TOKYO-Bridgestone Corp. unveiled the first product to incorporate its recent technological innovations with the Jan. 10 launch of the Bridgestone B70 radial passenger tire in Japan. The Tokyo-based company will release on Feb. 15 its second new tire of the year-the Regno ER50 luxury, performance model.
Both tires, built specifically for the Japanese market, incorporate the three technological improvements the company announced in November:
A comprehensive, computer-aided design method the company said optimizes multiple performance parameters;
A new bead that allows for more accurate mounting and straight-line driving stability; and
A new tread compound incorporating long-chained carbon structures to improve wear while reducing rolling resistance.
Those innovations will be incorporated in a high-performance tire to hit the U.S. market this spring, as well, the company said. Details about the U.S. tire are still unavailable, according to a spokesman for Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.
But the B70 and ER50 are signs of things to come in U.S. tires, the BFS spokesman said.
``As we incorporate (the technology) into more and more products, we are raising the overall level of performance...of our products,'' he said. ``And that will raise the brand reputation in time.''
The B70 is a ``summer-type'' passenger tire series designed for the Japanese ``family car'' that features enhanced wet traction, cornering ability, stability and quietness, the company said. ``Summer-type'' is a term used in Japan to suggest a tire well suited to the country's hot and rainy summer season, the spokesman said.
The ER50, a premium tire designed for luxury performance automobiles, delivers sporty handling and transmits high engine power for heavier vehicles while maintaining the ```stately'' feel of a luxury car, Bridgestone said.
``I think this illustrates very well how broad the applications of the new technologies is,'' the BFS spokesman said. ``We can help enhance both the top-of-the-line and the mass-market tire.''
With the new tire design method, the B70 is 17-percent quieter at 35 mph and 55-percent quieter at 60 mph compared to conventional tires, Bridgestone said.
Contour optimization through the new design method also aided maneuverability and ride comfort in the ER50, the company said.
Bridgestone also said its tests indicate the use of its new long-chained carbon black material, key-hole sipes and optimized tire contour reduce wet braking distance from 50 mph by approximately 15 feet for the BR70.