28 May 2021

Potenza Sport is Bridgestone's latest sport tyre designed to unlock the power of high and ultra high-performance vehicles and provide a thrilling experience for drivers. The Potenza Sport is new, but it represents one of Bridgestone's most iconic tyre ranges since the 70s. Join us in looking back at how the Potenza range came to be and how it evolved to become a go-to tyre for motorsport legends and sports enthusiasts worldwide.


The early days


To get the complete picture of Potenza Sport, we have to go back to 1906 when seventeen-year-old Shojiro Ishibashi took over his family’s clothing business in Kurume, Japan. His ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit led him to specialise in “Jika-tabi”: Japanese socks with rubber soles that served as work shoes. Eventually, Ishibashi transitioned from rubber soles to rubber tyres and founded the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. in 1931.



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Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd saw many changes and developments throughout the decades — from opening new plants to perfecting new tyre technologies. In 1979, the company released its long-awaited high-performance product: the Potenza RE47. The name Potenza translates to "power" in Italian, connecting Bridgestone's passion for performance with a culture historically known for its contribution to motorsports.

At the time Potenza was released, most steel-belted radial tyres were only for stock car racing. Potenza RE47 was one of the first tyres to take the structure and performance of a racing tyre but adapt it for regular roads. Offering unprecedented performance, Potenza RE47 was a popular choice among sports enthusiasts. The launch and the success of the Potenza RE47 proved to be a significant turning point in the history of Bridgestone’s product strategies.

Potenza in motorsports

In the years that followed, Bridgestone continued to strengthen its position as a leading tyre company. Bridgestone purchased a tyre plant in Tennessee from the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, which became the company's first manufacturing plant in North America.

This initial hub in the Americas served as a production site for truck and bus radial tyres. In 1988, Bridgestone acquired The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company and officially became one of the largest tyre and rubber companies in the world.

Acquiring Firestone made it possible for Bridgestone to explore the field of motorsports further. Bridgestone re-introduced Firestone to the Indy 500 and joined Formula 1® racing from 1997-2010. As the top candidates for the job, Potenza tyres became the superior choice for Formula 1® drivers in the late '90s.

In 1998, Bridgestone supplied tyres for the McLaren racing team’s car, the McLaren MP4/13. That year, McLaren’s Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen was battling Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher for the World Drivers’ Championship. The fierce competition between the two drivers culminated into a showdown at Suzuka at the Japanese Grand Prix.


During the final Formula 1® race, Schumacher fought back to third place after stalling on the grid, only to face a tyre puncture that retired him. Häkkinen seized the moment and went on to win his first Formula 1® racing Drivers' Championship. The big win was also a monumental moment for Bridgestone's motorsport history, as it was the first time a car using Bridgestone tyres won both the driver's and constructor's titles.

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High performance for prestige vehicles


From the beginning, Bridgestone set out to create a tyre that brought the thrill and performance of the racetrack to everyday drivers. We continue to uphold that vision over the years with every generation of Potenza.

Potenza Sport, the latest edition to this range, combines our cutting-edge tyre technology and efforts in R&D to deliver a tyre that offers the best in cornering and straight line stability, dry braking and wet performance. Bridgestone engineers also partnered with prestigious car manufacturers to deliver bespoke Potenza Sport tyres for the Lamborghini Huracán STO and Maserati MC20.


These exciting motorsport milestones, technological innovations and partnerships over the years are a testament to our continued commitment to deliver a premium high-performance tyre for drivers worldwide.

Learn more about Potenza Sport or find a dealer to get your Potenza Sport tyres today.