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Thread: Bridgestone Potenza RE002

  1. #1
    Ich bin ein auslander! Lynton's Avatar
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    Bridgestone Potenza RE002

    I have just had a set of these fitted to the Mini JCW to replace the Kumho KU36 that I previously had. I know some will say that this review is of limited use on a forum like this as the average car here is large, high horsepower and RWD and the Mini is small, lower horsepower (at 155kw nothing to be sneezed at) and FWD. Yes there are a lot of differences and these tyres on the Mini will not directly relate to the same tyre on a GT 335 but the thread will give a place for others to give their opinion. Also the Mini being a small light car tends to accentuate tyre problems such as instability and road noise.

    To start off lets discuss the old, the KU36. For a small performance hatch that handles like the Mini does these were a pretty good choice. Being a semi slick they are very soft and I was warned I would be lucky to get about 20,000 km out of them but most of the people saying that were driving large cars. The Mini is only about 1300 kg and not big horsepower so I thought I would take a chance. They were also pretty cheap at $180 a corner so that helps the equation. I was also warned that the KU36 were not great in the wet, not dangerous but not as good as some of the high end sport tyres. Well they were actually quite good in the wet, almost as good as the previous Dunlop Sport 01 that were OEM. In the dry they were sensational, the highest grip levels I have ever experienced. They were quite stiff in the side wall but being 215/45R17 instead of the OEM 205/45R17 they had a bit of extra sidewall so not too harsh. The turn in, grip and resistance to sidewall flex are obviously the forte of these tyres. Another thing I noted was the lack of squirming under hard braking compared to the OEM Dunlop which required you to actively keep the car straight under moderate to heavy braking. The down side of these tyres is as they wore down they became more harsh and very noisy, sounded like a bloody 4X4. This noise is quite common for all directional tyres so I was not surprised. Wear ended up ok, 31,000km out of them and they were not on the wear indicators. They would have lasted to the 40,000km mark but I could not put up with the noise any more.

    Now the Bridgestone's, I have gone back to OEM size of 205/45R17. First off they look good. They have a noticeably smaller bag than the Kumho but that is no surprise due to the size difference, nor is the lower profile. I have only driven them the 35km home so far so this is just first impressions at this stage and I will add more later.

    On the road they are nice and smooth, very quiet for a directional tyre and I have already turned the stereo down by a considerable amount. I can even hear the exhaust note now, although they seem to have given my car some interior rattles as I could not hear them yesterday. First nice surprise was the turn in, nice and sharp which is probably similar to the Kumho's new but as they aged they lost some of the turn in. The steering feels very direct with good feel as the Mini should with very little in the way of tram lining which is good. Stability under brakes was good but not really challenged as I was taking it easy due to these still being very green tyres. Acceleration has not been tested for the same reason.

    So initially I am not shaking my head wondering "what have you done". Cost was good at $289 a corner because of their deal on bridgestone at the moment where you buy 3 and get the 4th free.

    For those that wonder why I do not get run flats that the Mini should have, they are a horrible ride and at $500 a corner I should have a gun held to my head when being asked that much for such a small tyre.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!


  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Lynton For This Useful Post:

    4Vman (14th April 2014),Franco Cozzo (15th April 2014)

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