Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company, has been chosen to join Audi as they embark on a new journey with the release of their first all-electric SUV, the Audi e-tron. The two companies established a list of demands that would highlight the specifications of the new model, from its spectacular acceleration to the in-vehicle comfort and silence, all while ensuring ultimate safety and without any drop in performance. Audi has selected Bridgestone for supply of six different tyres from 19’’ to 21’’ – four summer and two winter sizes – as original fitments.
Speed and safety
Driven by two electric engines, the Audi e-tron has incredible acceleration; from standstill it reaches 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds. This immediately established the need for tyres with excellent contact to ensure top-level handling and excellent braking performance. Bridgestone fitted Alenza 001 summer tyres; specially designed for SUVs, the tyre has a block structure that optimises contact with the road to improve steering response on corners and stability when driving on a straight. It has been awarded the EU label Grade A for wet grip – the best on the market.
For winter conditions, Bridgestone delivered the Blizzak LM 001 for its dependable cornering and handling on wet, dry, icy, slushy and snowy roads. The tyre combines a high-silica compound imbued with Bridgestone’s Nano Pro-Tech polymer to ensure excellent grip.
A great rolling resistance for optimum autonomy
Autonomy is one of the most important considerations of any all-electric vehicle. This is only possible with a low level of rolling resistance – an area in which the Bridgestone tyres have been awarded with the best-in-class EU label Grade A. The tyres work perfectly with the e-tron to enable it to travel 400 km on a single charge. They also offer an excellent wear performance and are an excellent response to the demands and abilities of the all-electric e-tron to optimise driving pleasure and the driving experience on the whole.
The sound of silence
Audi is a brand synonymous with luxury and comfort. As the e-tron is their first electric vehicle, Audi wanted to emphasise the differences the electric platform makes. As well as the near-silent motor, they incorporated sound proofing and dual-pane windows and special seals into the design to allow drivers to ‘hear’ the silence of the engine. Understanding exactly what Audi aimed to achieve, Bridgestone proposed their proprietary B-Silent technology as a further means of minimising in-vehicle noise; the hollow spaces within a tyre are filled to reduce echo, while the tyre walls and structure are reinforced to minimise vibration and reverberation from the movement of the tyres on the road surface.
Pleased and proud
The pairing of the various Bridgestone tyres approved as original equipment with the all-electric Audi e-tron is the latest step in a strong collaboration between Bridgestone and Audi that has already made Bridgestone the number one tyre supplier of Audi.
‘We are pleased to have been chosen by Audi to provide tyres as original equipment for their first-ever fully electric vehicle,’ says Mark Tejedor, Vice President of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA. ‘Audi has created a vehicle that is innovative, environmentally friendly and offers incredible driving comfort. It is only logical that it is being paired with Bridgestone tyres that offer the same characteristics. In an industry in rapid transformation where vehicles are becoming more and more CASE – connected, autonomous, shared and electric, Bridgestone delivers new solutions and technologies answering car manufacturer’s most demanding challenges thanks notably to our industry’s leading investments in R&D.’
The Audi e-tron, built in Belgium, will be available in dealerships as of January 2019.