- Brilliant dry traction and grip
- Above-average cornering and braking
- Demonstrates excellent hydroplaning resistance
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Comes with no wear warranty
The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R has it all. This tire has the handling ability and steering responsiveness that we have come to expect from premium autocross tires. But without the price that racing tires charge for their offerings. Most people would thus be able to afford it.
Its grip and traction are also second to none, which should give you the confidence needed to step harder on the gas. This is also one of the most controllable race tires out there, a feature that will help you make the most of its above-average speed rating on the street.
Did I just mention street? You could be forgiven for asking this question since most extreme-performance summer tires suffer on the street. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with the Potenza RE-71R, which is as usable on the road as it is on the racing track.
All in all, you can count on the Potenza RE-71R to ask you to make fewer compromises than most of its R-compound contemporaries. Yet the compromise it asks you to make – it isn’t backed with any treadwear warranty – might be a deal-breaker.
What are the features of Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R?
The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R is an extreme-performance summer tire, so starting with its tread compound makes sense. Bridgestone claims it has equipped this tire with a new tread compound – it hasn’t named any names – that should increase its contact with the road.
This tire also comes with a directional tread design, featuring a continuous center block as well as massive shoulder blocks. Both these features work together to help this tire offer better road contact. This, in turn, results in excellent cornering grip and strong steering response.
Bridgestone has also taken steps to make this tire’s wet traction top-notch. A combination of 2 wide circumferential grooves and 7 lateral grooves works side-by-side to evacuate water from beneath this tire’s footprint, keeping the danger of hydroplaning at bay.
The Potenza RE-1R also has a sturdy internal structure you can bet your car’s stability on. A spirally wound nylon strengthens the tire’s two inner steel belts, ensuring high-speed stability. The duo also plays a crucial role in distributing your vehicle’s pressure uniformly.
On top of everything else, this tire isn’t temperature sensitive. This means you won’t have to heat this tire before using it on the track. It also means that you can use the Potenza RE-1R right out of the box. Small wonder, then, that it is usable on the street.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
As you might expect, the Potenza RE-71R performs brilliantly on dry tarmac.
Cornering grip is crazily good with this tire, and you’d need to push well beyond the speed limit to make the Potenza RE-71Rs wilt. Even on corners taken deliberately hard, the tire won’t dare breach its limit, giving you no reason to doubt its stability or sturdiness.
Braking is equally phenomenal. This tire is capable of producing very short stops, so you won’t have to worry about rear-ending the car directly in front in an emergency braking situation. Instead, what you’d be right to feel worried about is the car behind yours stopping in time, too.
Staring feel on the road leaves nothing to the imagination. You get a good, positive feeling, and the tire responds well to every deliberate steering maneuver. At the same time, the steering response isn’t uber-sensitive, meaning a minor steering turn at speed won’t bring about a lane change.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
As long as there is no standing water, the RE-71Rs would showcase an outstanding wet grip.
The credit for this goes to this tire’s two types of grooves. The first of which are the circumferential grooves, and the second are the longitudinal grooves. Both work side-by-side to effectively eliminate water from beneath the RE-71R’s footprint, helping it retain contact with the surface.
Cornering limit would be noticeably lower in slippery conditions. Yet that is a price you’d have to pay to enjoy this tire’s above-average grip in the dry. Braking distances would also get a bit longer, so you’d be well-placed to exercise caution (translation: drive carefully) in wet conditions.
Lastly, while this tire demonstrates above-average resistance to hydroplaning, especially when you consider that it’s a track day tire, it’s recommended to be careful when driving in the rain. Hydroplaning can be unpredictable, and it’s this unpredictability that makes it potentially dangerous.
How is it over snow?
Will the Potenza RE-71R hold its own over snow?
It should be noted that this tire isn’t designed to work in cold weather. Once the temperatures start going north, its tread compound gets hard. This is a warning sign because winter tires’ tread is pliable and becomes flexible in cold conditions, helping them provide the extra grip.
If you’re looking for a dedicated winter tire, check out Mastercraft Glacier Trex. Its Winter Compound Technology, siping edges, and optimal tread design give the driver complete control over the vehicle. A high-density siping pattern also boosts this tire’s traction on hard, packed snow as well as loose ice.
