Bridgestone’s new Potenza RE-71RS tyre has gone on sale in Australia, positioned as an entry-level motorsport offering within Bridgestone’s high performance range.
Stepping in for the previous RE-71R, the new RE71-RS fills the range between the high performance road-focussed RE003 and S007A, and the track-only RE-11S.
According to Bridgestone, the RE-71RS delivers a five per cent increase in wear life over the tyre it replaces, while also boasting lower noise during road use.
Among key features of the new range is a tread pattern design with an 11 per cent larger contact patch, thanks to the use of a high-grip polymer compound for enhanced grip in dry conditions.
A slick outer shoulder provides maximum contact, while wet weather performance is enhanced via two deep grooves for water drainage.
Bridgestone says in its own internal benchmarking, the RE-71RS returned an average lap time improvement of up to 1.1 per cent, with a peak lap time improvement up to two per cent – as fitted to a modified Subaru BRZ with a Bridgestone Motorsport test driver at the helm.
To validate its wear improvement claims, Bridgestone conducted 8000km of durability testing with tyre rotations at every 2000km.
"Semi-slick tyres are often a misunderstood segment of the market, with many enthusiasts mistaking them as only for track use," Bridgestone sales director Heath Barclay said in a statement.
"In the development of the Potenza RE-71RS, Bridgestone was careful to ensure it delivered the performance track days demand, while also being suitable for day-to-day driving," Mr Barclay said.
"The RE-71RS removes the need to have separate tyres for track use as well as a more comfortable set for the rest of the week. Track day enthusiasts will be drawn to the performance of the RE-71RS, while the improvements to grip levels, wear life and everyday noise levels will make it a prime choice for this segment of the market due to its versatility."
In Australia, the Potenza RE-71RS will be available in 27 sizes. Fitments range from 15 to 21-inches, with 15- and 16-inch sizes carrying a V speed rating, and 17-inch and above wearing a W speed rating.
The range opens with a 185/55 R15 – the widest size available is a 295/30 R18 – while sizes up to 285/35 R19 and 285/35 R20 sit at the top of the range. From launch Bridgestone says it has all sizes warehoused locally.