Review – The all-new Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003
Bridgestone flew down myself (on behalf of JDMST) and a group of prominent Australian car enthusiast bloggers to Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne to come have a try of their new street performance offering – the Potenza Adrenalin RE003.
Many may be quite familiar with the original Adrenalin RE001, taking the limelight at the time as the boy-racer tyre of choice. You’d be hard out of luck trying to find a well-sorted Honda that wasn’t shod with a fat set of RE001’s on their Sprint Harts.
After a briefing about the day and some tech talk about the tyre, we were taken through a series of activities throughout the day at Calder Park that would demonstrate the RE003’s abilities over a competitor’s tyre in certain situations on the new VW Golf GTI and the new Subaru WRX. Both very popular platforms these days, and exactly the kind of cars that this tyre was designed for.
My first thought was that they had purposely put these tyres up against each other in these situations to enhance the performance of the RE003, which was the case of course, but it wasn’t a case of putting the Bridgestones up against far inferior products, but putting them up with big-brand street performance tyres of the same price point which really showed that they meant business with this new offering.
In the wet slalom activity, the big difference between the RE003 and competitor tyre was how much more accurate the steering was under quick changes. Better water displacement means better traction meaning less unwanted over/understeer in an emergency situation. I’m personally used to running a competitor brand ‘street-legal semi slick’ tyres that have pretty rubbish wet performance. I could definitely use this with the at-times unpredictable Sydney weather.
The next was the dry slalom activity, and much like the wet slalom, the RE003 showed its brilliant grip and predictability but unlike the wet slalom, the competitor wasn’t too far off! With some track experience behind all of our belts, the bloggers in our testing group all agreed that for a less experienced driver or in an emergency situation, as predictable as the competitor tyre was for us, in the split seconds you may have to avoid a collision you would rather have the RE003’s improved grip than rely on whatever talent you think you may have.
The last activity was the quick lane change where we accelerated to about 80km/h before merging quickly out and back again, simulating real life obstacle avoidance on the road. This was where we jumped into the punchy Golf GTI and got to have a bit more fun. With the competitor tyre, there was a lot of oversteer as the weight transfer would naturally induce in a quick-flick situation, whereas the RE003 would be less encouraging to unwanted under/oversteer due to better grip – we actually hit more cones in this exercise as we all turned too early and none of us really expected the Potenza to grip that well!
The most palpable difference between the Potenza and the competitor tyres was the demonstration of a hot lap around Calder Park with our driver trainers. The competitor tyre did fine and we were having a great time getting thrown around, but the RE003-shod Golf in tow stuck to the track and never left the shadow of the lead car.
Getting to flick around some of the most popular car models on tyres designed with them in mind – awesome. Bridgestone have definitely put their research into this tyre, and it is very reminiscent of how I felt driving my stock Civic on RE001’s in the early days of my car enthusiast life, just heaps better. A tyre that does what you want it to do, when you want it to do it and just looks so damn cool. What else could you want on the street, really? Nailed it, Bridgestone.
The tyre is available in some Bridgestone stockists at the moment but will be available everywhere by the start of April. 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
TL;DR - Great performance street tyre. If you liked the RE001, you'll love these. If you're looking for something you can drive spiritedly in but are not taking the car to the track, the RE003 gives you sweet handling and great safety in all road conditions - I highly recommend these.