Bridgestone Enliten tyre technology a sign of commitment to CASE future
The tyre manufacturer was chosen to provide approximately 100 new original equipment fitments in EMEA from 14 different manufacturers, registering strong growth in top segments
The world’s largest tyre manufacturer has outlined how its latest technologies and partnerships with leading car manufacturers are to help it increase sustainability in 2020. Bridgestone states that its car manufacturer partners sought its expertise on various partnerships throughout 2019, including ground-breaking CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) projects, and the performance benefits of new tyre technologies, such as its Enliten technology, which it plans to extend to an increasing number of tyres this year. Bridgestone said these partnerships led to approximately 100 new original fitments in the EMEA region, similar to its ‘best-ever’ 2018 OE results, spread across more than 50 different models from 14 manufacturers. The tyre manufacturer’s 18” diameter or greater OEM fitments have increased by over 10 per cent since 2018, it added.
Bridgestone’s lightweight tyre technology, Enliten was introduced to address sustainability in global mobility. Based on Bridgestone internal tests (ISO28580) on the Bridgestone Turanza T005 in sizes 205/55R16 91H and 255/40R20 101W, the technology reduces rolling resistance by, on average, 20 per cent from a standard premium summer touring OE fitment, and weight by 10 per cent, meaning a more efficient use of material resources in manufacturing. These factors reduce the tyre’s environmental footprint and improve fuel efficiency or battery range. In 2019, Enliten was brought to the roads for the first time on Volkswagen’s electric ID.3 and the Audi RS Q3. Bridgestone states that more models and manufacturers will fit tyres with Enliten benefits in 2020.
Bridgestone also developed record-breaking tyres for Volkswagen and Renault in 2019. Custom-engineered Bridgestone Potenza tyres were specially developed for Volkswagen’s electric supercar, the ID.R. The tyres helped to set a new Nürburgring-Nordschleife’s EV track record, beating the previous best by 40.56 seconds. The Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R also broke an Nürburgring record on high performance Potenza S007 tyres.
In 2019 Bridgestone states it was the number one original equipment tyre choice for BMW, Audi, SEAT and Toyota, while continuing to serve as primary supplier for manufacturers including Volkswagen, Skoda and Mercedes.
Developing CASE and space mobility
In addition to its new Enliten lightweight tyre technology, Bridgestone’s proprietary technologies, such as B-Silent reducing in-vehicle noise, B-Seal and Run-Flat Technology for continuous mobility and ologic technology lowering rolling resistance, are helping meet new mobility demands and responding to the requirements of OEMs to help make CASE and sustainable mobility a reality for all.
In 2019, SEAT chose to apply Bridgestone’s renowned ologic technology to equip its Minimó electric concept car. The small two-passenger, all-electric vehicle is engineered to adapt to the mobility platforms that will shape the future of urban driving. The year also saw bespoke Bridgestone Connect ‘smart’ tyres, which relay information on tyre load, pressures, grip level and tyre health to the interior screens, custom developed for Nissan’s IMQ EV concept vehicle.
Bridgestone Corporation also partnered with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota to commit to an international space exploration mission. Bridgestone will help explore the mobility challenges and performance needs of tyres for use on manned, pressurized rovers to help them make better contact with the surface of the moon.
Mark Tejedor, VP original equipment, Bridgestone EMIA, states: “Sustainability, CASE mobility and partnerships were three huge focuses for us in 2019. Which is no surprise – these are the crucial ingredients needed for a smarter, more efficient future of mobility. Through innovating and taking on new and demanding challenges – alongside great partners working under a similar vision to meet similar goals – we’ll bring this era of mobility to life. I have no doubt that we will go even further in meeting this goal in 2020.”