Bridgestone develops bespoke Potenza Sport tyres for Maserati’s return to supercars: the MC20

12 Apr 2021

Maserati MC2

Bridgestone is the exclusive tyre partner for the MC20, Maserati’s new super sports car. This collaboration between two industry leaders conquers new ground, with Bridgestone enhancing the incredible capabilities of Maserati’s new MC20 through the development of premium, custom-engineered Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres. These custom-developed Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres enhance vehicle handling, control and driving dynamics to maximise overall performance for the super sports car.

For Maserati, the MC20 represents the best of the past projected into the future. It marks the return, after decades of absence, to the super sports car segment for the renowned Italian manufacturer. The return to racing.

“These Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres are the result of all the hours, days and weeks we spent together on tracks around the world, and they represent a benchmark in the world of mid and rear-engine super sports cars,” explains Federico Landini, Maserati Vehicle Line Executive sports cars.

Pushing the boundaries of performance

In the development phase of its astonishing, new MC20, Maserati required a premium sports tyre that could deliver exceptional performance. Bridgestone, Maserati’s long-term partner, answered the brief and transformed it into reality with tailor-made Potenza Sport tyres.

The MC20 showcases Maserati’s latest technical and engineering innovations and marks a generational shift in performance over previous models. Bridgestone has played a significant role in improving the MC20’s high performance capacity with its bespoke Potenza Sport tyres, which feature an asymmetric tread design for enhanced steering response and cornering stability, a newly developed tread compound that enhances grip, and an internal crown structure that distributes footprint pressure evenly when cornering. Combined, these elements provide a high-performance tyre which delivers an optimum mix of control, speed and stability that improves the supercar’s overall performance.

Motorsports triumphs born in Italy

The long-term partnership between Bridgestone and Maserati has roots in motorsports racing history. Bridgestone’s Potenza Sport tyres were born from a long association with Formula One racing, while the MC20 marks a return to Maserati’s racing roots. Achieving incredible results both on and off the track is part of both company’s pioneering DNA.

Both Bridgestone and Maserati used in-house R&D centres and ground-breaking virtual development technology to develop and test the new MC20 and its bespoke tyres. Using Bridgestone’s proprietary virtual tyre modelling technology and know-how alongside Maserati’s driving simulator for the first time, the teams united their capabilities to take the bespoke Potenza Sport tyres from concept to near completion in a fully virtual environment. Physical tyre testing, which was only conducted at the final stage of development, found identical results between the virtual and physical tyres.

One of the key benefits of this approach is increased flexibility. The virtual environment enables many more variants of a given tyre specification to be tested, thanks to the extreme speed of modifying the digital twin of the tyre and immediately submitting it to a subjective test on the driving simulator. As such, the extensive use of virtual tyre development and testing reduced the length of the development process in the MC20 project, limiting its environmental impact by using less resources and reducing exhaust emissions from physical testing and fewer tyres built, while also cutting the vehicle’s time to market. The use of virtual technologies also ensures that the chosen tyre is the ideal fitment, as many alternatives have been assessed during development. This contributed to a more efficient process, with the MC20 design produced in approximately 18 months.

Landini adds: The MC20 project is the latest chapter in the pioneering relationship between Bridgestone and Maserati. Both designed in Italy, the new Maserati MC20 and bespoke Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres are the perfect match for each other. Bridgestone engineered a sports tyre capable of supporting and enhancing the incredible performance of the MC20.

It has been a genuine pleasure to have the opportunity to work with the Bridgestone team during the development of the Bridgestone Potenza Sport. I am sure that during the development projects we work on together for future versions of the MC20, we will achieve yet more great results,” adds Landini.