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      07-05-2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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*NEW* Firestone Firehawk Indy 500!! - renamed Bridgestone Potenza RE003

Hi Guys! Super excited!

Was looking for some DD tires for my Track Toy Civic that can handle a tiny bit of abuse if need be on track. Stumbled across the new Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tire and did some research and OMG, they're actually renamed Bridgestone RE003 that used to be only available in Pacific Asia/Oceania countries last year! (fun fact or maybe i'm the only one, didnt know Firestone is basically rebranded/renamed of bridgestone for NA market) Searched up review on Japanese/Australia forums and these were praised to be almost on par with RE-11 in terms of dry and wet performance!! The thread pattern tells very little, but they do look very similar to the RE-11. Design wise it has big shoulder blocks, 3 1/2 water channels, as well as silica compound on the inside much like the PSS/RE-11 for wet traction. Just WOW.

THE BEST PART? SUPER CHEAP!!! On tirerack I spec'ed M3 18" (255/40/18 & 275/40/18) and they come out to be only $560 before shipping! These are a steal and I have already placed an order for my Civic to test them out (civic set only costed $400 shipped 215/45/17, no joke for the type or performance i'm expected to get outta these)!! At the end of the day, i am sure they WON'T be as stellar as the RE-11/RE-71r because these are NOT in the same class, but for the price, looks very promising and very hard to beat.

Will report back once i mounted these on the Civic!

Here are some pictures of the tire compared to RE-11: Cheers!!

Firestone Firehawk Indy 500:



Bridgestone RE-11r:



Cheers!
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      07-05-2016, 09:42 PM   #2
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Been waiting for Tire Rack to run a test on these. They plan to test them against other UHP tires this summer

Construction is significantly different from the RE11 based on tire weight

Last edited by Richbot; 07-05-2016 at 10:47 PM.
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      07-06-2016, 03:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Been waiting for Tire Rack to run a test on these. They plan to test them against other UHP tires this summer

Construction is significantly different from the RE11 based on tire weight
Couldn't wait to see what Tirerack's test is going to be like for this one!

No doubt that this is completely different than the RE11 since the Potenza RE003 is like the "little brother/ more civilized" version. Looks promising in delivering possibly better wet traction and hydroplaning resistance as it was designed around that. (Extra rain groove [compared to RE11], the extra little bit of sipes on the center ribs, the pulse grooves in the middle etc). Can't wait to try these out here in Rainy Vancouver.

Cheers!
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      07-06-2016, 07:21 PM   #4
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I'm skeptical that the performance will be even close to that of the RE-11. It's not in Bridgestone's best interests to have one of their own cheap tires match or even beat their top-of-the-line summer performance tire. This is the same argument used for why the Cayman, despite being the better platform, is "crippled" to make sure the more expensive 911 is still at the top. (yes, I know there's a GT4, but that came much later and had a pretty serious price tag)

Also, you get what you pay for in tires. The RE-11 is a very high performer, and you have to shell out more than a few bucks for that performance.

I guess if you just want a cheap tire that you don't cry about burning up, this might fit the bill.
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      07-06-2016, 08:17 PM   #5
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The PS2 was, and still is when not on clearance/close out, 50% more expensive than the PSS and the PSS is better in every performance and longevity metric. Tire tech development - it's a thing!

I agree it's not going to win any track days but that's not the point of the tire different category. If it gets close to RE11 grip (look at the size of those shoulder blocks, for a UHP category tire that's pretty damn aggressive) but can't hold up to prolonged abuse that's PSS in a nutshell at a significant discount

Last edited by Richbot; 07-06-2016 at 08:42 PM.
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      07-07-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
I guess if you just want a cheap tire that you don't cry about burning up, this might fit the bill.
I totally agree!! Of the forums and discussions that i found online, they say they're somewhat comparable to RE11 only probably in terms of day to day spirited driving and NOT pushing the tire lap after lap on a course. The RE003 is more of an entry level sports tire that will offer up tremendous value for most enthusiast looking for a well rounded summer. Mind you, the RE003 sold under the Bridgestone brand in the Asia/Oceania Pacific is PRICEY! However, since they're marketed as Firestone in NA, they're at a tremendous "discount."

