The Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position greatly impresses TireRack.com experts. It beats their former two-time favorite ultra-high-performance (UHP) all-season tire -- the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season (*Est. $150) -- in a four-tire shootout. Although the Pirelli still beats it in lap time, slalom and cornering tests, testers say the new Bridgestone communicates better with the driver and rides more comfortably. The Bridgestone wins over TireRack.com customers, emerging as their new favorite UHP all-season tire. Owners award it the highest rating of "outstanding" for wet and dry performance, quietness, ride comfort and tread wear and the next-best "excellent" rating (the same as other top-rated tires in this class) for snow and ice grip. However, a few owners disagree, saying the tire slips on snow and ice.
Experts have not yet tested this new tire's winter performance, but the tire it replaces -- the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position -- is rated "good" for snow and ice driving in one major test, with no other performance weaknesses. The new RE970AS adds silica to its tread compound to boost traction in all road conditions, with an upgraded footprint shape to further enhance traction and tread life. If you're on a budget, experts recommend the Yokohama Avid Envigor (*Est. $140) UHP all-season tire, although owners say it's not as sure-footed as the Bridgestone in any road condition.
TireRack.com experts test the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position alongside three other UHP all-season tires. The retailer also hosts an expert blog post and owner reviews for this tire. ConsumerReports.org includes the preceding RE960AS in its UHP all-season tire rankings. SaferCar.gov lists government traction, tread wear and heat-resistance ratings for this and other tires.
1. Tire Rack
The Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position just edges out two-time champ Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season in this road-and-track test, largely because testers perceive that the Bridgestone communicates better with the driver. However, the Pirelli still beats the Bridgestone in the objective parts of the test -- the Pirelli posts quicker lap and slalom times and higher g-force cornering numbers.
Review: Testing Bridgestone's Potenza RE970AS Pole Position Ultra High Performance All-Season Tire, Editors of TireRack.com, June 1, 2011
2. Tire Rack
Customers who post reviews here like the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position better than any other UHP all-season tire. It beats all others in the category for wet and dry grip, cornering and steering response -- but this new tire has amassed far fewer reviews than some of its rivals.
Review: Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Contributors to TireRack.com
3. Tire Rack
Compared with the outgoing RE960AS, the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position promises better snow-and-ice traction, Spencer Diaz says. Diaz explains the similarities and differences between the two tires.
Review: Heir Apparent: Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, Spencer Diaz, July 20, 2011
With a government tread-wear rating of 400, and the highest possible traction (AA) and temperature (A) ratings, the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS is comparable to other ultra-high-performance all-season tires.
Review: Tire Rating Lookup, Editors of SaferCar.gov
Although ConsumerReports.org hasn't yet tested the new Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS, experts here have tested the RE960AS model it replaces. That tire's ratings for wet and dry braking and handling, hydroplaning, snow traction, ice braking, ride, noise, rolling resistance and tread life can still provide a helpful baseline for shoppers interested in the new model.
Review: Ultra High Performance All-season Tire Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org