Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Paul Williams
If you’re the owner of a sports-oriented vehicle, you know that suitable tires are key to realizing its performance potential. But you also want a tire that’s not going to beat you up in everyday driving, and that will work in the full range of normal driving conditions.
Targetting vehicles that perform well beyond mainstream family haulers, the Potenza S-04 Pole Position replaces the RE050A Pole Position, enhancing that tire’s wet and dry performance. As the name “Pole Position,” suggests, the design and construction of this line of tires brings “racing inspired technology” to consumer vehicles. However, the name “Pole Position” is not found in Original Equipment (OE) Potenza lines. According to Bridgestone, the OE Potenza RE050A family will slowly be replaced by the Potenza S001. The new Potenza S001 and S-04 Pole Position tires share a tread pattern but construction and tread compounds are different.
The S-04 is a unidirectional asymmetric tire, the inside of which is tuned for wet handling, and the outside for dry (this is absolutely not a tire for winter driving; it is described as a “summer” tire by Bridgestone). The wide inside grooves are designed to provide rapid water evacuation, improving drainage of excess water from the rib area into main grooves for hydroplaning resistance. High silica (silicon dioxide) content improves traction in wet conditions by increasing flexibility of the tread compound.
The outside section of the S-04 is tuned for dry handling, and according to Bridgestone, the footprint is optimized for even contact pressure across the whole tread surface. Compared with the RE050A Pole Position, the S-04 Pole Position has wider, stiffer shoulder blocks to help maximize road contact and precision handling through corners.
Additionally, the S-04 features an interlocking centre rib that also improves responsiveness and handling, along with a higher stiffness centre block and a rayon body ply for high speed durability.
As with other Bridgestone tires, the S-04 uses a Resonance Noise Attenuated (RENOA) silencer groove to help minimize noise and provide a quiet ride.