Bridgestone’s Ecopia Launched in North American Aftermarket
Bridgestone has chosen the Chicago Auto Show as the venue for the North American replacement market release of its low rolling resistance Ecopia range. The first tyre in the line-up to arrive on American shores is the Ecopia EP100, a summer tyre fitment for vehicles such as the Mini Cooper, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Versa and Toyota Corolla. Available in H- and V-speed ratings, the Ecopia EP100 has a UTQG of 400AB and will be offered in six different sizes ranging from 14 to 16 inches. The tyre will be available in March in the first phase of a two-phase rollout during 2009.
“We know consumers are concerned about fuel economy and getting the most out of their tyres,” said John Baratta, president, Consumer Replacement Tire, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). “The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 is a natural fit for the consumer and a well-timed option considering the challenges in today’s marketplace. This tyre offers our lowest rolling resistance technology which improves fuel efficiency, a direct benefit to consumers.”
The Ecopia EP100 incorporates Bridgestone’s NanoPro Tech Technology, which Bridgestone says offers consumers improved performance by controlling the interaction between polymers, filler materials and other rubber chemicals used in the manufacture of the tyre. Design elements in the Ecopia EP100 include 3D cut circumferential ribs to help reduce irregular wear and lessen road noise. A special tread block design is said to improve wet and dry handling and reduces irregular wear, while interconnected rib blocks enhance wet performance and help reduce energy loss. High angle lateral Grooves are incorporated into the Ecopia EP100 to help avoid hydroplaning.