F1 innovations give “significant advantage” to Bridgestone UHP S001 Potenza
As a tyre supplier to Formula One for the last 14 years, Bridgestone has been developing ultra high performance technologies at the pinnacle of motorsport. While the technologies used in the development of F1’s slick, wet and intermediate tyres clearly do not cross over to road-going equivalents immediately, Andy Dingley, communications manager at Bridgestone UK, argues that the Japanese manufacturer’s experiences have given it a significant fillip in terms of the technologies available to its road-going UHP Potenza range, in addition to the marketing benefits associated with the brand’s exposure.
The Potenza S001 has been designed for the world’s top sports cars and for customers whose priorities are sporty performance, combined with high efficiency and reduced rolling resistance. Dingley says: “The innovative asymmetric design of the S001 is unique as the outside tread area features large, stiff, ‘high-grip’ shoulder blocks. In addition, drivers will experience an outstanding steering response and precision, even at high speed.”
As well as giving the driver a sportier feel behind the wheel, the inner pattern tread area is well-tuned for safety as it incorporates Bridgestone’s premium wet technology; evacuating water from the tyre more effectively, leading to a safer tyre for the roads when it rains.
Dingley continues: “Our learnings from the development of wet tyre tread designs from motorsport mean we have a significant advantage when it comes to designing high performance tyres for the road.
“The use of hydro-simulation has been extremely useful in gaining an understanding about wet tyre tread patterns for passenger car tyre developments, such as the S001. Wet weather is common in the UK and slippery roads can be problematic for even the most experienced drivers. Developing car tyres using our knowledge of F1 technology means better wet performance and peace of mind for drivers when it rains.”
Since its inception a year ago, the S001 has been chosen as original equipment on some of the world’s sportiest cars, such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Audi RS 5 Coupe, the Lexus LFA and more recently the Audi A1. The S001 has also received high praise from the industry and was declared “very recommendable” in both Autozeitung magazine and Auto Motor Sport magazine.
In wet and dry testing, the S001 scored high points in a full range of wet and dry criteria and Autozeitung praised the tyre for its very high level of grip, agility and stability. Auto Motor Sport also concluded that the tyre had “very good driving and braking performance on dry; good driving performance on wet.”
The Potenza S001 RFT provides the superior driving performance of Potenza S001 combined with the added safety of Bridgestone run flat technology – a state-of-the-art package that the manufacturer believes can offer the pleasure of ride comfort comparable to conventional tyres. This higher level of comfort has been made possible by the development of innovative “heat controlling” technologies, now applied to the Potenza S001 RFT, which enable Bridgestone engineers to reduce the vertical stiffness of the run flat sidewall.
Firstly, an advanced NanoPro-TechTM polymer that improves durability by reducing heat generation caused by internal friction during tyre rotation, especially when running flat. Secondly, Bridgestone’s innovative Cooling Fin technology: a unique solution that uses disturbances in the airflow created by small protrusions on the tyre surface to keep the sidewall cool. The new S001 RFT combines the sporty character of the tyre with a high-level of safety and comfort and will be available from August 2011.