Here is a couple of review from different auto blogger/club owners when they did a launching event for the RE003 in Australia:
http://www.downshiftaus.com/2015/bri...potenza-re003/
http://clubitr.com.au/a-review-of-br...drenalin-re003
http://www.sau.com.au/forums/topic/4...f-tyre-deal33/

The RE003 was pitched against other competitor's tires (Michelin Pilot Sport 3, Continental ContiSportContact 5, and Pirelli P Zero Rosso) and performed better (as expected though since the other tires a much older design and thread design is not as aggressive).

Anyways, i agree, should i get these tires they'll seemingly be "cheap" tires that offers decent amount of performance that i won't cry about toasting em up

Cheers!
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      07-11-2016, 03:50 PM   #7
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OP great find!!! Thanks for sharing.

Looks like its a bit more aggressive than S04 but less than RE11.

Sizing wise, they have 245/275 (vs the standard 245/265). Might be worth a try especially for the price. They just ended a $70 rebate (which would have sweetened the deal further). I am in on this one once the AD08R is out.

Cheers,

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      07-11-2016, 04:15 PM   #8
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Maybe a marketing thing/price preservation tactic, but here are the categories these tires fall into according to TireRack:

Firehawk Indy 500 is in the "Ultra High Performance Summer Tire" category

Bridgestone S04 is in the "Max Summer Performance" Category

Bridgestone RE-11 is in the "Extreme Summer Performance" Category
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      07-12-2016, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutfy View Post
OP great find!!! Thanks for sharing.

Looks like its a bit more aggressive than S04 but less than RE11.

Sizing wise, they have 245/275 (vs the standard 245/265). Might be worth a try especially for the price. They just ended a $70 rebate (which would have sweetened the deal further). I am in on this one once the AD08R is out.

Cheers,

Lutfy
Hi Lutfy!

For sizing, you can go for 255/275 to keep ratio "more inline" and they're still very reasonably priced!!

HOWEVER, if you're coming from AD08R then this will be QUITE a step down in terms of performance. For DD i can see this as a very good alternative if you're looking for value.
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      07-13-2016, 01:19 AM   #10
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I don't see a 255/35-19 for the front. The 275/35-19 us pretty cheap.
They have a 265/35-18 ad 275/35-18 if you don't run staggard but no 285 or 295 if you do run staggard.
.
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      07-13-2016, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JsL View Post
Maybe a marketing thing/price preservation tactic, but here are the categories these tires fall into according to TireRack:

Firehawk Indy 500 is in the "Ultra High Performance Summer Tire" category

Bridgestone S04 is in the "Max Summer Performance" Category

Bridgestone RE-11 is in the "Extreme Summer Performance" Category

Those categories are becoming a bit of a joke. I understand that there are indeed different performance levels, but they're running out of superlatives. The gap is also pretty narrow between some categories making them somewhat arbitrary.
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      07-13-2016, 08:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
The PS2 was, and still is when not on clearance/close out, 50% more expensive than the PSS and the PSS is better in every performance and longevity metric. Tire tech development - it's a thing!

I don't even understand why the PS2 is still available. That is an OLD tire and the PSS has replaced it as the OEM tire on tons of vehicles.
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      07-13-2016, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aus View Post
I don't see a 255/35-19 for the front. The 275/35-19 us pretty cheap.
They have a 265/35-18 ad 275/35-18 if you don't run staggard but no 285 or 295 if you do run staggard.
.
My current favorite street setup on these cars is 275/35-18 and 275/40-18 staggEred on the same width wheel I have ceased caring about puny sub-255 tires for the front

I read somewhere PS2 is out of production and has been for years except for a few select mostly N-code sizes but because Michelin overestimated demand for PS2 when they released PSS, there is a ton of NOS sitting in warehouses. I'm waiting for the fire sale
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      07-13-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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I have 2 275/35/18 PS2 rotting away in my garage. Bought them as an emergency replacement when 1 of my RE71Rs blew on the way to the track. Most expensive tires ever.
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      07-18-2016, 01:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lutfy View Post
OP great find!!! Thanks for sharing.

Looks like its a bit more aggressive than S04 but less than RE11.

