Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Tire Review and Rating (2021)

Dry
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Wet
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Snow
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Comfort
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Noise
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Treadwear
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Pros

  • One of the best snow performing tires 
  • Responsive with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel
  • Superb grip and traction on dry and wet roads
  • Excellent aquaplaning resistance

Cons

  • Slightly longer wet braking distances
  • Comfort and noise take a hit in specific scenarios

Considering that cars come in various shapes and sizes, the choice of tire options will depend mainly on that. If you own a less powerful car and are just looking for a decent set of tires that can get you from A to B, then a set of touring ones will do the trick.

On the other hand, more powerful cars require tires that are more capable than that. I’m not saying that touring tires are inadequate for these situations, but some people want to get the most out of the performance they have under the hood. In these scenarios, performance-oriented tires are the way to go. 

Depending on the climate you live in, you may need to have a set of tires that will be usable in the winter. This is why you need an ultra-high-performance tire capable of providing you with performance throughout the year.

The model I’ll be talking about today is the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS, advertised as an all-season tire capable of providing excellent performance. The tire comes as an upgrade to the RE970AS, which was already an excellent performer.

Considering that the Potenza RE980AS is the latest and greatest that Bridgestone has to offer, the company spared no expense when it comes to features. 

Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Tire Review

The main component that provides performance in multiple weather conditions is the compound. Bridgestone used an advanced rubber that should be capable of providing superb performance in multiple weather conditions. 

Bridgestone went with an asymmetric design of the Potenza RE980AS which should help provide better performance in dry and wet conditions. Despite being an ultra-high-performance tire, Bridgestone also paid some attention to the refinement. The tread design is also optimized to reduce tire noise, something we usually see in touring tires.

In terms of handling, the Potenza RE980AS features chamfered lateral slots and interlocking sipes throughout the tread. The result of these should be excellent grip and handling characteristics. Another area that should help with responsiveness is the stiffer sidewall. The sipes are denser than some of its competitors, which should provide better aquaplaning resistance. In addition to that, the sipes are designed with special biting edges to deliver increased traction in wet and snow.

Bridgestone claims that the Potenza RE980AS has some significant improvements over the RE970AS, meaning that on paper, it should be a better tire.

How does it behave on dry tarmac?

It’s an ultra-high-performance tire, and the Potenza RE980AS lives up to its name. The performance in dry conditions is marvelous, putting it near the top.

Bridgestone’s idea of stiffening up the sidewall greatly improves the handling, and the tire has almost no sidewall flex when cornering hard. Responsiveness is also as good as it gets. The tire changes direction quickly, and with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel, you’ll be in full control of your car.

Grip and traction levels are among the best you’ll find in this category. You might say that it’s on a similar level as Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 4. There’s plenty of both to ensure that the tire remains planted. You can push it into a corner much harder than you would with other tires, and it won’t even flinch.

Throw in the short braking distances into the mix, and you get the best performing all-season tire on the market.

How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?

Wet performance with the Potenza RE980AS was excellent, again, one of the best in this class. You can easily compare it with the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06, which is considered the best.

The Potenza RE980AS provides plenty of grip and traction, more than enough for whatever you need. Regardless if you’re cornering hard or accelerating aggressively, the tire won’t let go of the road. In addition to this, the braking distances are excellent, and the tire stops in a very short distance.

In rainy conditions, the tire manages to retain its handling characteristics, meaning that you can push it even on wet roads. Responsiveness is almost the same as on dry tarmac, while the feedback remains more or less the same as on dry toads.

Thanks to the grooves and sipes, the Potenza RE980AS has excellent aquaplaning resistance and doesn’t get upset when you drive through a puddle.

How is it over snow?

Bridgestone promised improvements over the previous model, and it delivered. The Potenza RE980AS has a noticeably better winter performance than the RE970AS.

In light snow conditions, the Potenza RE980AS performs excellently. There’s a decent amount of traction and grip, and in these cases, you may not even need a winter tire. You’ll get proper handling and short braking distances for an all-season tire. The lower temperatures don’t pose a problem, and the tire can deliver on its performance even in freezing temperatures.

Is it comfortable and refined?

