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I’d been waiting for it to snow. Wishing, waiting, watching, refreshing the BBC weather app. I didn’t want to go and do handbrake turns in Tesco carpark (I did) I just wanted to put my new tyres through their final trial.
Last year Bridgestone invited me to test tyres with them at Donnington Park race circuit. They were working with their Turanza T005 and developing the new Weather Control A005. I got to join a bunch of other drivers and throw a brand new, Bridgestone clad, VW Golf around a wet track. I also got a sausage sandwich.
The tyres were amazing, grippy and predictable. But, what would they be like on an older car, one without a super shiny clever computer, one that was almost 20 years old?
I absolutely love this car. Some might call it a banger, but I call it a design classic (I also call it Richie, but that’s another story). £150 of joy and the longest 3rd gear you’ll ever find.
In 2001 the Golf Mk4 was the best-selling car in Europe and I can see why:
Cassette deck (and CD player).
Walnut trimmed dashboard for added style and class.
Twin cup holder for garden centre pot plants and chai lattes.
I’d been tolerating terrible tyres for too long. I must admit I found it pretty funny how much they would squeal round corners on a hot day, but adding time onto my journeys if the weather wasn’t perfectly dry, and slip-sliding all the way to my destination in the wet, wasn’t ideal (or safe), even if I do like a challenge.
I was given the opportunity to put the Bridgestone Weather Control A005s on my old Golf and I was totally up for it. I was interested to see how they’d perform, especially in comparison to the new Golf I’d driven at Donnington.
So, here’s my five-line, key-point, review of Bridgestone’s all-season touring tyre:
Loads less road noise.
Incredibly improved braking.
Superb grip in all weather (even wintery conditions).
Much better cornering, less understeer.
The car generally drove much more smoothly.
Today was the last test. After a couple of weeks of driving in sub-zero temperatures, on black ice and muddy Fen roads, the snow finally arrived. It was a winter wonderland out there!
The roads were wet, snow covered and icy in patches, and in all honesty, I couldn’t tell. I do spend a lot of time driving, on the road and the track, so it’s not that I’m totally oblivious, it’s just that these tyres are amazing, like, truly amazing. No one paid me to say that. I take your safety seriously.
I’m not an expert at technical details and scientific explanations, I could try to explain, but I won’t – Bridgestone say it better:
‘The tread design features a V-shape layout, innovative ‘Z’ side shape and high-volume slots in the shoulder of the pattern. It works with the optimised body construction and contact pressure distribution to ensure the tyre performs to the expectations of end-users in terms of grip, fuel efficiency and wear. The use of Bridgestone’s proprietary Nano Pro-TechTM technology and a high silica content further support the performance of the tyre. The longevity of tyre is also extended to make sure the tyre lasts for longer, no matter the road conditions, driving style or frequency of driving.’
I’ve been driving on these tyres for a couple of months now, and I’ve not got complacent, they are still impressing me every time I get in the car and head off across the Fens – along mud covered roads and beside long deep ditches, with that feeling of nostalgic freedom that only an old car and a cassette player can provide. I absolutely love this car!
This is a sponsored post. I was a guest of Bridgestone at Donnington Park last year and they gave me a set of Bridgestone Weather Control A005 tyres so that I could try them out and write about them, if I chose to. As always, my opinions are my own. I take this super seriously and would never compromise your safety for my gain.