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- Outstanding responsiveness and drivability
- High levels of grip and traction in dry conditions
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance and grip in wet conditions
- Durable tread compound
- Quiet for a sporty tire
- Usable in dry winter conditions
- Slightly worse ride quality than its main competitors
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The Potenza brand of tires produced by Bridgestone has established itself as an industry standard within the enthusiast subculture and is also the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) selection for the vast majority of automobile manufacturers in their sports vehicles. These tires have long been regarded as being among the greatest in terms of performance, and there is a good reason for this: Bridgestone ensures that they always come equipped with the most recent technology that the company has to offer.
The Potenza RE980AS is the newest tire in this portfolio. It was designed for drivers who desire great performance in the corners, but don’t want to forgo all-season capability for that performance. The RE980AS is a competitor to tires such as the Continental DWS06 and the Michelin Pilot Sport AS 3 in the category of ultra-high-performance all-season tires.
The Michelin is by far the most costly of all of these tires, but they are all good in their own right. The only significant difference between them is the price. The question that needs to be answered is whether or not the Potenza RE980AS is capable of competing with the Michelin in terms of pure performance despite the fact that it has a lower price point. Additionally, the tire needs to be able to unseat the well-liked DWS06 as the greatest ultra-high-performance all-season tire.
To be successful in this endeavor, the Bridgestone must be above average in practically every category imaginable. When it comes to ultra-high-performance tires, grip, traction, and braking are certainly the most significant aspects to consider; nonetheless, ride quality and quietness are still highly important to the majority of people. In addition to this, the RE980AS needs to be sturdy enough to be used for a number of different seasons, and it needs to function properly across a broad temperature range. That is an extremely difficult task; not even Bridgestone’s direct competitors are able to get everything perfect all of the time.
The Potenza RE980AS is offered in a size range that extends from 16 to 20 inches, which makes it suitable for a wide variety of vehicles. In our opinion, the Bridgestone is best suited for fast coupes and sedans, particularly more powerful versions with turbo engines, V6 engines, or V8 engines. In particular, the Bridgestone is best suited for V8 and V6 engines. Cars in this category include the BMW 3-Series, 4-Series, and 5-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, C-Class Coupe, E-Class, E-Class Coupe, and A-Class Sedan, the Audi A4 and A5, the Lexus IS, GS, ES, and RC, the Infiniti Q50 and Q60, and the Acura ILX and TLX.
In addition to these high-end automobiles, the RE980AS is an excellent choice for hot versions of compact and subcompact automobiles such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Ford Focus RS and ST. It is also an excellent choice for muscle automobiles such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro, as well as sporty coupes and roadsters such as the Mazda MX-5, Toyota 86, and Subaru BR-Z. To put it another way, if you have a car that is somewhat more powerful than average and you want to wring a little bit more performance out of it when you turn, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS is going to suit you like a glove.
However, how satisfying will it be? Find out in our comprehensive evaluation of the Potenza RE980AS, in which we will put it to the test in all of the categories that are significant to those who are looking to buy tires. However, before we go on to that step, why don’t we find out what Bridgestone has to say about the flagship ultra-high-performance all-season tire they’ve developed?
What are the features of the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS?
The first thing that you will learn about the RE980AS when you visit the website of Bridgestone is that it is “Bridgestone’s flagship tire engineered for drivers of performance and luxury vehicles who enjoy taking a curve in any weather.” It was designed for high-end sports vehicles and sedans, and it achieves a balance between responsiveness and stability in all weather conditions. To say that a tire is made for drivers who seek a more pleasurable and secure driving experience in the corners is, without a doubt, a very accurate approach to define the purpose of the tire.
In order for the Potenza RE980AS to accomplish all of those things, it is outfitted with a number of important innovations, some of which are exclusive to this tire. The sophisticated all-season compound that is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern optimized for dry and wet performance is maybe the most crucial. This pattern was created to improve performance in both dry and wet conditions. It is interesting to note that despite Bridgestone’s emphasis on performance, the tread pattern has been designed to minimize road noise in order to provide a more refined experience when driving.
The chamfered lateral slots, which improve the contact the tire has with the road surface, and the interlocking 3D full-depth sipes, which make the tread more stable and, as a result, improve cornering responsiveness, are two further features that contribute to the tire’s dry grip and traction. Driving in the rain is made significantly safer by the high sipe density, which results in more biting edges and also makes driving easier when there is light snow. Bridgestone claims that the Potenza RE980AS maintains its wet traction over time thanks to the depth of the sipes and grooves, which is not something that you frequently hear in this category.
In addition to this, the slots and grooves on the tread are interconnected, which further improves water evacuation for exceptional resistance to hydroplaning. Bridgestone claims that the new model features 20% more see-through void than its predecessor (the RE970AS) in order to increase its performance in wet conditions. Additionally, in comparison to its predecessor, the RE980AS boasts snow traction and grip that is 50% enhanced, which is certainly not a trivial increase.
