PHOENIX—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is adding to its growing list of high-technology tires. On Feb. 17, BFS introduced three more lines of tires with the company's UNI-T AQ (Ultimate Tire TechnologyÃAdvanced Quality), which maintains the tire's wet performance as they wear.
The new lines, to be available this spring, include two light truck tires—the Dueler H/L and Dueler H/P—and a passenger touring tire, the Turanza Revo.
The S-rated Dueler H/L (for highway luxury) will be released April 1 in 13 70- and 75-series P-metric sizes, to fit 15- and 16-inch rims. Eight additional sizes are due out later this summer, including a 17-inch size (P265/70R17 113S) and two LT-metric sizes.
Designed to deliver a comfortable, quiet ride, the Dueler H/L carries a UTQG rating of 460 AB (P-metric sizes only) and a 60,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.
The H-rated Dueler H/P (for highway performance) will debut this spring in 10 P-metric sizes: nine 60- and 70-series sizes for 16-, 17- and 18-inch rims, and one 55-series size—P275/55R17 107H. It carries a UTQG rating of 300 AA.
The Turanza Revo will be available in March in H-, V- and Z-rated versions. The H-rated version, with a UTQG rating of 300 AA-A, will be available in 13 P-metric sizes with aspect ratios from 55 to 70 to fit 14-, 15- and 16-inch rims. It has a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.
The V-rated version, in six 55- to 70-series P-metric sizes for 15-and 16-inch rims, carries a UTQG rating of 260 AA-A and a 40,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.
The Turanza Z Revo will be offered in eight 45-, 55- and 60-series sizes for 15-, 16- and 17-inch rims. It carries a UTQG rating of 240 AA-A and a 40,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.
Bridgestone initially introduced UNI-T AQ tire technology last May in the Z-rated Potenza S-02 Pole Position tire for high-performance cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche Boxster.
The AQ tires feature an extended performance compound (EPC) rubber that Bridgestone said is specially formulated to resist hardening with age and wear.
UNI-T AQ tires also have dual layer tread construction in which rubber with higher grip properties is layered under a top layer of rubber. As the tire wears, the higher grip rubber is exposed to minimize the decline in performance.
Dealers and reporters were invited to comparison tests of the new tires at the Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, driving BMW 528i sedans shod with new and used (about 30,000 miles of simulated wear) Turanza Revo tires.
According to BFS, in wet surface braking tests at 50 mph, a 50-percent worn Turanza H Revo with UNI-T AQ stopped an average of about 14 feet shorter than a conventional Bridgestone touring tire.
Attendees also drove Nissan Pathfinders equipped with new and worn Dueler H/L tires, as well as one equipped with the tire's predecessor, the Dueler H/T.
``The UNI-T AQ keeps wet performance up, while the tread wears down,'' said Shu Ishibashi, vice president of consumer tire marketing. He added that AQ products will ``cater to more brand-conscious customers.''
BFS Advertising Manager Paul Napoli said the new AQ tires will be advertised this spring in print media, on cable TV, on the Internet and on ABC-TV coverage of auto racing.