Bridgestone Announces Development of “Large & Narrow Concept Tyre”

Mar, 05 2013

Bridgestone Announces Development of Large and Narrow Concept Tyre

To Achieve Superior Levels of Fuel Efficiency and Safety:

Bridgestone Corporation today announced the successful development of its new “Large & Narrow concept tyre”. The concept tyre represents a new category of tyre that is narrower and features a larger diameter than conventional tyres. It was created as a new environmental technology to enable tyres to help realise a sustainable society.

The Large & Narrow concept tyre technology helps vehicles achieve improved fuel efficiency, thereby contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions. Moreover, the air pressure within these tyres is higher than conventional tyres, and the design includes new pattern technology and compounds designed specifically for use in these tyres. The new brand of innovative technology employed in the Large & Narrow concept tyre enables it to realize significantly lower levels of rolling resistance and substantially higher levels of wet grip performance.

The Company is advancing development of this technology with plans to quickly put it into practical use. Possible applications include use of the technology in a new category of tyres to be incorporated into Bridgestone’s ECOPIA line of fuel-efficient tyres. This new tyre technology may be introduced as original equipment on next-generation automobiles or other vehicles.

The Large & Narrow concept tyre will be displayed at Bridgestone’s booth at the 83rd International Motor Show - Salon de l'auto de Genève to be held in Geneva starting March 5, 2013.

As the world’s leading tyre manufacturer, the Bridgestone Group is working towards 100% sustainable material usage and reduced CO2 emissions through improved fuel efficiency. We believe that this will make it will possible for us to continue providing world class tyre products that are also sustainable from both a business perspective and environmental perspective. Going forward, the Group will push ahead with the development of various technologies geared toward contributing to the realisation of a sustainable society.

Characteristics of the New Technology

1. Environmental Performance
By giving tyres a larger vertical diameter and increasing their internal air pressure, it is possible to greatly limit changes in the shape of the contact patch, the section of the tyre that comes in contact with the ground. Further, by optimising the structure of tyres created using this technology and using the most appropriate materials, we achieved a rolling resistance coefficient that is approximately 30% lower than conventional sized tyres (175/65R15). Further, making tyres narrower reduces air resistance, a major factor that needs to be considered when working to improve fuel efficiency. Due to these features, tyres that employ this new technology are able to boast levels of fuel efficiency exceeding those of the fuel-efficient tyres Bridgestone has already put on the market.

2. Safety
The narrower size of tyres made with this technology helps reduce the pressure placed on the tyres by water present on roads when driving during rain or under other wet conditions. In addition, the tyres have been specially designed to have a longer contact patch and higher contact pressure, which helps these tyres prevent water from accumulating between the tyre and the road. These features combined with the benefits of the tyres’ newly developed, specialised patterns and compounds enable the tires to achieve an improvement in wet grip performance of approximately 8% in comparison to conventional tires, thereby enhancing safety.

The development of the Large & Narrow concept tire is one of Bridgestone’s initiatives to achieve the goal of “contribute to globally agreed target (50% reduction in CO2 emissions)” defined for the Group’s efforts toward “reducing CO2 emissions” in its long-term environmental vision.