force distribution (EBD), Anti Lock Braking System (ABS), McPherson struts,
torque, rpm, bhp, hill descent control, Continuously Variable transmission
(CVT), many of these words and abbreviations mean a lot when it comes to a
vehicle and the way it moves and stops. Tyres are often not given much
attention unless they are mounted on gleaming alloys with snazzy designs. They
are always meant to roll, no matter what the situation is on the ground or the
air. In rain, in hail, in bright and humid climes, on smooth and rough tarmacs,
on tar and cement, tyres seem to have one job cut out for them…Roll Along. It’s
underestimated and outshone by every other product connected to a vehicle.
play a critical role in a vehicle. Just to reiterate what good tyres are meant
to do, we were taken to Bridgestone's proving grounds in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
It’s here we experienced what it means to drive on a good set of tyres. Bridgestone
India launched their Ecopia series of tyres in India on October 7, 2015. The
Ecopia series has been available in global markets for a while and boast of
improved fuel efficiency, wet handling, low rolling resistance and superior
grip. The company launched the EP150 and EP850 series in the Indian market and
we flew down to Thailand to test the EP150 tyres at Bridgestone's proving grounds
in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
years as tyre technology has evolved, companies have innovated on the lines of
providing superior comfort, performance, grip and efficiency. Today these tyres
undergo stringent tests to prove their capability to consumers and
manufacturers alike. Bridgestone has a mammoth proving ground at Ayutthaya,
Thailand which boasts of a Main Circuit, Multi Purpose Test Pad, Skid Pad, Wet
and Dry Brake Testing, Straight Track Hydroplaning, Dry Handling Circuit, Wet
Handling Circuit, Special Road Surfaces, Cornering Track Hydroplaning and a Slope
Test. The facility is spread over 130 acres of land and has been developed
keeping in mind real world road conditions.
our tests on the EP150 175/65 R15 tyres set on a Honda Amaze. The tyres were
tested for rolling resistance, braking, hydroplaning, wet handling, dry
handling, slope test, multi-surface handling and noise. The Ecopia series was
pit against Bridgestone's S322 and another significant competitor all set on
Honda's Amaze sedan. In the rolling resistance test the Ecopia series rolled
76.6 meters farther than the S322 and a 108.6 meters farther than the
competitor. The rolling resistance test was conducted to check Ecopia's low
rolling resistance as claimed by Bridgestone. The significance of low rolling
resistance is that it enables a vehicle to roll further without the need to
accelerate the vehicle. The benefit consumers derive is a higher fuel
efficiency. The company has claimed an increase in 7 pc fuel efficiency for
vehicles using the Ecopia EP150 series which would roughly translate into
savings worth Rs 21,120 over a span of four years. Bridgestone has set a
benchmark for the industry with the introduction of the Ecopia series. These
tyres have been engineered with silica and other light and tough materials
which improve roll resistance. The fuel savings offered by Ecopia contributes
to Bridgestone's global goal of improving tyre rolling resistance by 25 pc by
series also comes with a new tread design which has been engineered to push
aside water to facilitate smooth rolling. The tyres have an optimised 3D block
shape and RIB-linked blocks for uniform road surface contact. The tread design
helps reduce the effects of hydroplaning while braking and driving through wet
road conditions. We tested the tyres on controlled wet road conditions and took
the vehicles up to maximum of 85kmph. On sharp corners we felt a significant
loss of traction while driving the car fitted with the competitor's tyres. It
became blatantly evident that the EP 150 tyres displayed superior grip and
control on wet tarmac over the competitor's 175/65 R14 tyres.
the cars for wet braking performance the Amaze fitted with EP150 stopped 4.57
meters before the one fitted with Bridgestone's S322 and 4.3 meters before the
one fitted with the competitor’s 175/65 R14 tyres. All three cars were taken up
to a max speed of 80kmph and the brake pedal was completely compressed at the
same braking start line. Vehicles tend to lose traction while braking on wet
surfaces. This however can be avoided with technological aids such as ABS
(Anti-lock Braking System). All the Amaze sedans used for the test were fitted
with ABS. However the car fitted with the Ecopia EP150 tyres stopped 4.3 meters
before the car with the competitors tyres. The tread design of the Ecopia EP150
optimises road surface contact on wet surfaces by pushing aside the water
between the road and the tyre thus aiding better traction compared to that of
the competitor's tyres.
consider Indian road conditions a lot has to be taken into account, broken
roads are just one aspect. The materials used while constructing roads are
substandard in most locations and loose gravel is common. One of the reasons
why the tyre was invented was to facilitate a smoother and more comfortable
ride. We tested the Ecopia EP150 on a Special Road Surface as well. The Special
Road Surface at Bridgestone's Ayutthaya proving grounds offers up to 10
different types of road surfaces including bumps, potholes and loose gravel on
which the tyres can be checked for comfort, smoothness and noise. We took the
car up to 100kmph and found that the tyres did not create as much of a humming
noise on concrete and tarmac as others do over such surfaces. While driving
over bumps, potholes and through loose gravel we felt there was a slight
improvement over conventional tyres, the ride definitely felt smoother and more
The last test
we conducted on the Ecopia tyres was a slope test, two tricycles were used in
this test, one with the Ecopia EP150 and the other with the competitors 175/65
R14 tyres. The tricycles were launched from a set distance on slope of 3
degrees. Just to give the competitors an advantage I sat on the tricycle fitted
with Ecopia tyres while another fellow journalist sat on the tricycle fit with
the competitor’s tyres. The advantage was that the other journalist weighed
almost 20kgs less than me. Despite the difference in weight the tricycle fitted
with Ecopia tyres rolled almost 30 paces more than that of competition.
The word Ecopia has been derived
from a combination of “Ecology” and “Utopia” and is one of Bridgestone’s
flagship brands to represent the company’s eco friendly initiatives. The
biggest advantage these tyres offer to the Indian consumer is improved mileage,
it also helps in cutting carbon emissions in the country. After a comprehensive
test review of the new Ecopia EP150 we found that these tyres also display
significant prowess when it comes to traction, control, braking and comfort. While
braking on a wet surface Ecopia tyres put up a much better result than its
competition. The difference was significant enough to prove these tyres can
help avoiding an accident. The tyres also displayed immense control over wet
and dry surfaces compared to the competitor's tyres. There was certainly more
traction on wet surfaces and the grip on tarmac inspired nothing but
confidence. So if you are looking to replace your tyres, this is one of the
safest bets you will make, be it mileage, durability, safety or
Celebrating its 120th Anniversary, Royal Enfield announced the launch of a new range of limited edition helmets earlier this week. The limited range will consist of hand painted helmets designed by ar...
Sony India has introduced the new XAV-AX8100 in-car media receiver, offering new utility features, powerful sound and smart features.
ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt Ltd launched its upgraded Mobil Super Moto range of engine oils to make it easier for people to maintain their two-wheelers in top condition. The launch comes at a time when...
In an exclusive interview, Uday Narang, Chairman, Anglian Omega Group & Omega Seiki Mobility
talks about his company plans to enter the two and four wheeler electric vehicle space.
Motown India speaks to Woosuk Leem, Managing Director, AS Parts Division, Mobis India to get more details about the Hyundai Mobility Membership App and its advantages.
Vishal Mathur, Senior Vice President, LMD Truck Business – VECV elaborates upon VECV’s Light & Medium Duty (LMD) business in India, the company’s product offering and the several advantages offered by...