Driving On Cloud 9

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Bridgestone has announced it’s latest tyre for the Turanza range. The name, came about when Bridgestone sought to produce a tyre which combines the handling qualities of the established Potenza range of high performance tyres, with the comfort and serenity sought by car owners.

The Turanza range has been around for many years, which has seen several products being introduced for original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket segments. The previous addition to the Turanza range, the GR-100, introduced the interesting concept of integrating a helmholtz resonator pattern into the tyre tread design which decreased road noise considerably.

The Turanza range is focused on drivers who seek comfort and peace during their commute, be it city driving or long highway commutes. Based on research, Bridgestone identified that sudden braking and wet weather performance were at the top of driver concerns list.

Based on this data, the engineers of the Turanza T005A worked to improve the tyre on two key areas: dry and wet handling, as well as wet grip performance. The T005A’s new contact design evenly spreads the tyre’s load across the contact patch. The tyre tread blocks feature edge chamfering – which translates into less ambiguous handling and Bridgestone’s proprietary NanoPro-Tech polymer compound, which is geared for more grip without sacrificing fuel economy.

We were given the chance to experience the new tyres on Bridgestone’s Proving ground in Thailand. FIrst off, the standard wet braking test, which was conducted by the instructors, proved that the new tyre was more capable at bringing the Camry to a halt quicker than the older GR-100.

During the product presentation, Toru Ubukata, Director of Bridgestone Asia Pacific Technical Centre, said: “Roads in Asia are rougher and damping becomes the focus of the tires, compared to using a softer sidewall.“ We were given a ride across various rough surfaces in two similar Camrys, with us being shown the GR-100 comfort and noise level to get an idea of the baseline performance. Next, we set off in another Camry that was equipped with the T005A. The new tyres proved that despite having a stiffer sidewall, it is more capable of damping the road surface noise and took the the jarring edge off bumps better than the GR-100.

 

Getting behind the wheel, we could put the cars through a high-speed lane change and a spirited gymkhana-like style circuit. Driving the T005A after the GR-100, we immediately could feel that the T005A gave the car a better composure through high speed lane changes as well as high speed cornering. Even after charging into the corner, the tyre loads up nicely without feeling the “tread squirm”, which can be unsettling for everyday drivers.

The wet weather demonstration was on a curvy track with standing water, being the passenger in the car, we could feel that the new T005A breaking away progressively, allowing the driver plenty of feedback, which aids in correcting the understeer. Charging into a wet corner at dizzying 100+km/h speeds isn’t something which we recommend, but it’s proof that the tyre is definitely capable of handling a soaking very well.

One of the benefits of having a stiffer sidewall in the Turanza T005A over the GR-100 was on the mini gymkhana circuit, which featured emergency braking, slaloms and a quick lane change followed by emergency braking. While the GR-100 is still a capable tyre, the T005A outshines it by offering a crispier steering feedback and less nervous handling. The car was more controllable under heavy braking with the ABS kicking less aggressively as we ground to a panicked stop.

With the Turanza T005A targeted at premium sedans, such as models from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, it has proven its mettle on the test track to match the performance of the luxury sedans.

Replacing the GR-100 for both selected OE and aftermarket, the Turanza T005A has been selected as original fitment by premium car brands, and it will be launched in selected markets across the Asia Pacific Region in 2018. The Turanza T005A will be available in 36 sizes, from 15 to 19 inches. For more information, please visit www.bridgestone.com.sg.

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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