Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ vs BFG g-Force Comp-2 AS Plus

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Both the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ BF Goodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S PLUS come in the category of Ultra High Performance All-Season tires. So these boys are designed for drivers who prioritize high-speed capability, predictable handling across dry and wet conditions, and consistent year-round performance. But which tire is better? Let’s find out!

Mazda 3
Testing out both boys on Mazda 3.

With my background in tire engineering, I can tell you that the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ offers excellent lateral grip and cornering, superior wet traction, and one of the best winter performance values (in it’s category). In comparison, the BF Goodrich G-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus excels in hydroplaning resistance, offers better steering response and handling from a stiffer composition and rounded patch, and although lacks in overall winter performance, still provides great snow acceleration capabilities.

Sizes Specifications

The Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ comes in 16 to 20 inches rims, and they have the following specs.

  • Speed ratings: W on all.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 6.5 to 11/32″.
  • Weight range: 22 to 34 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 50k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 500 AA A.

Review this tire in greater detail:

The BF Goodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S PLUS comes in 16 to 20 inches wheels with following specifications.

  • Speed ratings: W and Y.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 9/32″ on all.
  • Weight range: 20 to 38 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 45k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 400 A A.

Review this tire in greater detail:

Tread Design

The Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS offers an asymmetric tread design packed with advanced features.

Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+
Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ comes with snow vices on shoulders and its middle most rib.

It’s tread comes with 5 total ribs (another name for block columns you see).

Out of them, the outer two (shoulder) ribs are the least aggressive.

They, although lack in biting edges, still display linear siping and clear lateral voids, all underlined by a robust foundation.

Moving towards the middle, the 3 ribs there, form interconnected 4 circumferential channels.

All these ribs have slanted wave-like siping, and notches facing both lateral directions.

Moreover, they are also joined up to each other (longitudinally), with rubber ridges in between.

Internally, the tire comprises a single-ply polyester, reinforced by dual steel belts and wrapped with a spirally wound polyamide cap ply.

On the other side, the G-Force Comp 2 A/S+ is seen with a totally different structure.

BFG g-Force Comp-2 AS Plus
The BFG g-Force Plus directional design provides superb resistance to hydroplaning.

The tire comes with a directional tread pattern, where the whole structure is actually consisting of just two shoulder ribs.

So you get a single longitudinal channel here (in it’s middle-most area), unlike the Potenza (which features 4 of these).

All lugs on these ribs are of course similar, where they are characterized by “plus-shaped” grooves or should I say, in-groove notches.

And yes, they also feature chamfered edges, and linear sipes, acting as biters.

Moreover, beneath all these lugs is a secondary rubber layer, providing foundational support, which helps with the tire’s steering responsiveness, especially while sharp cornering.

Internally, the BF Goodrich’s design incorporates a single-ply polyester framework, overlaid by two steel belts and a spirally wound nylon cap.

Directional Grip

Let’s kick things off, by examining the role of directional grip in tire performance.

Now this grip depends on tire’s contact patch (especially form the middle tread’s area), and get measured with tire’s braking abilities.

And considering this, it can be explained why the BF Goodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus does not excel in this aspect.

Though the tire offers a “directional” pattern, with a rounded contact patch, it still lacks with it’s central circumferential groove.

This groove reduces the amount of rubber available to make contact with the road surface, affecting the potential for optimal braking performance and directional stability.

Moreover, the tire also weighs more, contributing to a higher momentum inertia. And this increased inertia necessitates more force to halt the tire, affecting its stoppage capabilities.

On the other side, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ features more streamlined central ribs where all lugs are interconnected with each other longitudinally, (with ridges).

And this combined with it’s lighter weight the tire is able to stop an average of one foot shorter than its counterpart, indicating it’s superior directional grip.

Out of all tires I’ve reviewed so far, the Michelin PSAS4, ranks for braking, in my list of top ultra high performance all season tires (link to the list).

Cornering and Steering

When assessing the cornering grip, we look at the shoulders and sidewalls. That’s because while turning, the weight on the tire shits towards the edges (of the tread).

Now, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ excels in this area, as evidenced by its lateral g-force capabilities, where it’s shoulder area is more compacted up.

Whereas, one can clearly see the BFG’s prominently voided up lugs there (if you consider it’s structure again, scrolling above). And they hamper the tire’s overall lateral traction.

But traction is only part of the cornering story. And the overall handling dynamics, (as measured by lap times) also depends on steering response of a tire.

And that’s where the BF Goodrich G-Force Comp 2 A/S+ makes its mark.

The tire basically offers a better blend of under/over-steering, thanks to it’s rounded contact patch, and an overall stiffer rubber composition.

With rounded patch, the weight transfer between the shoulders and the central tread area is smoother, and this enhances on-center feel particularly.

While with a stiffer rubber, it’s lugs are less prone to sidewall/shoulder flexing. Meaning, less time/energy is wasted in to the re-shaping of the lugs. So the overall steering is more direct.

So overall, the BFG is better in overall cornering, even though the Birdgestone’s tire offers better lateral grip.

For Your Info: Still need a better tire in UHP All-Season category? Well, you should know that the Pirelli Pilot Sport All Season (review) is leading in terms of dry handling performance.

Winter Performance

Winter driving demands proficiency in three critical areas: snow braking, handling, and acceleration. And overall, we have a clear winner here: the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+.

In fact it nearly outperforms all other tires in it’s ultra high performance AS category, well except for Nokian WRG4. You can review the tire here:

So what makes this tire so great?

