Published on April 7, 2014

Bridgestone takes wraps off new DriveGuard run-flat

(Tire Business photos by Jennifer Karpus)
A driver puts the new Bridgestone DriveGuard run-flat tire through its paces at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin, Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas (April 7, 2014) — Bridgestone Americas launched its DriveGuard line of run-flat tires April 3 at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin during a ride-and-drive event for dealers and journalists.

DriveGuard tires are the first full line of mass-market replacement tires available for coupes, sedans and wagons with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) but not originally equipped with run-flat tires, according to Bridgestone. The DriveGuard features run-flat technology that gives drivers the ability to continue driving up to 50 miles at maximum speeds of 50 miles per hour if a puncture or loss of pressure should occur.

The new tires, available in the U.S. and Canada, come with a 50,000- to 60,000-mile treadwear warranty and are available in 32 sizes in 15- to 19-inch rim diameters and 35 to 65 series.

“There’s never a good time for a flat tire,” said Robert Saul, Bridgestone Americas’ senior product manager. “With DriveGuard tires, even if a flat tire strikes, drivers are empowered to keep moving.”

DriveGuard

He said with DriveGuard, a consumer can “avoid the immediate burden and circumstances” and choose when and where they want to have their tire replaced or repaired. While this should be appealing to all drivers, he added that safety-minded motorists will especially benefit from the technology in the DriveGuard.

“Whether you’re on the side of the road, en route to a business meeting or in your child’s school parking lot — if you’re waiting on help to arrive, then you’re stuck,” Mr. Saul said.

“With DriveGuard tires, drivers can continue their journey because there is no reason to stop or wait.”

Similar run-flat technology has been available as original equipment on select premium vehicles. Bridgestone claimed that unlike some earlier generations of run-flats, DriveGuard tires deliver a quiet, comfortable ride and the “confident handling” of a premium touring tire.

Bridgestone said it will target-market the DriveGuard to different demographics, including unprecedented programming aimed at a “mega-trending female buyer” such as during the TV shows “The Bachelor” and “Nashville.”

The tire maker announced that Julie Bowen, of “Modern Family” TV show fame, will be the celebrity spokesperson for DriveGuard.

Features of DriveGuard include:

  • Cooling fin: When air moves across the cooling fins, they disrupt the air-flow and disperse heat, thus cooling down the tire;
  • Turanza Serenity Plus tread rubber: The high-silica compound used on Bridgestone’s Turanza Serenity Plus improves traction in wet conditions and provides better wear, the company said; and
  • Sidewall-reinforced rubber: The tire uses Bridgestone’s Nanopro-Tech rubber compound that reduces friction between carbon molecules, reducing heat generation.

At the ride-and-drive event Bridgestone also launched its Dueler H/L Alenza Plus.

Bridgestone also offers run-flat versions of its Ecopia low rolling-resistance-optimized tire line and Potenza performance and Turanza touring tires as OE fitments. 

 

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