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Find out why Julian and Nigel from the Editorial Team choose to run Bridgestone Potenza tyres, namely the more premium S001 and the track-focused RE-71R.

11 Jan 2018

For anyone who has a smidgen of interest in cars, improving the performance of one is always a lingering thought. Unsurprisingly, it's common to see cars sporting expensive aftermarket air intakes and exhaust systems, coilover suspensions and various cosmetic upgrades and what-have-you.

But the strange thing is that having spent so much money to improve the performance or outlook of a car, a handful of owners are scrimping on the thing that matters the most - tyres.

If you want to go quicker in the corners, fit top-flight tyres before you waste money on engine and suspension modifications. Slippery tyres won't allow a car to translate its power advantage into cornering force and acceleration.

Even if you're not on the hunt for speed, when it comes to safety, tyres are one of the most important components of your vehicle. The brakes stop the wheels, not your car. It's actually your tyres that stop it. They are the main contact your car has with the road and many people fail to realise that good tyres are definitely worth the extra dollars spent.

The Potenza S001 inherits technology used in the RE050, a luxury tyre that's fitted as standard on supercars
Julian believes only in the best when it comes to tyres

Take a quick look at the passenger car tyre chart in the product category on Bridgestone's website and you'll see that the Bridgestone Potenza S001 ranks the highest when it comes to prestige and sportiness.

Of course these are all but mere marketing fluff to the casual observer, but when it comes down to the edge and push becomes shove, there is just no way in hell I'm going to compromise safety and fun just to save a few extra dollars on my tyres.

Driving a Honda Civic Type R, I almost wanted to spend more just so that I can have the Potenza RE070, the originally equipped tyres for my car. But after much research, I decided on the Potenza S001 instead. Why, you may ask?

Well, the tyre of my choice isn't just another one of those performance tyres you read about in brochures and pamphlets. It goes back a little more than that.

The S001 has reduced the number of main grooves from four to three to enable a larger block on the tyre's outside edge
The Potenza S001 actually inherits the technology used in the Potenza RE050, a luxury tyre that's fitted as standard on supercars such as Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche.

More impressively, it actually sports block sipes that are positioned at a 60-degree angle, which is the same effect as the nose of an F1 racing car.

Thus, given the way I enjoy hooliganism on the road, solid and reliable grip from my tyres, rain or shine, is something that I cannot afford to overlook.

Unlike the RE050, the S001 has reduced the number of main grooves from four to three to enable a larger block on the tyre's outside edge.

This, combined with the said block sipes, helps improve cornering grip by abundance.

This alone gives me short boasting rights to my friends and long-term ease to my mind. While many have heard and even tried the ever-popular and sporty Potenza RE003 tyres and have sworn by them, you ain't tried the best if you haven't yet the Potenza S001.

The RE-71R sports an improved track-ready rubber compound that conforms to the texture of the road better, improving grip
Nigel enjoys relentless grip with the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R

I belong to the camp that believes cars are more than just means of personal transport. To me, cars are machines built for joy and it's not only performance cars that one can have fun in. Instead, it's not what you drive but how you drive it.

In that sense, I understand that even jalopies can be improved very simply with a good set of sticky tyres. Hell, that's exactly what I put on my previous car, although not what most would consider a jalopy, a Suzuki Swift Sport.

With my current Volkswagen Golf GTI, which offers a new level of performance over the Swift Sport, there is no questioning my want for a set of track-bred but still road-worthy tyres.

After going through a set of Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003s, which are great all-rounders for everyday usage and the occasional spirited sprint, I found myself craving for something that could take more abuse. The replacements came in the form of the Potenza RE-71R, Bridgestone's ultra high-performance tyre for road and mostly track applications.

The RE-71Rs stick like it's on rails, thoroughly serious about the business of grip and speed
The tyre's tread features a wide centre rib that's designed to improve steering response and feel, wide grooves cutting into the outer tread blocks that Bridgestone claims improves wet performance.

And an improved track-ready rubber compound that conforms to the texture of the road better, improving grip.

Think of the RE-71R as basically a racing slick with a tread patterns cut into it to make it street legal, so it's no surprise that it boasts better wet and dry lap times.

Get your speed and lines right and the RE-71R will stick like it is on rails, thoroughly serious about the business of speed. In fact, the RE-71R's grip outperforms even the stock GTI suspension's ability to keep the chassis flat under hard cornering.

Of course, as semi-slicks, the RE-71R produces a tad bit more road noise as compared to regular street performance tyres, accompanied by a Velcro-like noise when you travel over the white-coloured lane markers.

That, however, is a very slight trade-off for those who otherwise are uncompromised on absolute, unrelenting grip. Having run in the RE-71Rs on local roads, a track test up North is only customary and in the offing.

Product Information

Bridgestone Potenza S001

List Price


$110 - $515



High speed performance. Wet/dry handling. Quiet comfort. Drive to Perfection.

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