Safety and high performance even in wet conditions. This is the goal Bridgestone engineers gave themselves when designing the Turanza 6. The creation of the new summer touring tyre, developed entirely at Bridgestone's Emia research and development centre on the outskirts of Rome, has seen the involvement of various stakeholders, including your everyday users. In fact, based on more than 20,000 interviews with different categories of drivers in Europe, the Japanese manufacturer's engineers focused on what a driver expects from a summer tyre and what daily challenges they face when behind the wheel. "For the new tyre, we adopted a co-creative approach with the end-user," explains Lorenzo Piccinotti, marketing director of Bridgestone South Region. "From the interviews we conducted, it was clear that the fundamental characteristics a summer tyre must have, are safety, wet grip, performance and durability. This was the starting point for our engineers to design and develop a compound and tread pattern that would ensure better road holding, higher mileage and lower consumption". Enliten and Techsyn technologies played a key role in the design and development process of the Turanza 6. Thanks to the first, the new tyre proves suitable for hybrid and electric vehicles, helping to optimise their performance. The low rolling resistance proves crucial in increasing the battery life and range, as well as helping against other driving issues specifically related to electric vehicles, greater wear tolerance due to the higher weight and torque, and a reduction in noise. As for Techsyn, this is a hi-tech platform created by Bridgestone through a partnership with Arlanxeo, a synthetic rubber manufacturer, and Solvay, specialists in HDS Silica. In this case, engineers and chemists worked on resins and polymers to produce an improved compound able to guarantee a higher rolling resistance and wet grip. "The use of Techsyn technology allowed us to improve the compound and this meant we could work on the second fundamental aspect: the tread design," explains Massimo Metalli field engineering quality system & h&s manager of Bridgestone South Region. The 3D grooves have improved micro-drainage, which proves effective against aquaplaning. In addition, the diverging grooves on the shoulders allow the tyre to disperse water quickly when cornering. This allows the water to be pushed in the desired direction accelerating its expulsion. To increase mileage, on the other hand, we increased the length of the blocks, making the footprint more stable eliminating the micro-slip that led to higher consumption". Compared to the Turanza 5, Bridgestone's latest tyre offers 22% better mileage. The Turanza 6 also offers better fuel efficiency or longer battery life (depending on the type of vehicle), a 4% reduction in rolling resistance compared to its predecessor and achieved 'A' or 'B' class labelling on all sizes. This is also thanks to the aerodynamic wheel protection, designed to reduce air resistance on the tyre when moving. The Turanza 6 was developed at Bridgestone's Emia research and development centre near Rome, on Bridgestone’s test track in Aprilia, where tyre research, design and development, rapid prototyping and all forms of testing take place. Almost 600 people, including engineers, chemists, data analysts, test drivers, technicians and Bridgestone support staff made up of people from more than 15 nationalities are based in the labs, other company facilities and testing structures - including the 70 km of Aprilia’s testing track of the Eupg (European Proving Ground) – belonging to the Emia R&D Centre, all working on the development of Bridgestone tyres. Produced in Bridgestone's European plants, including the one in Bari, Italy, the Turanza 6 is available in a wide range of sizes - 136 to be precise for 16" (available from 2024) to 22" wheels - for both passenger cars and SUVs whether ICE, hybrid or electric.
Titolo: Tyre research and testing a stone throw from Rome
Most Bridgestone tyres destined for the European market are designed and tested in Italy. Just a few miles out of Rome the Japanese manufacturer created two facilities where all its research and testing activities are carried out: the Castel Romano technical design and development centre called Tce and the Eupg (European Proving Ground) test track in Aprilia. Inside the two centres, where almost 600 people including engineers, chemists, data analysts, test drivers and specialists work, Bridgestone manufactures and tests prototypes of tyres for cars, commercial vehicles, buses and agricultural vehicles. Covering an area of 144 hectares and dominated by a 4-km oval main circuit, the Eupg facility provides various types of tracks designed to reproduce the different road surfaces found in Europe, as well as instruments for testing wet grip, noise and tyre wear.
The 4 km oval track consisting of two straights, one with four lanes and the other with nine lanes, and two banked curves, allows tyres to be tested through quick, sharp lane changes with cars at speeds of up to 250 km/h. The banked curves allow high-speed road holding tests to be carried out, particularly those aimed at the development of premium high-performance tyres. The characteristics tested on this circuit include high-speed lane changes, straight line speed, straight-line stability, slalom and throttle release.
Located inside the oval we find an area called black lake which is used for dynamics testing of acceleration, braking and cornering in a variety of vehicles. Much of this dynamic testing verifies data obtained from Technical Center Europe modeling and simulations software. The EUPG oval and dynamic square are connected, and this provides drivers with the possibility to increase speed up to the limit and access the dynamic square at full speed, in absolutely safe conditions, performing all the manoeuvres they need to get the most complete information from the track.
Grip on wet surfaces is tested with different coefficients of friction on different ring roads with a sliding zone. A roundabout with automatic sprinklers and a water recovery system is available for testing the performance when cornering (clockwise and anticlockwise) under aquaplaning conditions. It is also possible to test aquaplaning on a straight lane equipped with a modern combined sprinkler system that allows to flood an entire lane. Emergency braking is also simulated on the track in order to analyse tyre grip and stopping distance. The wet performance evaluation track offers the possibility of testing both standard and high-performance vehicles at different speeds. Thanks to an advanced wetting and water recuperation system, test drivers can carry out continuous tests in harmony with the environment.