It isn’t often I get the opportunity to do something as enjoyable as driving a WRX and Golf GTi on a road course without having to pay for all of my own expenses. But that is exactly what I was given the opportunity to do on Tuesday last week, thanks to Bridgestone Australia and the launch of their new Potenza Adrenalin RE003 high performance road tyre.
The RE003 is the latest incarnation of the Adrenalin tyre range, replacing the already excellent RE002. I’ve run a few sets of RE002 in the past and I currently have them fitted on my DC2 Integra Type R and NSX. Bridgestone say that the RE003 improves on the RE002 in several key areas, primarily dry-road centre feel and traction, wet weather cornering and braking. This comes without compromising road noise or rolling resistance. Knowing what I already felt about the RE002, I was looking forward to having a steer on these new tyres!
The RE003’s new tread pattern – quite aggressive looking wouldn’t you agree?
For the day, Bridgestone had set up three exercises on the Calder Park Circuit. These were a wet slalom course, a dry slalom course and a lane-change course. In each of the courses, we compared the RE003 to an equivalent tyre from a competing manufacturer. The vehicles we used were the current Subaru WRX in the slalom activities, and the Golf GTi Mk7 DSG for the lane change course.
Our group began with the wet slalom exercise. I began by driving the WRX fitted with the competitor tyre. Intially the instructors instructed us to drive the car through the cones at around 50km/h, then on each progressive run we bumped up the speed by 5 or 10 km/h. As the speeds increased, the difference in performance between the tyres became more and more noticeable. The initial turn-in response of the RE003 was particularly evident, by comparison, the competitor tyre seemed to take forever to respond to sharp steering input changes. The RE003 was sharp and direct, and also allowed the car to still rotate when pushed hard, not turning into a big mess of horrible understeer. Very impressive!
RE003 equipped WRX carving up the wet slalom course
Next up, we carried out the same basic exercise on a dry pavement. The cones were slightly closer together and the speeds we used slightly higher. Again, the harder we pushed the more the Bridgestone’s excellent response and recovery became evident. The WRX’s stability management also was far less intrusive on the Bridgestone equipped car at the same speeds through the cones, on the competitor tyre you could almost hear the poor WRX complaining about having to do so much work
The final course was a lane-change “swerve and recover” course, designed to emulate a real world collision avoidance manoeuvre. For this we used the fantastic new VW Golf GTI, equipped with a DSG gearbox. I started on the rival tyre, pushing the little Golf through the cones as quickly as I felt comfortable in both directions. The initial understeer transitioned quickly into a large amount of oversteer when changing direction to straighten the car. Somewhat expected, however what I didn’t expect was just how different the RE003 would perform. I jumped into the RE003 equipped Golf, and set off into the course, at the same speed as I’d just done in the other car. Turning hard on the wheel, immediately the car turned in – I actually clipped a cone on the inside of the car as I had been waiting for the initial understeer so evident in the other tyre. Wow! To me, this exercise showed the greatest difference in the RE003 and the competitor tyre. The Bridgestone was simply in another league in terms of its recovery grip and turn-in response.
The brilliant MK7 VW Golf GTI
I felt that the demonstrations used reflected the real world performance advantages these new RE003 have over their competitors. Given their price point is actually lower than basically all of the tyres we compared them against; I think it’s a big win for Bridgestone. I’d definitely recommend the RE003 for anyone looking at a high performance street tyre to be used in all conditions. When I asked about pricing, I was told the RE003 pricing should be basically the same as RE002 pricing, which was very competitive. I’m really looking forward to getting a set on my Type R and comparing them to the RE002 that were previously fitted. I’ll be sure to post up a more comprehensive review when I do!
An excellent day all in all, and thanks to Bridgestone Australia and of course the excellent instructors from Trackskill.
Register your interest for the new POTENZA Adrenalin RE003 HERE and receive information as it becomes available! Also be sure to check out and Like Bridgestone’s Facebook page at – https://www.facebook.com/BridgestoneAU