Sizing wise, they have 245/275 (vs the standard 245/265). Might be worth a try especially for the price. They just ended a $70 rebate (which would have sweetened the deal further). I am in on this one once the AD08R is out.

Cheers,

Lutfy
I was looking at the Costco PSS deal your student told us about this weekend. Looks like the Michelin tread wear warranty still works on staggered tires, but they do 30k on fronts and 15k on rears, and Michelin obviously doesn't expect the owner to rotate the tires, because you can't.

A set would be about $1,100 installed, but if Costco will actually issue replacements at a local shop under the tread warranty, it could turn out to be the only set of street/rain/track backup tires I ever need to buy?

My Pirelli street/rain tires are on their way out anyway. I may give this a try and see if it actually works.
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      07-18-2016, 03:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrantyTracker View Post
I was looking at the Costco PSS deal your student told us about this weekend. Looks like the Michelin tread wear warranty still works on staggered tires, but they do 30k on fronts and 15k on rears, and Michelin obviously doesn't expect the owner to rotate the tires, because you can't.

A set would be about $1,100 installed, but if Costco will actually issue replacements at a local shop under the tread warranty, it could turn out to be the only set of street/rain/track backup tires I ever need to buy?

My Pirelli street/rain tires are on their way out anyway. I may give this a try and see if it actually works.

The warranty is pro-rated, meaning that if you get them to 12k and are on the wear-bars, you are not getting that much money back. If they sense you raced on them, you can forget any sort of warranty.
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      07-18-2016, 04:23 PM   #17
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Ah! Thanks. So if I only get say 5,000 of the warrantied 15,000 for the $300 rears, I pay 1/3 of the price for the replacements (as in, $100 each) plus mounting, tax, etc.?
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      07-18-2016, 10:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrantyTracker View Post
Ah! Thanks. So if I only get say 5,000 of the warrantied 15,000 for the $300 rears, I pay 1/3 of the price for the replacements (as in, $100 each) plus mounting, tax, etc.?
Adam told me about the Costco warranty. Unlike Joe's shop dealing with Michelin directly (for warranty), Costco will honor the Michelin warranty on the spot provided you are rotating the tires with them (no cost).

DE is not considered racing and warranty is about 'averages'. One caveat "EVEN wear". Meaning camber related (inside) wear will not be honored since its alignment related.

Same warranty applies for Firehawk and Bridgestone tires as well. Re11 is excluded from warranty but Re71R is not? Amazing

http://www.firestonecompleteautocare...ranty-options/

Also my issue is not about wear. That is secondary. I purchased AD08R last year and granted used it year long with 5 track days last year and 12K street miles. They still show 4/32 but are so heat cycled out that they were literally BORING on the track (horrid grip). Per data, peak grip was low (same time last year high 80s).

That said, no warranty will cover that and I end up getting a new set of tires each year for that. FYI PSS and AS3 both heat cycled out pretty badly after 12K miles (as expected) with mixed street and very light track usage.

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      08-07-2016, 01:07 AM   #19
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Video Comparison by TireRack

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      08-07-2016, 01:20 PM   #20
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In TR testing It was a bunch quicker in the dry in its category than anything else. It turned some times that were good for "max performance" tires on their test track, but not the same day and conditions so hard to compare. Only made a bit less grip than PSS, and similar times on TR's test track to the Kumho PS91 whcih is in the Max Performance category. The Indy 500 is Certainly not a turd for the money
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      08-07-2016, 11:01 PM   #21
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Looking to order a set of these but it seems like they don't come in a 255/35/19.
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      08-08-2016, 04:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
In TR testing It was a bunch quicker in the dry in its category than anything else. It turned some times that were good for "max performance" tires on their test track, but not the same day and conditions so hard to compare. Only made a bit less grip than PSS, and similar times on TR's test track to the Kumho PS91 whcih is in the Max Performance category. The Indy 500 is Certainly not a turd for the money
Had been running these on my EP3 Civic SI and it's been phenomenal. Dry grip for the price is outta the world, it IS comparable to the Continental DW that I had on the Civic previously and seemingly offer stiffer more direct feel all around. Think we just found a very budget friendly "high" performance tire

Cheers!
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