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Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position - Tire Review

Bridgestone proved that its RE970AS is solid, safer, and quicker in every aspect.

Oct 16, 2012
Modp 1210 01+bridgestone potenza re970as pole position+cover Photo 1/2   |   Bridgestone’s new Potenza RE970AS Pole Position tire falls nicely into the all-season high-performance category, with confidence-inspiring wet performance and good treadwear, noise characteristics, and a friendly price tag.

Specs & Details
Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position
Type Ultra-high-performance radial
Size 225/45R17
UTQG 400 AA A

Key Features

  • Silica-rich compound to aid in wet and dry traction
  • Large shoulder blocks for solid cornering performance
  • 3D sipes for improved braking performance
  • Continuous center rib to enhance responsiveness

Test Mule
’08 BMW 328i
Test Driver
Nate Hassler
Test Track
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Track Condition
Wet autocross

When shopping for tires, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices on the market. Bridgestone has made the selection process a little easier by bringing forth the new standard for all-season, ultra-high-performance street tires—the Potenza RE970AS Pole Position.

When I arrived to test this tire (as well as several other of the brand’s offerings and some competing tires) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bridgestone had a wet autocross course set up and a group of ’08 BMW 328i sedans lying in wait. After a brief classroom session discussing the features of the new Pole Position versus the now-retired RE960AS, including the 3D sipes integrated into the tread design to help evacuate water for improved braking, the new larger shoulder blocks for improved handling through the corners, and of course the new silica-rich compound itself, we hit the track to experience the tire firsthand.

Modp 1210 02+bridgestone potenza re970as pole position+tire Photo 2/2   |   Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position - Tire Review

My first reaction was to how well composed the tires feel on a very wet surface. The autocross course was a perfect place to explore the tire’s limits. I found that traction remained constant, and when it did let loose, it did so in a gentle, predictable way. With the driver aids turned on, it was actually quite difficult to break the RE970AS’ loose; you almost had to try to get the car sideways, which is not what I expect from an all-season tire on a wet track. When stacked up against the competition, Bridgestone proved that its RE970AS is solid, safer, and quicker in every aspect. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the dry performance of this tire because, strangely, there was no dry course set up for comparison.

No matter, though, since the RE970AS Pole Position is in fact an all-season tire, the wet performance and safety in wet conditions is the most important aspect to consider. I can infer enough from the wet test (and my own Pacific Northwest heritage) that if you live in a rainy climate, the RE970AS is probably the best all-season, ultra-high-performance tire on the market. Thankfully, the RE970AS Pole Position is now available in a vast range of sizes, so you’re bound to be covered no matter what kind of car you drive.

Sources

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