Bridgestone South Africa

Features to Look for In a High-Performance Tyre

Sep 06, 2021
Potenza Sport

What enables a tyre's enhanced traction and stability when cornering all boils down to its unique characteristics. From the start, engineers develop tyres from the inside and out with specific enhancements to help all drivers achieve their ideal driving experience. Here are the top features to look for if you're thinking about investing in a high-performance tyre.

Do I need a high-performance tyre?

A high-performance tyre complements powerful supercars and high-performance vehicles by increasing their stability and dry braking. Drivers that go for high-performance tyres want to achieve a sporty driving experience or unlock their vehicle's potential on and off the track.

Before choosing this tyre, it's essential to know whether it matches your environment, driving style and needs. High-performance tyres perform best in dry conditions, although some also perform well in wet weather. Generally, if you need to handle different weather conditions throughout the year, a high-performance tyre is best for the summer season.

But understanding whether a tyre fits your daily driving experience is just as important. Do you want more stability when driving at speed or while cornering? Or do you prefer a tyre that offers excellent cornering, dry braking and wet performance? When you know what your tyre needs to achieve, it's easier to choose a tyre based on what it was designed to do.

A tyre needs to balance different elements to get the ideal performance characteristics. For high-performance tyres, that means focusing on:

  • Grip and traction: Maximising a tyre's grip while braking, turning and driving on straight roads at full speed.
  • Handling: Handling is how well a vehicle responds to your driving. High-performance tyres maximise control during steering, cornering and braking.
  • Robustness: A reinforced construction helps the tyre handle real, imperfect and sometimes challenging road conditions.
  • Longevity: Grip and performance are among the top priorities of a high-performance tyre, but the tread life tends to be shorter than passenger tyres. Some performance tyres now feature a specific tread design that offsets this issue in the long run.

Potenza Sport, Bridgestone's latest high-performance tyre, was designed with all these characteristics to achieve maximum performance without compromising on longevity and comfort.

 a car driving at sundown equipped with Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres

Feature 1: Tread design

A tyre’s tread design is a foundational feature that defines its performance. The tread pattern determines how much traction the tyre can attain or handle in different conditions.

There are three main tread patterns to look for in a tyre: symmetric, asymmetric and directional. The tread for high-performance tyres can fall between asymmetric or directional.

An asymmetric pattern contains inner and outer halves designed with different channels and tread blocks. The directional pattern, in comparison, moves in one direction and is usually V-shaped. The main difference between the two in terms of performance is that the asymmetric pattern design will provide a little more balance to handle wet conditions and dry grip than the directional pattern.

 four elements of the Potenza Sport compound

When we look at the Potenza Sport, we see that an asymmetric pattern enables the tyre to meet consumer expectations. The tyre's asymmetric wall angle reduces block deformation to handle cornering at speed, and the optimised void and ribs allow water to move quickly from the tyre surface, which supports braking and cornering power. The variable rib profile allows for more efficient contact pressure and wet friction, while the 3D sipes increase the stiffness that helps braking and abrasion resistance.

Feature 2: Compound

Another not so noticeable feature that is equally important is the type of compound the tyre is made of. The compound gives the tyre its subtle performance characteristics, like extra grip in wet conditions. There can be different mixes of a compound to enhance other tyre properties.

For Potenza Sport, Bridgestone chose to use its reliable NanoPro Tech compound. This innovative compound formula enables Potenza Sport to balance and enhance its performance in wet and dry conditions. In addition, the increased compound stiffness enhances stability and handling while cornering.

 Potenza Sport tread pattern characteristics

Feature 3: Carcass

Another feature to look for is the design of the tyre's carcass. The carcass is the layers of rubber fabric piles that have chords running radially from bead to bead. This feature gives the tyre optimal strength in the sidewall area. High-performance tyres need to deliver quick handling and provide vehicle stability as it turns into a corner or even while driving in a straight line at full speed. For Potenza Sport, the carcass design is in a "sporty shape" to maximise stability, increase steering response, and support rolling resistance.

Feature 4: Reinforcement technology

The reinforcement technology forms the structural basis of the tyre. In a way, you can see it as the skeleton of the tyre. If you're looking to unlock your vehicle's potential with your tyre, it must be able to deliver. Reinforcement technologies enable a tyre to meet extreme conditions.

What gives Potenza Sport its extra boost of support are the steel belts that allow the tyre to react quicker to steering movements and increase the breaking strength. A hybrid crown reinforcement - a mix between nylon and aramid - maximises stability at speed.

Feature 5: Fitments

If you're looking to maximise a particular vehicle's performance, be it ultra-high-performance or prestige, you may also consider what the manufacturer recommends for a tyre to get the ideal performance.

General Recommendations

To make sure you get the best possible performance from your tyres, don’t forget to:

  • Check the tyre pressure
  • Get the wheels checked and balanced for irregular wear
  • eep up with tyre maintenance to ensure your tyres always perform their best

Find your high-performance tyre

Now that you know what defines a high-performance tyre, check out Bridgestone’s Potenza Sport.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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