage from its predecessor Potenza S001.
Co-created with drivers, pioneered with cutting-edge technologies
In the Potenza Sport, Bridgestone wanted to create a tyre that meets the expectations drivers have in high performance tyres, while also addressing the everyday challenges they face. That is why comprehensive market research was undertaken to begin the Potenza Sport development: Bridgestone interviewed over 3,800 end-users across Europe. Their input gave Bridgestone the foundations to engineer an ultra-high performance tyre that meets driver needs and expectations of control and confidence.
To achieve the Potenza Sport’s cutting-edge performance, Bridgestone applies various new, innovative technologies in tread pattern, compound and construction. The tyre’s tread design applies several new cutting-edge technologies, including innovative 3D sipes to increase shear stiffness (here is the link to virtual Potenza Sport tyre) with benefits in braking and abrasion resistance; the compound, thanks to an optimized formula combined with innovative mixing technology, improves wet and dry performances. Bridgestone also uses a new hybrid crown reinforcement to maximise the tyre’s stability performance at high speed. A sporty carcass package is also applied to increase stability performance and steering response, while optimising rolling resistance.
Fundamental to the design and creation of the Potenza Sport is Bridgestone’s proprietary timesaving, environmentally friendly virtual tyre development technology. The technology enables Bridgestone to very accurately predict a tyre’s performance at development stage, without physically producing and driving it. Not only does this bring environmental benefits by saving resources, it also reduces the length of the development process and cuts the project’s time to market.
The tyre’s choice of some of the most prestigious car brands in the world
Custom-developed Potenza Sport tyres have already been selected as original equipment by some of the most prestigious car brands in the world at OEM level, including Maserati for its MC20 supercar and the Lamborghini for the Huracán STO, followed by the Audi RS3, the Ferrari F171, the Porsche Macan in 2021. Between 2022 and 2023, the tyres will extend to the BMW for the 8 series and many more to come. However, in South Africa, this will depend on the availability of each of the vehicles.
Developed and manufactured in Europe, Potenza Sport was launched across the European continent and beyond since January 2021. The tyre will be available in 96 sizes from 17’’ to 22” to cover a wide range of passenger cars and on-road SUVs in the market, ranging from premium sedans and SUVs to luxury and prestige cars. With the launch of Potenza Sport, Bridgestone’s coverage in summer segment has been significantly increased in both the HRD and ultra HRD portfolio.
“The Potenza Sport is the latest chapter in Bridgestone’s long legacy in high performance,” said Emilio Tiberio, Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Bridgestone EMIA. “It is the result of our history and innovation in motorsports, combined with our commitment to always going the extra mile to meet drivers’ needs, and an investment in research and development that is unmatched in the tyre industry.
“We engineered a premium, high-value sports tyre that keeps drivers in control while unlocking the performance of their vehicle. Potenza Sport is truly a new excellence in sports performance.”
 Tests carried out by TÜV SÜD on the request of Bridgestone in July-September 2020 at the facilities Bridgestone EUPG (Italy) for dry and wet tests with Audi S4 3.0 TFSI, on tyre size 245/40 R18. Potenza Sport compared to the performances of main competitors in the same segment: Continental PremiumContact6, Michelin Pilot Sport 4, Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5, Pirelli P Zero PZ4. Annex Report No. [713190691-PS].Straight stability, rating: Bridgestone Potenza Sport (9.33), Continental Premium Contact 6 (9.00), Michelin Pilot Sport 4(8.67), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (8.67), Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (8.56).Cornering stability, rating: Bridgestone Potenza Sport (9.21), Continental Premium Contact 6 (8.13), Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (8.67), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (8.33), Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (8.58).Dry braking distance (100 km/h to 0 km/h), metres : Bridgestone Potenza Sport (33.4), Continental Premium Contact 6 (35.4), Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (34.5), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (35.9), Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (34.8). Wet Cornering - Lateral wet grip (lateral acceleration) in meters/second2 : Bridgestone Potenza Sport (7.06), Continental Premium Contact 6 (6.42), Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (6.45), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (6.63), Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (7.03). Wet handling (subjective evaluation and average speed) average rating and in km/h: Bridgestone Potenza Sport (9.19; 90.87), Continental Premium Contact 6 (7.97; 87.32), Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (8.28; 87.84), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 (8.25; 88.05), Pirelli P Zero PZ4 (8.72; 89.12).
 Based on internal tests conducted at Bridgestone Technical Centre Europe with Audi A4 on tyre size 245/40R18, Bridgestone Potenza Sport achieved 10% better mileage estimation versus same size of its predecessor Potenza S001.