This is where we start to see some compromises, and the true nature of the ultra-high-performance tire is revealed.

Going for the stiffed sidewall improved the handling but made the ride not very comfortable. The Potenza RE980AS will feel harsh, especially when you compare it to the DWS06 from Continental. Even though it’s not a touring tire, there are better performers in this regard.

As for the noise, Bridgestone’s tweak to the tread design paid off and managed to develop a decently quiet tire. You won’t be comparing it with a touring one, but for a UHP tire, it’s not terrible.

Is it good for off-roading?

Not really; the Potenza RE980AS isn’t designed for non-paved roads, so the tire won’t perform as you’d need it to. Driving on a dirt road will be with limited performance, but it’s doable. A similar story is with mud, but at the end of the day, don’t expect wonders.

Also, keep in mind that road-going tires are not designed with chip and cut resistant compounds, so you can damage them quite easily.

Is the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS ideal for sporty driving?

Yes, it is, and it’s one of the best all-season tires for that. With the grip and traction and the way the Potenza RE980AS drives, I doubt that you’ll find a better all-season tire for sporty driving.

The handling dynamics of the tire are among the best in its class, meaning that you can drive it on a twisty road and have fun. Track days are also on the table as the tire will have plenty of performance.

Grip and traction levels are also excellent, which puts the Potenza RE980AS at the top of the all-season UHP tires. It takes a slot for the tire to break traction, which most drivers won’t manage to do. 

Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Warranty

When it comes to warranty, the Potenza RE980AS is on par with the Continental DSW06. You’ll get a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which isn’t too bad for a tire of this category.

It’s slightly better than the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S4, which has a 45,000-mile warranty.

Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Pricing: Is it worth the money?

Yes, even though these types of tires aren’t cheap, the Potenza RE980AS is worth it. The price starts from a little under $130, which puts this model between the one from Continental and Michelin. Naturally, the Michelin is the more expensive option, and the Congenital is cheaper. 

Should I buy the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS?

Yes, but I’d advise you to look at the competition first. The Potenza RE980AS comes very close in performance to the DSW06, which is slightly cheaper and a bit more comfortable. With that said, on the handling side of things, the Bridgestone option is a tad better.

Overall, as a package, the Potenza RE980AS won’t disappoint. Performance is excellent in all weather conditions, and the tire feels like it enjoys getting pushed. Grip and traction are among the best in the all-season category, so you won’t feel like it’s underperforming. Combining that with the dynamic handling characteristics and you get the perfect tire, right? Not exactly.

Even though the Potenza RE980AS is an excellent performer, it gets outperformed by a few competitors when it comes to comfort. When you go for a UHP tire, you need to be aware that you are making some compromises. It feels that Bridgestone made a tad too much in the name of handling.

On the positive side of things, the tire is decently quiet, so it’s not the worst refined tire in the industry.

For warranty, you get as much as the DWS06, which is the main rival of this tire. Despite that, the Bridgestone option comes at a slightly higher price.

The Potenza RE980AS is an excellent tire, and I can easily recommend it. With that said, I would advise you to check out the DWS06 and decide which one would be a better fit for you.

What Vehicles Will the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Fit?

Here’s a sample list of cars that the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS will fit:

  • Acura ILX, TLX
  • Audi A4, A5
  • BMW 3, 5 Series
  • Ford Mustang, Focus RS, Focus ST
  • Hyundai Veloster N
  • Kia Stinger
  • Lexus IS, GS, LS, ES, RC
  • Mazda 6
  • Mercedes C, E Class
  • Nissan GTR
  • Subaru Impreza, BRZ
  • Toyota GT-86
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI

Tire Sizes for Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS

16″

  • 205/55R16 

17″

  • 205/50R17
  • 215/45R17
  • 215/50R17
  • 235/55R17

18″

  • 215/40R18
  • 225/45R18
  • 235/50R18
  • 245/45R18
  • 255/40R18
  • 275/35R18

19″

  • 225/40R19
  • 235/35R19
  • 245/50R19
  • 265/40R19
  • 265/40R19
  • 275/35R19
  • 285/30R19

20″

  • 245/35R20
  • 255/35R20
  • 265/35R20
  • 295/30R20
  • 305/30R20

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