This new ultra-high-performance tire comes with a secret ingredient that boosts longevity and traction.
Bridgestone recently announced the launch of a brand new UHP tire, the Potenza Sport AS (all-season), which will be replacing the Potenza RE980AS Plus, as this older tire is phased out.
According to Dale Harrigle, Chief Engineer of Replacement Tires at Bridgestone Americas, the new Potenza Sport AS is an improvement over the Potenza RE980AS Plus in a number of key areas.
For starters, it’s the first UHP tire from Bridgestone to incorporate PeakLife, a proprietary polymer that enhances the tread’s resistance to wear, which in turn translates into a longer tire life.
PeakLife, Harrigle explains, was engineered by Firestone Polymers, and what makes PeakLife especially noteworthy is the fact that a tire’s tread life can be extended without sacrificing wet grip and snow performance.
That said, even with improved snow performance, this is not a winter tire or an all-weather tire, and it’s definitely not designed for the amount of snow we get in many parts of Canada. “It’s the perfect tire for anyone who wants some snow performance,” Harrigle adds, “but doesn’t necessarily need a tire with the three-peak mountain snowflake.”
Durable, more capable compound
How the PeakLife polymer allows Bridgestone to improve tire life while simultaneously improving wet and snow performance is rather interesting.”Because the compound is more durable,” Harrigle explains, “this allows us to put more sipes into the tire, which allows us to get those biting edges we need for improved performance in the wet and on the snow.”
Bridgestone stands behind its claim of an extended tread life by offering an 80k warranty. “This sends a great message to the consumer,” Harrigle adds, “because they know that they’re going to get the performance out of their tire that they expect, for quite a long time.”
Bridgestone didn’t stop at improving tire life and performance. They also made this new tire more visually appealing, thanks to what the company calls an “aesthetic sidewall design.”
In fact, the Bridgestone Potenza Sport AS is the brand’s first replacement tire, produced on this side of the Atlantic, with an aesthetic sidewall design. “This is our first North American tire to feature our high-contrast sidewalls,” Harrigle adds. “We had this on a few of our European tires, but it’s the first North American product to feature this design.”
With high-contrast sidewalls, the Potenza Sport AS prominently displays the Bridgestone brand with a design that includes meshed rubber to capture light and create an ultra-black finish on the logo.
Sizes & availability
Currently, the Potenza Sport AS is available in 48 sizes. However, an additional 28 sizes will be added to the lineup in 2024. In all, 76 sizes will be available for wheels between 16 and 22 inches in diameter.
Bridgestone says this new UHP tire was designed to cater to the needs of a number of popular sports cars, sedans and performance crossovers, with key fitments including Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi SQ5, BMW X3, Infiniti QX50, Maserati Ghibli, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mustang GT and Subaru BRZ.