Bridgestone Americas continually seeks to improve its winter tires and the new Blizzak WS80 does just that, the tiremaker said.
“The Blizzak WS80 stops shorter, handles better and grips the road more than our best-selling WS70 tire, which the WS80 replaces,” said Anant Gandhi, product manager for the Blizzak line.
Bridgestone showcased the newest addition to its Blizzak line last week in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Those in attendance had the chance to test the WS80 against competitor winter tires both on an ice rink and at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School.
The Blizzak WS80 is the first winter tire by Bridgestone to feature a multi-cell compound with a hydrophilic coating and bite particles. The hydrophilic coating attracts water, drawing it away from the road to combat ice slippage, Gandhi said. Additionally the microscopic bit particles act as studs that deliver road grip and improve braking on ice. Eventually the tiremaker hopes to include the hydrophilic coating on all the Blizzak line, Gandhi said.
Bridgestone also incorporated 3D zig-zag sipes through the WS80 to enhance stability and add block stiffness control. This design helps the tire when maneuvering.
“When consumers switch from a set of summer tires or a set of all-season tires to winter tires they lose some of that crisp handing. We’re trying to minimize that loss by adding some block stiffness so the trade off isn’t that much,” Gandhi said.
The tire also features a micro-texture pattern that can improve immediate winter performance and an optimized contact patch.
A new tread pattern for the WS80 also incorporated 20% more block edges allowing for more snow sheering force, Gandhi noted. The increase in block edges equates to roughly 10% improvement in snow traction, he said.
The WS80, which will be available in July, comes in 48 sizes from 15” to 18” rim diameters and is offered in both T and H speed ratings.
The tire should last a consumer three to four seasons depending on the distance driven, Gandhi said.
Bridgestone will advertise the WS80 in next year’s Conquer the Cold Campaign. The company debuted the campaign this year in an effort to educate consumers of the importance of winter tires.