• Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 receives “very recommendable” in Germany’s most prestigious comparative tyre test
• Blizzak LM001 declared best performer in wet in 2014 ADAC winter tyre test
• Firestone Winterhawk 3 obtains “very recommendable” rating in ADAC test, even as a mid-market brand
The outstanding safety, reliability and performance of Bridgestone’s new-generation winter tyre range was given further recognition last week with the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer’s flagship winter passenger tyre receiving excellent reviews from the AllgemeinerDeutscherAutomobil-Club (ADAC). From a comprehensive line-up of competitor tyres that were put to the test by the industry-leading independent reviewer, the Blizzak LM001 (195/65 R15 T) lamellen winter tyre was rated second overall, outperforming the rest of the field and earning the best grade in the wet to receive the highly sought-after “very recommendable” rating. The same test results also place the Firestone Winterhawk 3 (175/65 R14 T) in the top 4 in its category, an impressive result especially for a mid-market tyre brand. Both results are an emphatic confirmation of the success of Bridgestone’s comprehensive winter tyre development programme and a sign of more to come.
Changing conditions and consumer demand
Winter conditions are not what they used to be. In recent years, winters have become increasingly wetter and greener, requiring a different approach to winter tyre development. Motorists, in turn, need tyres that can cope with a wider range of wintery conditions: snow, slush, black and wet roads, frost, etc… In other words, what they need is a very balanced and “uncompromising” winter tyre that provides safety and performance in all conditions.
This is exactly the development direction that Bridgestone has taken, resulting in these excellent results in which Bridgestone’s flagship winter tyre is quoted as an “overall balanced product with excellent performances in wet conditions.”
“Very recommendable” all round
Released on 25 September, ADAC’s 2014 comparative winter tyre test results place Bridgestone’s new-generation offering clearly at the top of the field in key areas of winter performance. The flagship Blizzak LM001 lamellen tyre was found to be a “very balanced winter tyre with best grade on wet and good performance on dry and snow” and received a very high grade of 2.2 overall. The results come hard on the heels of other top performances from the same tyre which was awarded the prestigious “TÜV Performance mark” by TÜV SÜD, one of the world’s leading technical service organisations which is also based in Germany.
One of the real surprise performers in the ADAC 2014 winter tyre test, however, came in the form of the Firestone Winterhawk 3, also manufactured by Bridgestone. This newcomer to the field earned an overall grade of 2.3, placing it well ahead of several premium brands and earning it the coveted rating of “very recommendable”. Declared a “very balanced winter tyre with best grade on ice and good performance on wet with less fuel consumption”, the Firestone Winterhawk 3 came in fourth overall for winter performance and second best for fuel consumption. According to ADAC’s independent experts, “the Winterhawk 3 also demonstrates good grip combined with fuel savings.” The Firestone Winterhawk 3 was also the least expensive of the top 4 tyres tested.
“These results confirm Bridgestone’s in-house test conclusions that the Blizzak LM001 sets new safety standards for winter driving, with high-level balanced performance in all conditions,” says Jake Rønsholt, Managing Director of the Consumer Business Unit at Bridgestone Europe.
This is the 3rd time in a row that a Bridgestone winter tyre has obtained a “very recommendable” rating from ADAC following the LM80 SUV tyre in 2012, the Blizzak LM32s in 2013 and now the Blizzak LM001, completing the stream of winning test results for the Bridgestone winter range.
The undeniable advantage of winter tyres
Both internal and independent testing overwhelmingly shows that winter tyres considerably outperform summer tyres in low temperature conditions in virtually all areas of tyre performance. Winter tyres are constructed from specially designed compounds and tread patterns which ensure higher levels of grip, more reliable braking response and increased manoeuvrability and cornering stability, not only in full winter conditions such as snow and ice but also on wet and dry surfaces. In fact, comprehensive testing at Bridgestone’s purpose built Swedish Proving Ground reveal that a car’s braking distance on conventional summer tyres is more than twice as long compared with Bridgestone’s latest winter tyres.
So in order to ensure maximum safety on the roads as well as increase the lifespan of your tyres, it is important to switch to winter tyres well in time. A good rule of thumb is to change to winter tyres when you change your clocks to winter time. Once winter really kicks in, the demand for winter tyres goes up considerably, resulting in long waiting times at tyre dealers. To avoid disappointment, Bridgestone recommends that drivers place their orders and book an appointment to change from summer to winter tyres now.
Despite the increasing popularity of “all-season” tyres, even the best tyres in this category manage to achieve only “limited recommendable” in ADAC’s winter tyre tests with the majority being “not recommendable”. Generally speaking, such tyres show clear weaknesses in dry conditions in summer and delivery only limited performance on snow. ADAC clearly recommends using a combination of summer and winter tyres and always in accordance with local conditions.
A comprehensive commitment to safety
The impressive test results booked by Bridgestone’s latest generation winter tyres is further confirmation of the new standards the Blizzak range is setting in the domain of winter performance. It is also part of an emphatic declaration of intent on the part of Bridgestone to place winter tyres on equal footing with summer tyres in the brand’s overall development strategy. Bridgestone has invested heavily in winter tyre development over the past 10 years, and now boasts the most state-of-the-art testing equipment at its Swedish Proving Ground in Vidsel, 100km from the Arctic circle. Enabling even more accurate and objective testing of tyre handling and performance in a full range of conditions, Bridgestone’s engineers have succeeded in developing a full range of tyres that are designed, developed, tested and produced in Europe for the European market.
As a result, Bridgestone’s commitment to delivering the highest possible levels of safety not only covers different vehicle types, applications and driving styles but also the full spectrum of road and climate conditions. And with the seasons becoming more and more extreme and more and more unpredictable, Bridgestone is taking up the challenge to develop new technologies that respond to the changing demands of today’s drivers. To give them the confidence and peace of mind they need to enjoy the ride, even in the most extreme winter conditions.