The tyre that is bringing an iconic brand back into the limelight was the centre of attention itself during a high-powered 2-week launch event in Valencia, Spain. The Firestone Destination HP, the brand’s newest flagship tyre for SUVs, was put through to the test by about 450 independent tyre experts, members of the media and tyre dealers from 2 to 13 June during a series of dynamic product presentations and test drive activities. And as initial reports from the ground suggest, this tyre really is a game-changer for the 100-year-old brand. Firestone is part of the Bridgestone Group, the world’s number one tyre and rubber manufacturer in the world.
Setting the Scene
The Espai Rambleta building on the outskirts of Valencia offers a suitably dynamic backdrop to this world-class launch event, serving as the main venue of the opening night and the start and finish of the road book driving activities. The real action, however, takes place out on the roads and out on the track as participants get a first-hand impression of what the Firestone Destination HP can really do. And to that end, a fleet of Kia Sportage have been shod with Firestone’s latest offering and equipped with an iPad with 3G connection with which to rate performance throughout the day and – of course – navigate through the challenging course.
Out on the Road
The Road Book Challenge takes in three main checkpoints designed to build up to the ultimate test and show off all facets of the tyre’s performance. The High Cube works up participants’ appetites – both literally and figuratively – with a detailed presentation of the full Firestone range and the history of the brand over snacks and light refreshments. At La Punta, participants get their first taste of one of the Firestone Destination HP’s main advantages through a series of fun driving challenges including the Firestone Heritage Tour give participants the chance to score points for their team en route to the main prize. The real test begins, however, at the Ricardo Torme Circuit where drivers get a feel for the other advantages for which the Destination HP is rapidly gaining fame: reliability and performance. Driving pairs namely take turns evaluating the tyre’s handling characteristics in wet, dry and unstable surface conditions.
A New Kind of Tyre
The Firestone Destination HP openly targets Firestone’s core customers who are young at heart and who actively aspire to the freedom of driving. As such, it capitalises on their growing attraction to urban crossovers and the carefree SUV way of life, offering hassle-free reliability and true sports performance in a wide variety of conditions. Best of all, the Destination HP offers great mileage, which means it can keep on delivering where others fall short.
The Destination HP achieves up to 35% higher mileage(1) without reducing safety and backs up this positioning with a highly competitive technical package. The sporty tread pattern is designed for giving maximum control and traction in cornering. The tyre also achieves top results in wet grip with best-in-segment results on the Euro Tyre Label B grading for wet grip across all five top-selling Destination HP sizes introduced in 2014.
An Iconic Brand
With a history spanning over 100 years, the US brand has succeeded in becoming a trusted brand in Europe as well, constructing one if its first plants – in Spain as it turns out – in 1931. Since then it has enjoyed a strong presence on the continent, forging a tradition of offering quality and reliability at a reasonable price. With the launch of the new Destination HP tyre for SUVs, Firestone is reaffirming that place on the European market and reasserting its core philosophy: giving everyone the freedom to drive and discover.
For more information about the Firestone brand and its new flagship SUV tyre, please visit: http://firestone.eu/en/car/destination.
(1) Internal testing carried out at the Bridgestone European Proving Ground. Size: 215/65R16 H, Vehicle: Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI 4x4.