Bridgestone Potenza RE11

Tyre Specifications
Tyre Size: 
225/40 WR 18
Wet Rating: 
8
Dry Rating: 
9
Comfort Rating: 
5

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION:

Bridgestone's latest high performance has a very aggressive tread pattern, like a track based tyre which will undoubtedly attract buyers. With large tread blocks on the outer tread to better resist cornering loads and the three other continuous tread bands for drainage. The innermost tread band has drainage channels that do not really cut through to form discrete blocks. The sidewall is very stiff as is the tread belting.

DRY PERFORMANCE:

Scrub-In Period: Within 100 km it was apparent that the RE11 has extremely sharp steering responses even before completely scrubbed-in.

Steering: Once fully bedded-in they took on a more stable secure feel at the helm keeping that sharp steering response. While the steering is sharp it does not display that planted meaty feel that some others have. In this respect they do feel like the RE070s but requires a lot more inflation pressure to feel quite so sharp. Rating 7/10

Lateral Grip: Initially it did not feel that grippy as the steering feel while sharp did not have that planted meaty feel. But as time went by and trusting the RE11 in each corner it became obvious that cornering grip is a strong point for the RE11s pulling as much g-force as the RE070 ranking among the very best for a normal street tyre. Rating : 9/10

Handling:When one gets the cornering speed and line just right, the RE11 barely protests vocally but be clumsy and approach with too much speed and it will emit a muted howl in protest. Handling is pretty safe as it does not want to oversteer or understeer but it requires an element of trust as you do not readily get it through the steering. It does approach the limit progressively though. Rating: 8/10

Longitudinal Grip: Braking is another area where it excels hauling the car down from high speeds without much drama. ABS intervention is held off till the very end where it recovers well and works with ABS to produce some pretty dramatic stops, one of the better ones this year and is nearly as good as the race-compound tyres claiming top spot for braking among street tyres. Likewise is its wheelspin resistance. Rating : 9/10


WET PERFORMANCE:

Steering: The wet conditions do not change the steering much. It remains sharp and has little feel of what the contact patch is doing. Rating : 7/10

Lateral Grip: While grip levels themselves are above average they are not class leading. Still for something that lacks much in the way of a drainage pattern their ability to stay in touch with the road in streaming wet conditions is really remarkable. Of course it is still advisable to exercise caution when driving fast in the wet on these dry pattern treads. Rating : 7/10

Handling: In the wet the RE11 displayed admirable characteristics. Grip levels were good and the tyres did not exhibit any of that dreaded breakaway trait that spoils the fun driving in the wet. Push hard or even be brutal and the tyres respond progressively making up for any lack in outright wet grip. Driven sensibly the RE11s can be entertaining in the wet, allowing a hard charging style. Rating : 9/10

Longitudinal Grip: Take off grip is also good though wheepspin could be provoked with sharp throttle application. Braking performance in the wet is impressive working well with the ABS to bring the car to a stop with remarkable ease. Rating : 8/10

COMFORT & NOISE:

Ride Comfort: Using the recommended pressures for the car (about 28 psi) the RE11s did not perform optimally but offered decent comfort. Pump them up to 32 psi and it performs much better but comfort deteriorates, riding nearly as hard as the RE070s. At the test pressure of 35 psi they rode more stiffly but the performance was maximized and tyre squeal was minimal. Rating : 5/10

Noise: Noise is also noticeable while cruising measuring 70.5 dBA coasting at 70 km/h.

MEASURED PERFORMANCE
Dry Cornering: 1.03.g
Dry Braking 80-20 km/h: 1.71 sec in 23m
Average g: 0.99g
Peak g: 1.02g
Wet Cornering: 0.78g
Wet Braking 80-20 km/h: 2.13 sec in 28m
Average g: 0.79g
Peak g: 0.82g
Rolling Resistance: 0.0283g fair
Weight: 11.6-kg

CONCLUSION:

This Potenza presents familiar traits, not like the RE070 but more like the S03s of yesteryear. There is little to criticize about its dry performance which ranks just a tick below the trackday tyres. The way it tenaciously clings on during cornering and braking is a huge plus. In wet conditions, the handling and almost complete lack of breakaway more than makes up for the modest overall wet grip. Subjectively the RE11s manage to handle wet roads with great confidence and is preferable to a tyre with high g-numbers but tricky handling. However one must be prepared to accept the stiff ride and above average noise from the aggressive tread pattern in exchange for such an excellent dry performance. It is certainly a very good tyre and is recommended even for novices. Level A+

Photos: 
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