New Firehawk tyre gets the thumbs up

Shaun Naidoo

If comfort, safety, superior grip and excellent handling are the features you demand from the tyre you fit to your car, you've probably been using the Firehawk 705. If so, you'll be pleased to know that there is a newly developed passenger car tyre called the Firehawk TZ200.

Described as a touring tyre designed to offer the best comfort and safety, the TZ200's features and abilities were recently demonstrated at the Bridgestone Thailand proving ground.

We were set loose on a 2500m track that is designed to test tyres' ability to handle corners of various angles and the range of road conditions you can expect to encounter in South Africa.

Our tests were conducted using two vehicles, one fitted with the new TZ200 tyre and the other using a competitor's product.

Each car was driven around the track for a few laps in both dry and wet conditions.

The results showed that the the TZ200 is definitely of superior quality and performance, though the difference was not chalk and cheese.

The Firehawk's behaviour on corners was far better than the competitor's, and more so in wet conditions in which the tyre helps the driver regain control easily in the event of over steering.

The TZ200 also has fantastic breaking stability and was able to stop in a much shorter distance even when wet.

The technically conscious consumer will be glad to know that the TZ200 retains all the best features of its predecessors while employing new additions from Bridgestone's "ultimate tyre technology".

The tyre design optimises the contour of the sidewall to achieve better manoeuvrability and nonabrasive noise, and to help maintain a comfortable ride.

The tyre contains long linked carbon to help minimise rolling resistance, prolong the tyre's life and maximise its wet and dry grip.

A new silica tread compound and a jointless cap layer are just some of the other technologies that have gone into the making of the TZ200.

Together, these innovations ensure that this tyre offers superior grip in both wet and dry conditions as well as increased cornering performance.

Firestone Firehawk is a brand of Bridgestone Corporation, which is the largest manufacturer of tyres in the world.

The TZ200 offers excellent value for money for a tyre brand that has long been considered trustworthy and safe.

The TZ200 guarantees excellent all-round performance and will be available in 13 sizes at tyre dealers around the country from next month.

The tyre will best suit small to medium sedans and hatchbacks such as the Toyota Yaris and Corolla, VW Polo and Golf, Ford Fiesta and Focus.

Though it has not yet been announced, consumers can expect a reasonable price for the TZ200.