Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tire Review - Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Pole Position


Cars tested with these tires:
- Volvo S40 mk2 2.0D 136ps, 340Nm
- Honda S2000 AP1 Mk2 06/2004 240ps

Tests performed:
- I went through 1 set's of these in each car.

Dry grip:
- It's a brilliant tire. The compound has an excellent grip. It will grip better while hot, but the cold grip is still better than most of it's competitors hot.
- The dry cornering abilities have improved quite a lot since the S02, and the standard 050 for that matter. The inside of the 050A has a100% contact patch band half the width of the central one. The 050 lacks that and it shows while cornering.
- This tire will EXCEL in an aggressive camber setup car ;)
- Probably one on the best BS I've had.

Wet grip:
- IMPRESSIVE grip. I remember the S2000 running the rear tires almost slick, ans still corner fast with a LOT of grip and confidence. The compound clearly works right "off the line".
- The wet cornering is do die for.

Aquaplaning resistance:
- Good. Not brilliant, but still very good....if it's new. Drive-it half life and you'll end up in a wall.
- It's not a tire to run fast through a large water pool. But it does handle occasional small pools every now and then. Clearly a tire fit for a car WITH LSD, thought It's a tire I would buy in the end of summer, making it live through the winter with enough tread... and then use it to the metal frame during summer.

Progressiveness:
- Good. The let go in both wet or dry is progressive and gives good warning.

Integrity maintenance:
- It's brilliant. You can abuse it all you want and it will wear evenly and with all it's parts.
- After a good mountain drive, the tire will smell like burning candles, but it will grip better than even and will not show grease at all.

Compound:
- It's a soft rubber compound with some silica and carbon in it. The wear resistance was very improved from the S02 without loosing grip. By far the best compound from BS.

Longevity:
- Brilliant. The best grip with the best wear resistance money can buy. The only problem would be it's price. I've switched from Bridgestone to Falken and Toyo because of the price. I can use a set of Bridgestones for 30.000Km, or spend the same amount of money in 2 sets of Falken or Toyo and do 20.000Km each. That's the ONLY reason.

Coherence:
- The tires side-walls are very good. The tire can go through hard bends keeping the contact patch all the way through.
- It handles heavy cornering under acceleration better than the S02.
- The compound is also very stable and even if you decide to run a mountain pass the entire day long, they will wear, they will get hot, but no grease will sweat out of it... it will grip all the way up the temperature range.

Balance:
-  Not a single balance problem. The tires went through it's life with no maintenance at all. Very well balanced from factory.

Load Behaviour:
- Spectacular load behaviour. The "PolePosition" compound makes quite a difference.
- The tire will endure heavy and powerful cars without a sweat.