At Bridgestone, the world’s number one tyre and rubber company¹, the global investments in Research & Development are the highest in the industry. And they have paid off. With its premium tyres tailored to the specific needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers and their vehicles, Bridgestone has already been elected as the tyre of choice for more than 45 fitments on over 15 models since the beginning of 2018 - and there are over 60 additional fitments to come by the end of the year.
Bridgestone has been working side by side with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to create tyre fitments fine-tuned to their specific demands. This approach has had an impressive positive response. In just the first half of 2018, more than 10 OEMs have requested over 45 fitments for more than 15 different models such as: Ferrari Portofino, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes A-Class and C-Class; Audi A1, A6, A7 and Q2; Volkswagen Touareg, T-ROC, Tiguan and Polo; Opel Insignia; Renault Mégane R.S.; BMW i3s and X3; and more.
The tailoring approach begins with understanding the specific needs of the OEMs and work in close partnership with them to fine-tune each element of the tyre to the vehicle itself. For example, Lexus and Mercedes wanted to offer their drivers security in the event of a blowout or punctured tyre. Bridgestone accommodated their request by incorporating Run-Flat Technology (RFT) into the Turanza T005. For the Ferrari Portofino, Bridgestone also integrated RFT in its Potenza S007 designed to blend high G cornering with high speed durability and match the Portofino’s sporty handling.
Audi and Opel were looking to minimise in-vehicle noise and increase comfort. Bridgestone achieved this by filling cavities with sound-absorbing materials and making various other adjustments, all part of an innovation with proprietary B-Silent Technology – available on the new Audi A6, A7 and Opel Insignia.
On demand of the OEMs, Bridgestone has delivered superior road-holding by creating advanced tread patterns, provided tighter cornering abilities by strengthening the side walls on tyre carcasses, or used proprietary NanoPro-Tech silica-mixing technology to minimise wear and extend tyre life. But in some cases, the requirements have demanded more than fine tuning. BMW, for example, needed a completely different tyre concept for their electric vehicles. Bridgestone responded with ‘ologic’ technology and an in-house tyre designed specifically for electric vehicles to optimise their performance while ensuring ultimate safety, which can be seen on the recently launched BMW i3s.
Going above and beyond complex demands
Porsche approached Bridgestone to produce a tyre solution that would achieve the dry handling targets for the new generation of its Cayenne range. Bridgestone created a unique sporty high silica compound that delivered on these unique targets for dry-weather performance, as well as on every other front. The 21 inch Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport tyre is also best-in-class for wet handling – an incredible achievement for a tyre designed within a sports context – ensuring drivers to keep control and stay safe even in wet conditions. And despite these high levels of overall performance, there was no trade-off on wear.
In this case, as in so many others, Bridgestone went above and beyond to meet its customer needs: ‘Our R&D team again delivered on outstanding quality,’ says Mark Tejedor, VP of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA. ‘The results we’ve seen with the 21 inch Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport for the Porsche Cayenne have been exceptional. In finding an innovative solution to Porsche’s complex set of demands, Bridgestone exceeded expectations. This tyre even set the lap record on Bridgestone’s European Proving Ground wet handling test track.’
Partnerships for the future
Partnerships and co-creation have resulted in more than tailored designs. ‘It’s enabled us to take a step in a new direction,’ says Mark Tejedor, VP of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA. ‘We are creating new tyres that are more efficient and better adapted to vehicles than ever before to keep drivers going, no matter what.’
¹ Based on 2016 tyre sales. Source: Tire Business 2017 – Global Tire Company Rankings.
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About Bridgestone EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Bridgestone EMEA, with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company. Bridgestone EMEA operates in more than 60 countries and has over 18200 employees. Across the region it has 14 tyre and tyre related plants, a major R&D Centre and a proving ground. Bridgestone EMEA’s premium tyres are sold in Europe, Middle East, Africa and globally.