Under early development, the Potenza Race street-to-track tire was developed and manufactured in Europe.
The replacement was offered about a year after the OE fitment was certified.
"We accelerated development because we already had the pattern and compounding," McKenney said. "You spend enough time taking a digital twin of a tire, and that accelerates the process."
The Potenza Race replacement is available in 17- to 20-inch rim sizes for a range of street-legal supercars. Potenza Race is designed to support Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Lamborghini, BMW M, Audi RS, Mercedes AMG and others.
"The Bridgestone Potenza Race tire is the culmination of years—even decades—of experience in high performance," said Emilio Tiberio, Bridgestone EMIA's chief operations and chief technical officer. "We created this tire for motorsports lovers, speaking to them and learning what they demand from their dream track tire, and we're thrilled to launch our first-ever semi-slick tire for the replacement market offering unrivaled performance to all track enthusiasts."
The "digital twin" that McKenney cited greatly assisted the time-to-market for these niche tires.
Bridgestone employed virtual reality in the development process, bringing 30 tire specifications down to five or six iterations.
The Potenza Race tire development was made shorter, yes, but more sustainable as well thanks to VR.
The process used 33 percent fewer raw materials, with 6,000 fewer miles of tires tested.
"It is getting much, much better," McKenney said of VR production and development. "In doing some VR testing with rolling resistance when I worked in Akron ... the computational power was not quite there.
"Cornering and other analytics were kind of in their infancy. But I am very confident now that when it comes to characterizations—rolling resistance, stopping distance and cornering force—if the model is better than option a, b or c, that is how it will be in the real world."
As McKenney explains it, this latest addition to the Potenza tire lineup is the result of Bridgestone's "long history and expertise in motorsports and high performance."
The Potenza lineup began with Bridgestone's tire compounding expertise in the elite Formula One racing series.
The world's second-largest tire manufacturer supplied tires to Formula One from 1997 to 2010—including six titles for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
"The tire has been designed based on the results of extensive market research led by Bridgestone, focusing on what circuit drivers expect from an ultra-high performance tire," McKenney said.