The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is a new and improved version of the trusted Blizzak WS70, which has been around for ages. The Blizzak WS70 is one of the most recognized names in the lineup of winter tires. It did have its faults. For example, Blizzak WS70 wasn’t always at its best on dry roads and had a high treadwear. Another issue was the special Tube Multicell Compound that made it so effective as a winter tire comprised of just 60% of its tread depth, as the manufacturing processes back in those days weren’t as advanced as they are today.
So, how does the new generation of Bridgestone tires represented by Blizzak WS80 fare in comparison? Let’s find out.
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Technology
WS80 has been designed to optimize the tire footprint and to distribute the pressure as evenly as possible across the tread. This gives the tire a stronger grip and makes it better at evacuating water or slush.
WS80 comprises of the updated Next-Gen Tube Multicell Compound, which consists of tiny voids throughout the tread. While it still comprises only 60% of the tread depth, it comes with a new “hydrophilic” coating, which makes it possible for the voids to absorb more water.
The WS80 has been designed with a 3D Zigzag siping pattern with multiple biting edges that prevents the tread blocks from flexing too much, which makes the tire less prone to squishiness and wear and tear.
The WS80 is comprised of an internal band of tread blocks set at a 45-degree angle to the spin of the tire which provides for a better lateral snow grip. It consists of smaller shoulder blocks with increased biting edges of as much as 20%, which Bridgestone claims to improve the grip by 10%.
WS80’s tread compound is made of microscopic bite particles that give extra tire grip on ice. This is a feature that is common to all top-rated winter tires. Blizzak WS80 also comes with what is called Micro-Texture technology. This is a process where the surface of the tread is made rougher for extra grip.
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Performance
The Blizzak WS80 combines improved snow performance with the traditional strength of all Blizzak tires–their superlative ice performance. With the new WS80, Blizzak is still the best winter tire on ice, which is a major relief for long-time customers. There’s no other product on the market that offers better breaking on sheer ice, or for that matter, better straight-line acceleration on ice, than the Blizzak WS80.
The Blizzak WS80 performs equally well in mixed snow and ice conditions, which is why it is such an improvement over its predecessor. One of the biggest changes in WS80 has been the lateral snow grip, which is a positive development, indeed. The tires are firm, yet smooth on most surfaces. There’s no evidence of squishiness of any sort, which is good to see.