BRIDGESTONE has upped the ante on the ‘street to track’ concept with the introduction of the RE-71RS, a new street legal semi-slick that promises increased grip levels, improved handling, and better wear life over its predecessor, the RE-71R.
Retaining practicality for everyday use, the Potenza RE-71RS is Bridgestone’s entry-level motor sport product, positioned above the road focused RE003 and S007A in terms of outright dry grip, and as a street legal alternative to the track only RE-11S product.
Sales Director at Bridgestone Australia, Heath Barclay, said the Potenza RE-71RS is a key product for the performance tyre market because of its street to track versatility.
“Semi-slick tyres are often a misunderstood segment of the market, with many enthusiasts mistaking them as only for track use. In the development of the Potenza RE-71RS, Bridgestone was careful to ensure it delivered the performance track days demand, while also being suitable for day-to-day driving,” Mr Barclay said.
“As a result, the RE-71RS removes the need to have separate tyres for track use as well as a more comfortable set for the rest of the week,” he added.
“Track day enthusiasts will be drawn to the performance of the RE-71RS, while the improvements to grip levels, wear life and everyday noise levels will make it a prime choice for this segment of the market due to its versatility.”
The tread pattern design of the RE-71RS boasts an 11 per cent larger contact area than its predecessor through the use of a high-grip polymer compound for exceptional grip levels in dry conditions.
The slick outer shoulder allows for maximum contact, increasing the tyre’s cornering capabilities, while two deep grooves provide high levels of water drainage to deliver strong wet performance characteristics.
Driver feedback is also direct because of the tyre’s rigidity, improved by the low angled grooves along the face of the tyre.
Enthusiasts will be able to get more laps from a set of RE-71RS, with an improvement of 5 per cent in wear life over its predecessor, due to its asymmetric tread design and uniform contact pressure.
The benefit extends to the road, with greater wear life and lower noise than conventional semi-slick tyres.
Potenza RE-71RS has been tested extensively by Bridgestone R&D department in Japan, putting the new tyre through its paces at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, utilising a professional Bridgestone Motorsport test driver and a modified Subaru BRZ.
RE-71RS demonstrated an improvement to the average lap time of 1.1 per cent, with a peak lap time improvement of 2 per cent.
A further 8,000km of durability testing was conducted, with tyre rotations conducted at every 2,000km to validate the 5 per cent wear life improvement in extreme conditions.
Bridgestone is launching the RE-71RS in 27 sizes, ranging from 15-20-inch options, all warehoused locally.
“The Potenza RE-71RS is a step up for practical, entry-level motorsport performance, and with a wide range of sizes and good availability, we’re confident customers will reap the benefits of this new tyre,” Mr Barclay added.