A popular skiing destination, Steamboat Springs, Colo., is known for its ideal wintry weather. In fact, the city has a registered trademark for the phrase “Ski Town, U.S.A.”
But wintry was not in the weather forecast for Bridgestone’s Blizzak DM-V2 launch, which would’ve occurred at Bridgestone’s Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs had the unseasonably warm weather not melted Bridgestone’s well-groomed winter driving course.
The driving experience may have been cancelled, but Bridgestone’s Anant Gandhi was still able to give Tire Review a first look into what’s new with DM-V2, and how the company is “setting the benchmark for the industry as a whole.”
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 is designed specifically for CUVs, SUVs and pickup trucks. The newest Blizzak winter tire replaces DM-V1 and will be available for dealers to order in the first quarter of this year, with deliveries starting July 1.
For this next generation studless winter tire, Bridgestone engineers focused on improvements in multiple aspects of winter driving: braking and handling on ice, wet handling, snow and slush handling, and dry handling. Bridgestone’s Gandhi said that the Bridgestone team was especially focused on improving ice braking and handling.
“DM-V2 features Blizzak’s latest multi-cell tread compound, meaning that at a microscopic level the tread is porous,” said Gandhi. “Those pores act like a sponge and pull the thin level of water on top of the ice,” increasing traction on ice.
Gandhi noted that Bridgestone also incorporated a hydrophilic coating – originally introduced on the Blizzak WS80 – which acts like a magnet to pull more water into the cells and away from the contact patch. These two features last the first 55% of the tire’s tread life, he noted.
The tire’s tread pattern also features 15% more biting edges than its predecessor, increasing its snow-shearing force.
Another feature incorporated on the Blizzak DM-V2 is a micro texture pattern. “With previous generation winter or multi-cell type tires, the tires required a break-in period before they reached a peak level of performance,” said Gandhi. This micro texture pattern provides drivers with immediate high-level winter performance. The micro texture pattern will wear away, according to Gandhi, but when it does, the tire relies on the above-mentioned features for continuing performance.
The Blizzak DM-V2 tire, which is produced in Japan, will be priced comparably to its predecessor. The winter tire has earned the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol. Bridgestone expects to have 50 sizes – from 15- to 22-inch wheel diameters, T and H speed ratings – available to consumers by fall.