Bridgestone offers quite a wide range of tyres to suit customer as well as vehicle requirements. The Dueler range of tyres delivers a great performance mix of highway and terrain usage for SUVs and pick-ups, while Ecopia tyres have proven to contribute to fuel savings through its low resistance formulation.
The Turanza family is catered to users that emphasize more on comfort and low noise, whilst still be in control in any driving situation. Based on market research, the customer preference in the region is getting more and more sophisticated, thus Bridgestone has rolled-out the new Turanza T005A.
The Turanza T005A is designed for D-segment vehicles such as Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana, Volkswagen Passat, Lexus ES, Mercedes-Benz C-class as well as Subaru XV, Honda Civic FC (2016) and Toyota Vellfire-Alphard.
The new Turanza T005A does not have a predecessor called T004, or even T003. So if you were asking yourself, what happened to the range of T-series when you first read the title, don’t worry, you haven’t been missing out.
The new Turanza T005A eclipses the Turanza GR100 in the ‘premium comfort’ class of tyres.
Designers and engineers focused to improve upon three key aspects for the Turanza T005 – Lower noise, better wet performance and an even more comfortable ride.
This flagship tyre features randomized and variable pitch on every tread block to reduce noise and high-angle sipes that are fine-tuned to soften tyre impact on the road leading to less road noise.
The result is a sound level reduction of almost 2.0 dB compared to conventional tyre on both rough and smooth surfaces.
With the ASEAN climate always having heavy rainfall, great wet condition performance has become one of the top customer request and feedback. Bridgestone has created an exclusive Nano Pro-Tech compound to further elevate the wet surface performance.
Silica usage in tyres help improve fuel efficiency and wet performance, but Bridgestone has noticed that silica tend to become lumps when mixed with rubber resulting in higher rolling resistance. The new compound in the Nano Pro-Tech now blends with a special agent that strengthen the bond of the silica and rubber, ensuring a lower heat generation and energy loss, leading to better wet performance.
Another improvement over the outgoing GR100 is the tread contact pressure distribution. The new Turanza T005A has optimized pressure distribution, with a consistent pressure across the width of the tread area. This new design improves braking as well as comfort level, as it reduces shock and impact noise.
The edge of the sipes is also more rounded – known as chamfering – to prevent deformation and ensures even contact with the road for improved braking performance.
Cone denotes stopping point of another Camry fitted with the older GR100 tyres.
With all these new features, Bridgestone says the new Turanza T005A can reduce wet braking distance by almost 2.4 meters (approximately 10 percent) compared to the old Turanza GR100 when stopping a Toyota Camry from 80 km/h to rest.
Another key feature in the Turanza T005A is the addition of a damping sheet placed in the sidewall. Roads in the ASEAN region tend to be rougher and have multiple repair-work patches that contribute to an uneven surface and thus an uncomfortable ride. The damping sheet is designed to absorb shocks and bumps, ultimately fewer vibrations transmitted into the cabin.
How does it drive?
The Carlist.my editorial team was invited to experience the new Turanza T005A at the Bridgestone Proving Ground in Thailand. The proving ground is the second facility in ASEAN region, with the other Proving Ground located in Karawang, Indonesia.
Three activities were lined-up for the day, with each activity designed to experience the benefits of the new Turanza T005.
Our group activity started off with the high-speed driving experience, where we were driven in a pair of Toyota Camry models, one fitted with Turanza T005A and the other with Turanza GR100. The driver gets up to the speed of 140 km/h and we tried our very best to feel the differences of the new and old product, with the focus on high-speed quietness, stability and collision avoidance. Being only in the passenger’s seat, I did feel the new tyres were more stable in the lane-change manoeuvre.
We were later given the opportunity to perform a similar test in a BMW 5 Series and the results were consistent with the drive using the Camry.
The next activity was more immersive and results (new and predecessor tyres) were day and night. Being an ASEAN proving ground, there was a long patch of single-lane road that simulated our local highways. Bumpy, wavy, plenty of repair-work patches. The opposing lane was more common to driving on elevated highways, with metal roads places across the lane to simulate driving across the highway’s expansion joints.
On the GR100 tyres, the ride over the bumpy, multi-patchwork lane was predictable. However, when driven over the same strip of road, the Turanza T005A felt different. The Camry’s forward and backward pitching movement have been reduced, contributing to less body movement for both the Camry and passengers. Our driver also said due to lower levels of vibrations being transmitted, his hands do not need to correct the steering angle, unlike driving with the GR100 tyres. Impressive!
In this activity, we could also hear that the T005A tyres was transmitting less noise than its predecessor. The impact noise sounded more muted. The sidewall damping sheet clearly performs as expected, reducing the damping amplitude and noise into the cabin.
Next up is the wet performance on the short 900-meter circuit being artificially flooded with a constant flow of water. We were again given passenger rides as the certified drivers were pushing the tyres to the absolute limit in the wet conditions. Electronic stability control was switched off so, all traction and stability will come purely from the tyres (and the driver's skill).
The first turn was a tightening-radius curve, with our Camry entering at over 120 km/h with four occupants. The vehicle just corner like it was on rails, no understeer – driver’s command of more right angles were met with no protest.
Next comes the section of left and right bends. The Camry just tracks with stability akin to dry weather. We can see that the driver also has plenty of confidence in the wet grip, no need for minute correction as there was no moment of instability.
We concluded the day with a self-drive activity. Bridgestone has set up a mini gymkhana for us to feel the improvements in dry performance. Reduced braking distance and even the gripping force was certainly felt in the emergency brake section. In the short slalom, I felt the Turanza T005A provided better steering response versus the old GR100.
Should I get a set?
Certainly. The Turanza T005A undoubtedly excelled in the shock absorption, noise reduction and wet performance tests at the proving ground. This new tyre competes directly with Michelin’s Primacy 3 ST and Continental’s Ultra Contact 6 tyres.
Bridgestone Tyre Sales Malaysia has recently launched the range of Turanza T005 tyres, with sizes ranging from 16-inch to 20-inch. With prices being so competitive in comparison to the abovementioned products, these are probably one of the best touring tyres out in the market, blending great comfort with good cornering grip in all conditions.
The new Bridgestone Turanza T005A comes in sizes for popular premium models such as Toyota Camry & Lexus ES (215/55R17), Honda Accord (225/50R17 and 235/45R18), Honda Civic FC (2016) (215/55R16 and 215/50R17), Mercedes C-Class (245/45R17), Toyota Vellfire-Alphard (235/50R18), Subaru XV (225/55R17), and Kia Optima (235/45R18).