Auto Bild tested the new Bridgestone Potenza Race tire, comparing it against the leaders of the semi-slick segment.
List of models tested:
- Bridgestone Potenza Race
- Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport R
- Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect
- Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
The German auto magazine Auto Bild Sportcars tested semi-slick sports tires from four brands, including the recently presented Bridgestone Potenza Race, which was chosen as the OE for the Lamborghini Huracan STO. The new model was rivaled by the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect, and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R bearing an N0 sign, which indicates that this tire was homologated for Porsche.
The AB experts noted that until recently there was only one semi-slick model available on the consumer market, and that was the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, which debuted back in 2003 as original equipment for the BMW M3 CSL. A little bit later, Porsche fitted its sports car 990 GT3 RS with the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, while the 997 GT3 was still fitted with the Michelins. After that, these two brands dominated in the semi-slick segment of the European market, which also offered such models as Bridgestone Potenza RE55S, Toyo Proxes R888, and Dunlop Direzza 03G. At the same time, however, all these tires were designed solely for warm dry weather, while now — at least, according to the tire makers — the new semi-slicks can be just as effective on wet pavement. To check this bold statement, a new test was conducted, in which the weight of dry points — considering the original bias of the models — was nevertheless increased, the dry/wet ratio being 70/30.
The debut of the Bridgestone model in the magazine’s test was quite successful, and the Potenza Race came first thanks to its «almost flawless dry handling response», which, according to the testers, puts this model really close to racetrack slicks. At the same time, the tire’s wet grip was not as impressive, and, in addition, the Bridgestone turned out to be prone to premature wear.
Next was the Pirelli model, which also demonstrated excellent dry performance, short dry braking distance, and a strong resistance to lateral skid. At the same time, when tested on wet pavement, this tire could no longer ensure maximum safety, and, besides, the Pirelli model was the most expensive one on test.
The Michelin tire, which came third, distinguished itself by showing the best wet performance, and, since it had high scores for handling response and steering feedback on dry track as well, this tire must be recognized to be the best-balanced on test. And, finally, last-placed was the Goodyear model, which demonstrated average dry traction, and lost a number of points on wet pavement due to a dangerously long braking distance.
«Who would have ever thought that the new model from Bridgestone would be able to outperform the acclaimed segment leader — Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2? We surely did not expect this — noted Guido Naumann of AB — The dry performance of the Potenza Race is phenomenal, and its grip and handling precision put it close to race car slicks. The same holds true for the Pirelli tire, while the Michelin had a lead over the competition on wet pavement, and Goodyear turned out to be a disappointment in all of the disciplines.»
1st place: Bridgestone / Potenza Race
- Near-perfect handling performance (almost on a level with race car slicks)
- High-precision steering response, excellent lateral stability, and well-balanced dry performance
- Insufficient grip on wet pavement
- High wear
2nd place: Pirelli / P Zero Trofeo R
- High-precision handling response, excellent grip, good feedback through the wheel, and exceptionally short dry braking distances
- Long braking distance and reduced grip on wet pavement
- High price
3rd place: Michelin / Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect
- Well-balanced performance
- Excellent results on wet pavement
- Good feedback
- Inferior to the competitors in terms on dry handling precision
4th place: Goodyear / Eagle F1 SuperSport R
- Relatively inexpensive
- Low wear
- Only average dry grip
- Poor grip and a dangerously long wet braking distance
- Conditionally recommended