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Watch the tires perform during a Ice storm.
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Testing done November 2005 to
Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1 Z
M+S 225/60 R 16 on 2005 Mercedes S500
When winter approaches most
European drivers make the switch to a different set of tires; winter tires.
The importance of tires cannot be overemphasized. There are only four
patches of rubber connecting you and your car to the road, and these four
patches should be looked after like you look after a newborn baby. Making
the switch to winter tires is one of the most important safety tips we could
offer. Why leave this single most important item to chance?
The original Blizzak by
Bridgestone was developed in 1988 for Japan which was one of the first
markets to ban studded tires. The studdless Blizzak was made to cater to
this market, offering more grip in icy winter conditions than any
conventional tire. Today the Blizzak brings together many technologies,
offering precise handling, reduced noise, smooth ride, and comfort.
Bridgestone calls these high tech tires UNI-T for
Ultimate Network of Intelligent Tire Technologies.
Blizzak Revo1 tire tested here is a dual compound (cap and base) tire. The
cap features a Multicell compound, and the base is comprised of a winter
compound, allowing use as a basic winter tire. The Multicell compound that
makes up the Blizzak contains thousands of microscopic cells, or pores,
which resemble the consistency of Swiss cheese when examined through a
microscope. As the Blizzak wears, the pores are exposed and create
thousands of biting edges that grip the road. In addition to the biting
action, the pores remove the thin layer of surface water, which often
develops on top of icy roads, allowing the biting edges to adhere to the
surface with less interference. The result is enhanced resistance to
hydroplaning and greater driving and braking force on ice- and snow-covered
surface. When the Blizzak is 50 percent worn, a tread depth indicator on
the tire tread lets the motorist know that only ten percent of the remaining
tread is the Multicell compound.
In our tests the Bridgestone
Blizzak Revo1 performed well, extending the limits of where you can drive
and under what conditions you should drive. Driving around on dry roads
revealed a very quiet tire with road feel best as temperatures got colder
and colder. The Revo1 compound feels firmer at freezing temperatures
whereas above 40 degrees they feel more like a sponge. The feeling of
riding on air is enhanced from the base feeling in our air suspension
In about 3 inches of snow, the
Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1s allow for controlled acceleration, even when
accelerating quickly, thus performing well in our rear wheel drive test
vehicle, a Mercedes S500. In more than 6 inches of snow, the Bridgestone
Blizzak Revo1s have a hard time getting a solid grip in our heavy rear wheel
drive car. While they can move on a flat even surface, packing and gripping
the snow along the way, as soon as we encountered a slight grade, the car
did begin to slip.
Braking in packed snow is
controlled and stable with the rear wheel drive vehicle able to stop in
short distances. The ABS system does come into effect when stopping from 30
to 40 mph and this is quite normal as it allows you to turn during the
stop. The Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1s always kept a solid grip and provided
On icy conditions we found the
tires to work well when momentum was not at play. As you can see in the
video that was taken in an ice storm, the car handles well and is able to
turn while accelerating slowly and accurately. This is where the
Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1s truly show their usefulness. Below 30 degrees
the Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1s maintain good grip and do not feel slushy to
the driver as they do in temperatures above 40 degrees. The colder it gets
the better the Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1s work. Coming to a full stop on
ice is controlled with hardly any use of the ABS system. We were easily
able to move around obstacles stopping from 30 mph.
Where the weakness lies in the
Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1 is when temperatures rise to above 40 degrees
during the winter. The soft compound turns into mush, and driving is kind
of like driving on a sponge. Perhaps it was the large sidewall of our tires
in our test car that made them feel especially spongy on days where
temperatures rose to 50 and even higher this winter. Stopping distances are
increased greatly and taking fast turns becomes impossible. We would not
recommend the Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1 unless you are sure the temperature
will remain below 40 degrees during the times that you will be using the
tire. This probably applies to states like northern Maine, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Montana, and all of Alaska. How the tire reacts in smaller
sidewall sizes is unknown but we think that it should be better.
The Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1
on a four wheel drive car would greatly improve your ability to conquer ice
and snow. We found that more than a tire, having a four wheel drive vehicle
helps much more in conquering deep snow. Obviously having both a four wheel
drive vehicle and these tires is the ultimate winter tool. With many states
outlawing studded tires, the studless Blizzak is a perfect choice. We
hope that more American drivers will start using two sets of tires on their
vehicles. The benefits far outweigh the risks and the fun you can have
with tires to match road conditions is by far the best benefit. Use
your vehicle to its maximum.