Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company, is also the number-one tyre supplier to BMW. Bridgestone pushes the boundaries of regular supply and demand through the latest tyre technology. This is exemplified in new X5, 8 Series and 3 Series releases, all of which feature Bridgestone tyres as original equipment.
Covering the range with bespoke fitments
The number of Bridgestone fitments adopted by BMW has grown continuously since the first collaboration between the two companies in 1995. Globally, Bridgestone now provides BMW with original fitments that cover every single tyre size used across the entire BMW range. The OE tyres Bridgestone supplies have been specifically developed for each vehicle type – a process that typically takes more than two years. This has led Bridgestone to drop rolling resistance to previously unheard of levels, reducing fuel consumption and improving tyre lifespan. At the same time, Bridgestone has continued to advance safety, braking, handling and comfort. And this says nothing of the Run-Flat Technology, fine-tuned to allow vehicles to continue running on punctured tyres, nor the innovative ‘ologic’ technology that has been specifically developed to meet the unique demands of electric vehicles such as the BMW i3, i3s and i8.
Supporting next-generation luxury
During development of the original fitments for the BMW X5, it was clear that its tyres would need to deliver a phenomenally smooth ride. Bridgestone fine-tuned the tyres to seamlessly collaborate with the electronically controlled shock absorbers, five-link rear suspension and adjustable air suspension on the all-wheel-drive SUV.
After extensive fine-tuning and testing, eight Bridgestone fitments were approved by BMW, ranging in size from 18” to 21”, as original equipment for the X5 in Europe. The Alenza 001 tyre has been confirmed as a summer tyre for its excellent performance, superior control and exceptional response in wet and dry conditions, with the Blizzak LM001, known for exceptional traction and performance in snow and sleet, approved as a winter tyre. Select models feature Bridgestone’s Run-Flat Technology.
Designing for comfort and sporty performance
For the new 8 Series, Bridgestone developed tyres that would highlight the comfort and the sporty performance of the vehicle. Bridgestone’s R&D team literally returned to square one to build tyres that would surpass any expectations. Using an innovative mixing process, they combined unique materials to create a tyre compound that would deliver excellent grip in wet and dry conditions, and stiffness that would assist cornering and response. Bridgestone is pleased to have seen the Turanza T005 and Potenza S007 approved for use as original equipment on the 8 Series. A number of select models also feature Run-Flat Technology.
Innovative tyres through virtual design
For the tyres of the latest BMW 3 Series, Bridgestone used 3D Virtual Design software to analyse and fine-tune the tyre shape and pressure distribution. This method also allowed the wet and dry grip to be perfected. Another factor in this innovation is a new compound that improves temperature control and material dispersion to enhance performance. Bridgestone also reduced rolling resistance to such an extent that it has been assessed as best in class.
Bridgestone was particularly pleased with the response. The Turanza T005 was selected for summer, Blizzak LM001 for winter and LS100A for all-season tyres, with Run-Flat Technology included for 11 of the 17 different tyres.
Set for the future
Mark Tejedor, VP of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA, is particularly pleased that the two companies work so closely together. “What we accomplish together with BMW addresses current challenges and helps us to optimise technology, especially in terms of safety and performance.”
“We are looking forward to continuing the intense partnership between Bridgestone and BMW with a variety of BMW vehicles due to be launched in 2019.”