Bridgestone announced its product lineup for 2020 during its inaugural Canadian Trade Show held on February 4th in Mississauga, Ontario.
During the lunch break, Jason Blackwell, Consumer Education Specialist, Consumer Replacement, Bridgestone, introduced attendees to the three new tires the company plans to launch this year—Firestone Destination LE3, Firestone Firehawk Pursuit and Firestone Firehawk Pursuit AWT.
Firestone Destination LE3
Bridgestone’s Firestone Destination LE3 tire is being launched as a replacement for the Firestone Destination LE2 tire.
Blackwell noted that the company has introduced the Destination product line over the past few years beginning with Destination M/T, then M/T2, then the A/T2 and X/T that replaced Destination A/T in 2019. With the Destination LE3, Bridgestone is completing a refresh of the entire Destination product line.
“The Firestone Destination LE3 is a strategic approach to the upcoming market where we see more of CUVs, SUVs and light trucks. A lot of us are seeing more and more of these vehicles coming into our stores. For us, refreshing the Destination line was truly important,” explained Blackwell.
He added that Bridgestone’s engineers had a popular slogan for the Destination LE3 tire—“Everything you know you love about the Destination LE2, only better.”
Improvements added to the new tire include a better mileage warranty of 110,000 km.
“We have also added some full-depth tread features to it. You are going to see a very consistent feature with all of our new products this year—full-depth 3D Sipes. This feature allows the tires to deliver extended performance throughout its life. It is possible to maintain all key performance characteristics through the life of the tire,” added Blackwell.
The tire features Bridgestone’s HydroGrip Technology Package and TractionTech Technology. The full-depth groove channels on the tire, as part of the HydroGrip Technology, allows enhanced water evacuation to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
In head-to-head testing against the Firestone Destination LE2 tire, the Firestone Destination LE3 tire displayed a 3 percent advantage in wet stopping and a 10 percent increase in snow traction, and overall wet performance as well.
According to Blackwell, Bridgestone’s engineers focus on the “3 Ws”—wear, wet and winter. This approach was used for the Destination LE3 tire as well.
“We tested the tire against our competitors’ tires as well. What really pleased us was the wet-stopping performance which is an important characteristic that our consumers care about,” said Blackwell.
With a release planned for March this year, Bridgestone aims at maintaining a strong coverage with the product lineup due to the segment it caters to.
Firestone Firehawk Pursuit
Specially engineered for pursuit vehicles such as the Ford Interceptor, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Chevrolet Tahoe Pursuit, to name a few, the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit has been created with its fleet customers in mind.
“For this tire, we reformulated its tread compound to ensure that we are getting good performance through the life of the tire. It is for fleet customers, especially those who use pursuit vehicles. Duration is an important factor as they don’t want to keep replacing the tires,” explained Blackwell.
Besides the reformulated rubber compound, this tire contains the full-depth tread features as well for longer performance.
Blackwell noted that the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit displayed a 30 percent improvement in snow traction. When tested against similar competitor tires, the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit’s key wins were in max dry handling, wet handling and the overall ride performance.
Firestone Firehawk Pursuit AWT
Featuring the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification, this tire belongs to the category of all-weather tires.
“The 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) certification is becoming a quality standard across all manufacturers. Last year was Bridgestone Firestone’s first attempt into the smaller niche of all-weather tires. With the many regulations that are coming out and the change in customer demands, this 3PMS certification is becoming more and more important,” said Blackwell.
He added that the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit AWT tire was designed especially for fleet customers that operated in areas with strong winter conditions. The tire’s design eliminates the need for changeovers, which are both pricey and a hassle.
The full-depth tread design and formulated rubber compound are similar to the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tire.
Tested against competitors in the all-weather category, the Firehawk Pursuit AWT tire performed well in snow performance. The company even tested the tire against Firestone’s Firehawk PVS dedicated winter tire. It performed exceptionally well in snow stopping, snow traction and wet traction.
Bridgestone plans to launch the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit and Firestone Firehawk Pursuit AWT tires by early 2020.