Comparing the Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico vs the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

By blackcircles Canada | Tuesday 18 October 2022 | BlogOn the road, Comparatif

With the fall season well under way, drivers know that it will soon be time to face snow and ice! Are you looking for good non-studded winter tires? The Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico vs Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 are both excellent choices that are worth your attention.

Blackcircles offers this comparison between these two tires and the performance they offer.

How do the Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico vs Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 compare?

Both the Pirelli and the Bridgestone tires are part of the same tire category: non-studded winter tires. This means they are tires that you can legally use all winter, no matter where you live.

The Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico is an all-new member of the family: it replaces the Ice Zero FR, which is still available for sale. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is also relatively new on the market, since it was revealed in 2019; it is the evolution of the WS80.

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is available in a total of 51 different dimensions, ranging between 14 to 19 inches. It is perfect for touring vehicles, particularly sedans, and minivans as well.

As for the Pirelli Winter Ice Zero Asimmetrico, it is perfectly suited to touring vehicles and SUVs. It offers dimensions ranging between 15 to 20 inches, 10 of which are 17 or 18- inches; there are 31 different dimensions in all. Even though both are excellent winter tires, there is a possibility that one or the other may be better suited to your vehicle.

Another notable difference between the Pirelli Winter Ice Zero vs Bridgestone Blizzak is in the tread design. The Bridgestone tire offers a directional tread. As for the Pirelli, although the previous generation also offered a directional tread, it has now been completely redesigned: the Asimmetrico now stands out with an asymmetrical tread.

These differences in the tread design also come with different advantages on both sides; we will take a closer look at these below.

Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico: specifications

As you have probably deduced, the new Pirelli tire is completely different from the Pirelli Ice Zero FR. Making the switch from a directional tread to an asymmetrical tire obviously brings with it loads of changes. Amongst the new features the tire offers, you will find:

  • Blocks that are more square
  • Full-depth 3D sipes
  • A double lateral groove
  • New liquid polymers
  • A lower void ratio

These tires ensure optimal traction levels in all situations thanks to the sipes and the liquid polymers that are used in the compound. These new polymers provide the tire with superior flexibility, which means that traction levels remain higher on icy and wet surfaces.

So, even though the tread is no longer directional, it still offers excellent traction levels on slippery surfaces. A compound’s flexibility levels are definitely an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a winter tire. The polymers used in this tire allow it to adapt easily to extreme conditions. When facing extremely cold winters, this is definitely a significant advantage!

Traction is also optimized thanks to a lower void ratio. In fact, the lower the void ratio, the greater the contact surface. This is also a considerable advantage when it comes to traction, no matter the surface, but mostly on ice.

Tire pressure has also been improved thanks to the groove design that allows it to distribute weight more evenly. This offers a significant advantage when driving on snowy or wet roads, where stability rhymes with safety!

The 3D sipes are also another significant factor that provide the tire with added pressure on the road, thus improving braking performance. Some of these sipes are found on the shoulder blocks, which have been redesigned for greater stability.

In short, this new generation is specially designed for an even safer and more performant driving experience than the previous one!

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90: specifications

The Bridgestone tires are well known for the superior quality they offer, and this winter tire is staying true to the brand’s reputation. It is easily recognizable thanks to the following features:

  • A MultiCell compound
  • Circumferential grooves
  • Lateral grooves
  • Blocks with improved rigidity by 30 %
  • 15 % more gripping sipes

Even though it is a little less recent than the Pirelli, we can easily notice that many efficient improvements had been made compared to the WS80. A greater concentration of gripping sipes optimizes traction, amongst other things. This means that the tire will grip onto snow and ice more easily for greater control.

These gripping particles are part of what Bridgestone calls the MultiCell technology, which was first and foremost developed to improve traction levels on the tire. The large amount of circumferential and lateral grooves also allows it, obviously, to evacuate water efficiently in order to offer greater resistance to aquaplaning.

The tire manufacturer also relies on a new rubber compound that provides the tire with a greater contact surface with the road, resulting in significant improvements when it comes to optimizing traction levels!

You will also notice that the rigidity of the blocks has significantly improved as well. This not only offers more reactivity, but prolongs the tire’s life span as well thanks to a greater resistance to wear.

Offering perfectly safe wear resistance for the winter season, the Blizzak WS90 is definitely also another excellent choice in its category.

Choosing between the Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico and the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

As you can see, the Pirelli Winter Ice Zero vs Bridgestone Blizzak both focus on common features and strengths, although they approach these differently. In fact, they are both excellent choices, though for different reasons.

Firstly, the tread design obviously comes with different advantages on both sides. On the one side, the Pirelli tire’s asymmetrical tread ensures several benefits like greater stability in turns, amongst other things. On the other side, the Bridgestone’s directional tread allows it to evacuate water more quickly.

In reality, the Bridgestone tire is indeed more performant on wet roads, while the Pirelli tire will offer greater performance on dry roads. Inversely, the Blizzak will offer a less sporty drive on dry roads, and the Ice Zero –although very safe- will evacuate water less rapidly.

Where both share similar traits is truly in terms of performance on ice, where they stand out significantly compared to their rivals. The 3D sipes on the Pirelli and the gripping sipes and the Bridgestone both truly bite and grip onto the ice, offering greater control. In both cases you are dealing with easy to maneuver tires with safe braking distances.

Finally, there is also another difference to consider between asymmetrical and directional tires: how quiet the ride is. By changing the design, the Pirelli tire has managed to shave off noise production by 4 %. The Bridgestone tire, however, still remains a quiet option for a directional tire.

All in all, both brands focus on different strategies: the Blizzak WS90 truly stands out in terms of water evacuation, while the Ice Zero offers a sportier drive on dry surfaces. Otherwise, they are both excellent on snowy or icy surfaces!

Comparing warranties

A warranty can be a decisive factor for certain people who are shopping for new tires. With Bridgestone, you will take advantage of a limited warranty called the Platinum Pact, while the Pirelli offers the Pirelli Confidence Plus Plan.

Both include a limited warranty on tread life. Should your tire prove to be defective, Bridgestone offers a free replacement within the first 3- years after purchase, or 4- years after manufacturing.

As for the Pirelli, a materials and workmanship guarantee is included for the first 6- years following manufacturing. On the other hand, Bridgestone truly stands out with a satisfaction or money back guarantee of 90 days! For the same guarantee, Pirelli is closer to the average, with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

As you can see, both offer complete warranties upon purchase. Whether you opt for the Pirelli Ice Zero Asimmetrico or the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90, you will be making an excellent choice when it comes to winter tires.

As the cold is quickly setting in, would you like to have more winter tire suggestions? Do not hesitate to check out our winter tires buying guide to help you find the perfect model for you! The blackcircles Canada team is available and eager to help.

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