Bridgestone, Tire Rack Present Winter Driving Experience - Tire Review Magazine

Bridgestone, Tire Rack Present Winter Driving Experience

Participants test the all-season OE tires on the Toyota Camry against the Blizzak WS80 tires on another Camry.

In preparation for the winter, Bridgestone Americas and Tire Rack teamed up to present the Winter Driving Experience in South Bend, Ind., Sept. 29- Oct. 1.

Trade media were invited to the event at the University of Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena to test drive vehicles fitted with Bridgestone’s Blizzak DM-V2 and Blizzak WS80 tires on the ice.

Bridgestone launched the DM-V2 this July as its newest winter tire for CUVs, SUVs and pickup trucks.

The WS80 for sedans, coupes and minivans launched in 2014 as a replacement for Bridgestone’s popular Blizzak WS70 with the tiremaker’s newest winter tire technology.

“Winter is not a condition. It is a season with a variety of conditions,” said Woody Rogers, product information specialist for Tire Rack.

Bridgestone’s winter tire performance on ice, heavy snow, patchy snow and packed snow all depends on three key areas: tread depth, tread pattern and tread compound, said Rogers.

The new generation of Blizzak tires includes a large shoulder block for precision cornering and handling. The tread design features a Multi-Z pattern to improve snow and ice traction by improving drainage and increasing the biting edges.

Participants drive at full speed in a Toyota Camry fitted with Blizzak WS80 tires before performing a hard braking stop.

The tire’s compound is the biggest evolution of the Blizzak line. The DM-V2 and WS80 are both made of a next-generation multi-cell compound that disperses water from the contact patch for grip on slippery surfaces, said Justin Hayes, product manager for Bridgestone Americas. This compound is hydrophilically augmented (it is attracted to water), allowing the compound to remove water form the surface of the ice for better grip, Hayes said.

Like your winter boots help you grip the ice to walk, tires are the footwear of your vehicle, said Matt Edmonds vice president of Tire Rack.

To put the tires’ performance to the test, trade media drove a Toyota Camry with OE tires against a Camry fitted with the WS80 tires in an exercise where participants floored the vehicle and performed a hard braking stop to test the tires’ traction.

In another exercise, participants drove a Toyota RAV4 with OE tires against the same vehicle fitted with Blizzak DM-V2 tires and rode along in a cornering exercise. The same go and stop exercise was also performed in the SUV vehicles.


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