New Run Flat Firestone Firehawk For C5 ‘Vettes
Offers Outstanding Wet Performance
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 9, 2000) – At racing events,
auto shows and retail outlets, Bridgestone/Firestone executives and
sales staff have been hearing the same question: When are you going to
offer a run flat tire for the new Chevrolet C5 Corvette?
The answer is now. The Firestone Firehawk SZ50 EP RFT
with UNI-T AQ™ is designed especially for the C5. It features run flat
technology and UNI-T AQ technology, a combination of elements providing
more consistent performance throughout a tire’s life. The new tire is
an improved version of the original Firestone Firehawk SZ50 introduced
in 1996. It quickly became a favorite for owners of earlier version
Corvettes and other performance cars due in large part to its
outstanding performance in wet weather.
"Many Corvette owners who had driven the original
Firestone Firehawk SZ50 kept asking us to produce a run flat version for
the new C5," said Shu Ishibashi, Bridgestone/Firestone
Vice-President of Consumer Tire Marketing. "They appreciated its
handling characteristics, reduced noise and wet performance. Responding
to their requests, we improved that tire with the latest UNI-T AQ
technology and added run flat capability. ‘Vette owners who liked the
original Firestone SZ50 are going to find the new Firestone Firehawk
SZ50 EP RFT with UNI-T AQ an even better tire."
UNI-T AQ™ (Advanced Quality) includes the core
UNI-T technologies combined with EPO™ (Extended Performance
Optimization). EPO elements include an innovative Dual-Layer Tread and
an Extended Performance Compound (EPC™). As the outer tread wears
away, a layer of high-grip rubber underneath is exposed, helping offset
the effects of wear on wet-surface braking and handling. Both layers are
made of an Extended Performance Compound, which is resistant to the
traditional hardening that normally occurs as a tire ages.
The extended performance capabilities of the Firestone
Firehawk SZ50 EP with UNI-T AQ are complimented by other desirable
characteristics made possible by
UNI-T® core technologies. Those characteristics
include longer wear, reduced noise, strong grip in both wet and dry
conditions, and other qualities difficult to find in a single tire.
UNI-TÒ is an acronym
for "Ultimate Network of Intelligent Tire Technology" found
only in Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and select associate brand tires.
One of its core technologies is a Computer Optimized Component
System, CO· CSÒ
, which uses a super computer to help determine an ideal combination
of tread design, casing shape, materials and construction for a
Tires with UNI-TÒ have
a special O-BeadÒ that eliminates
overlapped joints in the bead assembly, affecting the way a tire
interacts with the rim, and provides a rounder assembly for improved
driving and handling stability.
The use of L.L. CarbonÒ ,
or Long Link Carbon, an advanced form of carbon black that absorbs road
stress over a larger area, produces a stronger tire, better able to
resist cracking, chipping, tearing and excessive wear.
Bridgestone/Firestone was a pioneer in run flat
technology, developing and bringing to market one of the earliest run
flat tires. It successfully demonstrated one of the first run flat tires
in America nearly a decade ago on the Calaway Corvette.
"Since then, various technologies have evolved,
making run flat capability less expensive for consumers and more popular
with some auto manufacturers," Ishibashi said. "We are proud
to have contributed to the early research of run flat technology, and
believe the new Firestone Firehawk SZ50 EP RFT with UNI-T AQ sets a new
standard of performance in this market.
"Our successful involvement with the top forms of
open-wheel racing is most obvious with this tire," Ishibashi said.
"The tread pattern is very similar to the Firestone Firehawk racing
radial used on wet tracks in Championship Auto Racing Teams competition.
In that series and others, consistency of tire performance has been a
factor contributing to our success on the track. Our UNI-T
AQ technology allows us to take this desirable quality of improved
consistency to the street.
"We are pleased the Firestone brand, known as
‘America’s Tire Since 1900,’ can be used on all versions of the
Corvette, considered by many as ‘America’s sports car.’ We think
it’s a great relationship."
The Firestone Firehawk SZ50 EP RFT with UNI-T AQ comes
with the Firestone Gold Pledge limited warranty, which provides
replacement at no charge (excluding applicable taxes) if the tire should
become unusable for any reason within the manufacturer’s control for
up to five years. It also features the Firestone 30-Day Test Drive,
allowing a consumer to return the tire and receive a refund if he or she
is not pleased with it for any reason within 30 days of purchase, and
the RFT Pledge, which provides limited replacement or prorated
adjustment if the tire becomes unusable due to road hazards within
usable tread life of five years from purchase or six years from
manufacture, whichever comes first.
Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is the
largest subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest
tire and rubber company. Bridgestone/Firestone develops, manufactures
and markets Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton, associate and private brand
tires. The company also produces Firestone air springs, roofing
materials, synthetic rubber, and industrial fibers and textiles.
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