Provided the weather is really bad out there, and you have no choice but to get somewhere, the Glacier Trex gives you the option to add studs. For those of you who don’t know, studs are small metal protrusions inserted into the tire’s tread to improve traction in snow or ice conditions.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The Potenza RE-71R is surprisingly comfortable at 32psi.
Keep in mind, though, that its comfort might deteriorate as you increase tire pressure. As long as you inflate this tire to the recommended pressure, its soft compound will absorb the rough edges of street imperfections quite well, letting everyone in the cabin enjoy a bump-free ride.
That said, its stiff sidewall makes sure that you feel large tarmac disruptions in the cabin. Especially if you’re the type of driver who likes to push their vehicle close to the speed limit but has no prior experience driving extreme performance summer tires.
Is it good for off-roading
Like most extreme performance summer tires, the RE-71R isn’t designed for off-roading.
This tire’s stiff sidewall doesn’t have what is required to suss-out the vibrations that rock, sand, mud or gravel will subject your vehicle to. Neither does it has the biting edges to provide the necessary grip in off-road conditions. So you’d do well to keep it on the street.
Is it good for sporty conditions?
Unsurprisingly, the RE-71R is made for the track.
A close inspection of this tire – or its comparison with all-season or touring tires – will reveal that it’s pretty stiff. The reason for that is only a stiff tire could provide the necessary cornering power that distinguishes race winners from the also-rans.
Bridgestone has also made the decision of keeping this tire’s sidewall pretty low. Combine this with this tire’s large contact area (wide footprint) and what you get is a recipe for enhanced traction on smooth surfaces and excellent wheel response. Overall, you get a quicker, more efficient tire.
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Warranty
Here’s where the RE-71R disappointed me.
Bridgestone backs this tire with a 3-year-long workmanship and materials warranty. Not only is this warranty on the shorter side – the Eagle F1 Super Car 3, another extreme performance summer tire, is backed for 6 years against manufacturing defects – but it’s also the only warranty you get with this tire.
You read that right. The RE-71R doesn’t come with any wear warranty. You don’t even get a test-drive warranty with this tire. This means that you’re pretty much on your own in case this tire starts displaying signs of wear quicker than usual.
Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R: Is it worth the money?
At the time of writing, the Potenza RE-71R is retailing at around $113 to $450, depending on the size you purchase. That means that if you decide to buy a set of four tires, your bank account will take an approximate hit of $450 to $1,800, depending on your car’s wheel size.
Should I buy the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R?
In case the absence of wear warranty isn’t a deal-breaker for you, there aren’t many boxes that the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R won’t tick for you. That is especially the case if you’re an enthusiast driver who wants to push the vehicle to their limits, but also wants the same set of tires to come in handy for everyday driving on the street.
What Vehicles Will the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R fit
Here’s a sample of models that the Potenza RE-71R will fit:
- Acura RL, TSX, ILX, TL, RLX and TLX
- Chevrolet SS, Cruze, Malibu, Corvette, Sonic, Corvette and Camaro
- Kia Seltos, Forte5, Cadenza, K5, Optima, Forte, Niro, Rio5, Stinger and Soul
- Ford Mustang GT, Fusion and Focus
- Dodge Dart and Avenger
- Jaguar XE, XKR, F-Type and XK
- Lotus Exige, Evora and Elise
- Buick Regal, Verano, LaCrosse and Regal Sportback
- Honda HR-V, Clarity, Accord CR-Z and Civic
- Ferrari FF, 458 Spider, California, 458 Italia, and Portofino
- Cadillac CTS, ATS, CT5 and CT4
Tire Sizes for Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R
- 195 50/R15
- 205 50/R15
- 195 55/R16
- 205 45/R16
- 205 50/R16
- 225 50/R16
- 205 45/R17
- 215 45/R17
- 225 45/R17
- 235 45/R17
- 245 45/R17
- 255 40/R17
- 215 40/R18
- 215 45/R18
- 225 40/R18
- 225 40/R18
- 225 50/R18
- 235 45/R18
- 245 40/R18
- 245 45/R18
- 255 40/R18
- 265 35/R18
- 265 45/R18XL
- 275 35/R18
- 285 30/R18
List of Bridgestone Tire Reviews
I will be in several drag racing shootout, I have to run a tire with 200 thread limit,17″ and up rim. I was looking at a 255/40/17. What is best tire for drag racing at the track, may or may not be prepped with traction compound.
That depends. What are you running and what’s the power output? Also, do you need road-legal tires or slicks?