The award, promoted by NeumÁticos y MecÁnica RÁpida magazine, is now in its seventh year. Winners are selected by a group of more than 50 independent professionals, ranging from tyre workshop technicians to distributors, representatives of the media and members of several associations.
Bridgestone reports that it conducted extensive testing in nine countries, including Spain, in the course of producing the R249. The manufacturer designed the product based on user requirements identified in a long-term study covering almost 1,000 European fleets.
The results showed that reliability and mileage were most important to national and international operators, followed by traction/grip, fuel efficiency and comfort. With a trend towards increasing fleet sizes, cost per km was also increasing important. For the vehicle manufacturers, there is an added focus on safety and, under the pressure of EU legislation on environmental factors.
According to Bridgestone, the R249 tyre owes its economic performance to a combination of extended wear life and retreadability. High standards of safety derive from industry-leading wet handling, including excellent grip and stability under acceleration, braking and cornering.
Improved driver comfort is achieved by minimising the tendency for irregular wear, due mainly to a crown radius and footprint shape that enhance pressure distribution. Low road noise also represents an environmental benefit, as does the fact that longer life reduces the volume of material requiring end-of-life disposal.
The R249 is currently available in 315/80R22.5, 315/70R22.5 and 295/80R22.5. Further additions to the range are under final development, and are expected to be introduced in the next 18 months.