New All-Season Tires from Bridgestone Provide Performance Fun Year-Round
It’s no secret to most automotive enthusiasts that the term “all-season tires” only goes so far. Obviously, tires with a compound specific for driving in winter conditions are going to do better in that particular season than a catch-all sort of tire. What winter tires generally don’t do, though, is provide sporty grip for spirited driving. So, we automotive enthusiasts are typically left with a couple of sets of tires that we switch come wintertime. However, the new Bridgestone Potenza Sport AS is further blurring the line between performance-ready and winter-ready tires.
Could these tires be the ultimate solution for year-round fun?
Bridgestone brought me out to Atlanta Motorsports Park for a day of test driving on the entire lineup of Bridgestone Potenza tires. Ultimately, the event was to debut the new Potenza Sport AS tires and give us time to experience them in wet conditions. So, let’s dive into what exactly these tires are and what makes them stand out in terms of true all-season performance.
Bridgestone’s PeakLife polymer is a synthetic rubber developed specifically for responsive handling without compromising lifespan. In addition, the tire’s tread pattern and slots serve to evacuate water and provide grip in wet conditions. These ultra-high performance all-season tires also sport a Y speed rating (up to 186 miles per hour) and ultra-thin siping to increase bite and traction in winter conditions.
Tired of the tech jargon? Me too! Let’s talk about what it’s like to drive on the new Potenza Sport AS tires.
Wet performance was nothing short of impressive
I certainly don’t claim to be any sort of driving or tire expert. However, I have more than enough experience driving in conditions that are outside tire manufacturer’s recommendations. Having spent time in blizzards with summer tires and on track with winter tires, I can certainly tell you what you don’t want to experience.
Bridgestone set up a wet autocross-style cone course with a pair of Subaru BRZs sporting the new Potenza Sport AS tires. Certain portions of the track had sprinklers providing substantial standing water through corners. After dozens of laps trying to feel out the limit of the tires where the car would start to understeer, I can honestly say I was super impressed with their performance. It got to the point where I was actively trying to get the car to understeer, and it took some effort. Like I stated above, I’m not a pro racing driver by any means, so take that with a grain of salt.
What I can’t attest to, though, is the winter performance of the new Potenza Sport AS tire. That’s a bit unfortunate, considering it’s a pretty substantial selling point of the tire. I’d really love to get a chance to put these tires to the test again in cold conditions. I just moved to southern California. So, even buying a set won’t likely afford me that opportunity.
How much do these performance all-season tires cost?
Speaking of buying, as you might expect, the evolution of technology doesn’t exactly come cheap. The Potenza Sport AS comes in 48 sizes currently, with 28 more to come in 2024. Sizes range from 16 to 22 inches in diameter, with pricing starting around $200 per tire on the low end. So, they’re certainly not the most affordable all-season tires on the market, but they don’t exactly break the bank. For the performance advantages, the price seems pretty reasonable.
Ultimately, these tires offer a sort of “set it and forget it” approach for more performance-oriented cars like Mustangs, BRZs, the Toyota GR86, etc. They offer a grippy and sporty driving experience year-round for those who like to get a little spirited in the corners in climates that see lower temps without a massive amount of annual snowfall. If that applies to you, they’re worth checking out!