Bridgestone is the largest tire company in the world, and their tires can be found in even the most remote corners of the Earth. They make a tire for everyone but they make the Potenza RE-71R for people who want to go fast.
- Type: Performance
- Sizes: 15-20″
- Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG): 200 A A
- Speed Rating: V-W
- Warranty: 5 Years for Workmanship and Materials
- Price: $$$
What Sets It Apart
The Potenza RE-71Rs are about as close as you can get to a track tire without getting an actual track tire. They are sticky on dry pavement but really not good for anything else. They wear down quickly, are a tad expensive, and are a terrible choice if you want a solid commuter tire.
However, if you go to an autocross event or racetrack, you’ll see them. Few tires can match the raw performance of the Potenza RE-71Rs. If you are currently running Pilot Super Sports, but you need to shave a few moments off your lap times, switching to the RE-71Rs will help you do that; just be sure to warm them up a bit first.
Comfort and Performance
Let’s start by getting rid of the notion that anyone is buying these tires for comfort. Every single crack in the road, every pebble, every minor asphalt blemish will be like hitting a rock. It even feels a bit silly to talk about road noise because they are really noisy on the highway, but you really shouldn’t be using them on the highway very often.
What they can offer you is unmatched performance on dry pavement. As we mentioned above, autocross events and racetracks will have RE-71Rs represented all over the place. These tires will keep you attached to the road in a hairpin, throw your face into the dash when you stomp on the brakes, and the only way to get to burnout town is to be making way more power than you need.
There’s a caveat, though, when it comes to tires like this. They are only as high-performance as your skill allows. They aren’t going to prevent oversteer; they are just going to make sure you have a really good grip as you go off the track into the bails.
Safety and Durability
The extra grip comes at the cost of longevity. You would be lucky to get 15k miles out of them if you take it easy, and maybe 120 autocross runs. That’s the price of competition, though. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports or Dunlop Z2s are a good option if you want a very high-performance tire that can last a few years. You won’t get the same grip, though.
The warranty only covers problems from the manufacturer. If they messed up and accidentally added too much silica, and your tire breaks apart, they’ll replace it if it happened within five years of the purchase date. That’s about it; Bridgestone fully expects you to shred these tires at the track.
In short, these tires aren’t for being safe or durable. They are for a good time, not a long time.
Who It’s For
If you read this review and are still interested, these are for you. You are probably looking for something that will give you an edge over your friend’s Miata on Super Sports. Something that will shave a few tenths of a second off your personal best around the cones, and/or something that will start a conversation when you roll up to Cars and Coffee.
If you don’t do any high-performance driving, or if you do but live in a place where it rains/snows/the roads aren’t perfect, then get a different tire.