Well, in case of snowy terrains (softer snow), the effectiveness of this tire comes from its superb ability to facilitate snow-to-snow contact, (while throwing out the excess snow, at the same time).

(This contact is pretty important, as snowflakes naturally interlock with each other, creating more grip/friction, compared to rubber-to-snow contact).

Moreover, you also get an array of winter-tire-like features such as interlocking/angled full depth siping (all over the tread).

And these coupled with substantial lateral grooves on the shoulders and innovative snow vices, you get an enhanced grip in both lateral and longitudinal directions, improving stability on icy surfaces as well.

Though one thing to note here: The BF Goodrich G-Force Comp 2 A/S+ offers just as great snow acceleration, in comparison. And that’s because of it’s directional tread pattern, throwing snow backwards, and generating forward momentum against it.

Overall Wet Performance

Optimal wet performance is predicated on two essential factors: traction in wet conditions and the ability to resist hydroplaning. Let’s start with later.

Hydroplaning Resistance

To ensure superior performance when driving in the rain, it’s imperative that tires can efficiently channel water away.

That’s because water can not be “compressed”, meaning it has to go somewhere, and groove offer the pathways for them.

This way, most of the water gets out, without creating a layer between the the tire and the road, (which affects grip, and makes the tire float, or hydroplane).

Now, the BF Goodrich G-Force Comp 2 A/S+ is one of the best tires here, I mean in its ultra high performance all season category.

So how this tire able to provide faster float speeds?

Well, this is due to the tire’s directional tread pattern, where the V-shaped or arrow-like lugs effectively directs water from the center towards the edge and out, improving hydroplaning resistance.

And yes, the tire’s rounded contact patch helps here. Simply put, it pressurizes water more (in the middle), so it could gush out.

On the flip side, with (almost) continuous-running longitudinal ribs, the Potenza RE980AS+ lacks in expelling as much water, especially in the sideways directions.

For Your Info: Float speed tells how fast a tire can go, (over water), without hydroplaning .

Wet Traction

Although grooves are critical for removing most of the water, tiny residual water droplets can still linger under the tread blocks. And they are the ones causing most of the slippage.

Now to deal with them, tires are equipped with sipes. These are tiny slits which suck up the water particles. So they have to be “good in number” and should be “flexible enough” (to create suction for water underneath).

Both these features are expertly given by the Potenza RE980AS+, where the tire offers a combination of countless, linear and wave-like patterned slits.

And with a relatively softer compound, all these sipes are more effective too.

So you get a leading tire here, when it comes to wet traction, “literally”. I mean the Potenza offers faster handling (average) speeds on lap tests.

On the other side, although BF Goodrich takes out considerable volume of water through its grooves, which reduces the reliance on sipes to begin with, you still get a lacking overall wet traction here.

That’s because there are fewer sipes on this tire, and even those aren’t able to function properly due to the stiffer nature of the tire’s rubber.

So yes, in a way, you can say, most of it’s grip comes from it’s grooves.

The verdict: While the BFG G-Force Comp 2 provides superior hydroplaning resistance, the overall wet traction is better on Bridgestone’s tire.

Fuel Consumption

The relationship between tire’s rolling resistance and fuel efficiency is pretty well established. But what affects this resistance?

Well several factors do, primarily the tire’s weight, the composition of the rubber, and the pattern of the tread.

Now out of both tires, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ demonstrates slightly better overall fuel economy.

The tire comes with a very composed tread design, where it’s shallower tread depth, (starting from just 6.5/32″), and lighter weight, both contribute to it’s smaller rolling resistance.

Both these factors basically keep the lugs from bending, (which basically necessitates extra energy to return the lugs to their original shapes).

Though BFG is not bad (by any means) as well. It although lacks here, compared to Potenza, it’s by a very small difference.

I mean, given it’s category, the tire offers a good enough fuel efficiency too. And that’s due to its aerodynamic, directional design paired with a stiffer rubber compound.

Tire Noise Generation

When it comes to acoustic performance, the overall tread design becomes very significant. That’s because noise is primarily generated when air particles (entering mainly from shoulder voids), hit around the tread walls.

So with more closed up shoulders, the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ offers a relatively quieter ride.

Even though the tire makes a lot of growling sounds, with its winter-tire like siping, it still not as loud in comparison, thanks to it’s variable pitch tread.

It’s lugs vary (geometrically) in a way, that air hitting them (from different angles), generates a spectrum of tones. And the varied tones/frequencies try to negate each other, lowering overall noise.

On the other hand, the BF Goodrich with is louder, and it’s not a surprise, given it’s tread design. I mean, it clearly allows air particles to come in, with those huge voids (joining up the plus shaped in-groove notches).

Side Note: Among their direct competitors, the Kumho Ecsta PA51 (review) comes out as a quietest UHPAS tire.

To Wrap Things Up

So ultimately, it boils down to the following key points.

The Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS+ excels in the following:

  • Lateral grip and cornering, owing to its compact shoulder area, and enhanced lateral g-force capabilities.
  • Wet traction, thanks to its numerous and flexible sipes along with a softer rubber compound.
  • Winter performance, with it’s full depth siping, and innovative rubber composition.

While the BF Goodrich G-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus takes the lead in:

  • Hydroplaning resistance, due to its directional tread pattern that channels water out efficiently and a rounded contact patch.
  • Steering response, and handling dynamics, benefiting from a stiffer rubber composition, that reduces sidewall flexing and improves steering directness.
  • Snow acceleration, thanks to its swooping lugs.

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