The Potenza RE980AS has an internal construction that consists of three plies of polyester in the sidewalls and two plies of polyester in the tread region. This provides increased resilience in the sidewalls and improved responsiveness. This should also aid with comfort, but comfort is nearly always a secondary factor when considering these tires. In addition, the Bridgestone has twin steel belts that are reinforced by a spirally coiled nylon wrap for improved high-speed stability, as well as high-stiffness sidewall filler that reduces the amount of distortion that occurs during aggressive cornering.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The Potenza RE980AS includes the standard indicator bars incorporated into the tread pattern, which allow the owner to monitor the amount of treadwear that has occurred. When the tread is brand new, these signs are not evident even if you examine the tire very carefully; nevertheless, they become obvious as the tread wears down. When there is only 2/32 inch (1.6 mm) of tread left on the tire, the indication bars will be totally flush with the surface of the tire. If this occurs, the tire should be replaced as soon as possible because it does not have sufficient tread depth for driving in the snow or on wet roads; Bridgestone will be more than delighted to assist you in this matter.
To our relief, the treadwear guarantee covers 50,000 miles and five years, which will certainly put a hold on that. Although Bridgestone’s warranty for the RE980AS may not appear to be particularly spectacular when viewed in a broader context, it is nevertheless extraordinarily good for the category and on pace with that of its most direct competitors. However, because the tire is still relatively new, we are unable to share any real-life treadwear experiences with you. However, Bridgestone has an excellent track record when it comes to treadwear, so you shouldn’t be concerned about that at all.
Is it good for off-road driving?
The primary issue with ultra-high-performance tires and off-road driving is not the inability of the tires to maintain grip and traction; rather, the issue is the ease with which the tires can be damaged during the activity. Sticky tires like the Potenza RE980AS will collect significantly more dirt than other types of tires, such as grand-touring tires, for example. This is because the Potenza RE980AS are designed to have a low rolling resistance. Because of this, putting these tires to use on rocks and dirt will result in instantaneous destruction of the tires.
The shallow tread is not the greatest option for use on surfaces that are prone to slipping. It should go without saying that these tires are only intended for use on paved roads and should never be used on unpaved terrain.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Quite incredible, in point of fact. When it comes to handling, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS is not only one of the greatest all-season ultra-high-performance tires, but it may very well be the best tire overall. Both the responsiveness and the ability to drive these vehicles are exceptional. They also have an excellent feel while driving in the center of the tread, which is beneficial in situations involving high speeds, and the tire looks to be able to maintain its shape with relative ease when cornering aggressively.
In dry conditions, the grip is just fantastic, regardless of the temperature outside. This is maybe the most significant aspect of the product. In addition, unlike many low-cost tires, the Potenza RE980AS does not experience a loss of grip under rapid acceleration, and its stopping capability is exceptional. In general, we believe that the Potenza RE980AS is superior to the Continental DWS06 in terms of its handling by a little margin, which is a very high compliment indeed.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Again, great. It’s possible that some summer tires are even superior, but you can only use them in regions where the weather is warmer. In contrast, the Potenza RE980AS offers the driver superior grip and traction in wet situations, independent of the temperature in the surrounding environment. Outstanding resistance to aquaplaning is offered, and the tread compound ensures that the tire will remain firmly attached to the pavement even on wet surfaces. As may have been anticipated, the stopping power is quite impressive.
With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?
The fact that Bridgestone delivered on its claim to deliver 50% improved performance in icy circumstances as compared to the Potenza RE970AS is very clear here. The RE980AS keeps its grip and traction even when temperatures drop below freezing, and it also provides traction in snow that is not very deep. Having said that, if it snows frequently in your region, you should probably still consider purchasing winter tires for the Potenza.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Even when traveling at extremely high speeds, the Potenza RE980AS maintains an impressively low level of noise, thanks to the noise-reducing tread composition. our does not happen very often in our category, so it is very much appreciated. On the other hand, the Bridgestone might be a little unsettling over bumps, particularly when traveling at moderate speeds. In this respect, some of our rivals, such as the Continental DWS 06, perform better than we do.
More Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Review videos, including those created by Tasfique Ahmed, can be found at the following link:
Should I buy the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS?
Oh, yes, without a doubt. At the moment, this is one of the most effective options available within the category of all-season ultra-high-performance. It provides an exhilarating driving experience in addition to high levels of grip and traction, a tread compound that is long-lasting, and a ride that is quiet. The ride quality is noticeably worse while using the RE980AS, which is the system’s primary drawback, but contemporary coupes and sedans shouldn’t have too much of an issue with this.