Premium summer tires from Continental for all vehicle segments
Development partnerships with leading vehicle manufacturers
Special solutions for e-mobility
Testing has begun again. Just in time for the start of spring, the major automotive trade magazines and automobile clubs will once again be publishing the results of their com- prehensive summer tire tests over the next few weeks. Continental products have regu- larly occupied places at the very top of the rankings for many years. The first publications to be released prove that the situation will be no different this spring – for example, Auto Zeitung assessed the ContiSportContact 5 as “highly recommended.” The editorial team reserved particular praise for its excellent balance, thereby underlining one of the core areas of outstanding expertise of the Develop- ment department at the corporate headquar- ters in Hanover.
In actual fact, it is not especially difficult to give extraordinary capabilities to a tire with certain properties. Yet state-of-the-art, high- performance products must show themselves off at their best not in just one but in a diverse range of driving situations. In addition to short braking distances on all road surfaces, special requirements include aquaplaning protection, precise steering responses, high cornering forces, high traction, and predic- table handling characteristics. Two trends have emerged in recent years in particular. On the one hand, tires for compact vehicles with their increasingly powerful engines re- quire approval for ever greater speeds. On the other hand, car drivers are paying more and more attention to cost-effective tire so- lutions with low rolling resistance. These are requirements that are incorporated into the performance specifications of new products across all tire segments at the Continental Tire Development department in Hanover, as the product development focus of the Continental premium tire brand has always been on optimizing all safety-relevant characteris- tics, while simultaneously minimizing rolling resistance. Accordingly, this is also reflected in the current product range.
For example, the ContiEcoContact 5 – the cur- rent model for compact and lower medium- sized class vehicles – offers the ideal combina- tion of short braking distances on wet and dry roads with low rolling resistance. This meant a complete re-development of the carcass, compound, tire contour, and tread design. The sum total of the innovative developments ulti- mately facilitated a drastic reduction in rolling resistance of 20% for significantly lower fuel consumption with greater braking safety and shortened braking distances on wet and dry roads. At the same time, mileage was increa- sed by 12%. This means a vehicle fitted with the ContiEcoContact 5 tire uses about 3% less fuel than the same car with standard tires. The tire has also been approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h, and thus meets the demand for increasingly higher speeds in the smaller vehicle segment in an ideal manner.
The ContiPremiumContact 5 – the standard tire for vehicles from the compact up to the luxury class – is also approved for the same speeds. This high-volume model offers short stopping distances on dry and wet roads, low rolling resistance, high mileage performance, precise handling, and superior ride comfort overall.
For sporty passenger cars and powerful SUVs, Continental has developed the ContiSportContact 5 as well as the ContiSportContact 5 SUV. Both offer high grip and short braking distances on wet and dry roads. Particularly noteworthy are the low rolling resistance and high mileage performance, unusual for sporty tires. These improvements have been made possible, in particular, by a compound named “Black- Chili,” which enables maximized transfer of forces under braking while simultaneously ensuring low rolling resistance in normal dri- ving situations. In addition, handling of the tire is very precise, as a result of which both the ContiSportContact 5 as well as its big brother, the ContiSportContact 5 SUV, can be driven in a highly dynamic fashion. These tires are also approved up to 300 km/h.
Featuring an even sportier design is the ContiSportContact 5 P, for vehicles with a particularly high-performance engine. Since passenger cars with rear-wheel drive have a distinct advantage in terms of acce- lerating, braking, and handling if they have tires of different sizes on their front and rear axles, the ContiSportContact 5 P has been systematically designed for this drive concept. Two different models are manufactured for the front and rear axles. The front-axle version can be fitted all around on sports cars with front-wheel drive.
Top-class performance in a completely diffe- rent area is offered by the Conti.eContact, which was introduced for electric vehicles in 2011 and modified in 2014 to meet the specia- list needs of hybrid vehicles. Thanks to the introduction of numerous new technologies and processes, the new Conti.eContact is the first Continental product to achieve the top A rating on the EU Tire Label for both wet grip and rolling resistance while making no signifi- cant compromises in terms of the many other performance parameters. This tire achieves extremely low rolling resistance, one that is 20% lower than that of conventional tires. The Conti.eContact also features safety-relevant characteristics at their usually high level. Six tire sizes for 17“ and 18“ rims are available, specially designed for vehicles such as the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, Touareg Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, and Opel Ampera.
Special challenges always require special so- lutions. Although it is easier to pull away on slippery road surfaces with four-wheel-drive vehicles, in comparison with standard passen- ger cars they carry significantly more weight that needs to be managed when braking and cornering – and this at speeds compa- rable with those of medium-size sedans or even sports cars. Continental offers different summer tire models for this vehicle category in order to meet the needs of the different vehicles and their diverse types of use in the best way possible.
For example, the Conti4x4Contact is parti- cularly well suited as a tire for compact and standard-weight SUVs and crossovers. It offers excellent traction on the road and on easily navigable terrain. It also achieves short bra- king distances, a prompt steering response, and a high degree of directional stability. The staggered tread blocks generate minimal noise, while the tire‘s wide longitudinal and transverse tread grooves greatly reduce the risk of aquaplaning.
Continental recommends the Conti4x4SportContact for faster and more powerful four-wheel-drive vehicles. Its asym- metrically patterned tread with the compact outer shoulder area ensures superb cornering stability, while its wide tread grooves efficiently expel water from the tire on rain-slicked roads. In addition, the tread block rows are staggered for a quieter roll.
The ContiCrossContact LX Sport has been developed specially for the original equip- ment market, but is now also a popular choice in the replacement business and is sold and distributed via car dealers and the tire trade. It offers good grip and a precise steering re- sponse on wet and dry roads, as well as high mileage performance and comfort for more high-powered vehicles. Its range of possible applications includes, in particular, motoring on paved roads, country lanes, and dirt tracks, as well as light off-road duty – as a tractor unit for horse trailers, for instance. It is approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h.
Fourth in the group is the ContiCrossContact AT, which has been developed to meet the de- mands of drivers who intend to use their four-wheel-drive vehicles off-road but still want a comfortable margin of safety in road traffic. The ContiCrossContact AT is also available with white sidewall lettering in many sizes. It is approved for speeds of up to 210 km/h.
The Continental products developed for use in the replacement business have for many years performed particularly well in the tests conducted by the international automotive trade press and automobile clubs. However, further evidence of their quality is provided by the numerous approvals from leading Euro- pean, American, and Asian vehicle manufac- turers for use as original equipment on their vehicles. Their requirements have continued to grow more stringent over the years. Whe- reas safety, handling, comfort, and mileage performance were of paramount importance in previous years, factors such as low rolling resistance, puncture resistance, low noise, and adaptation to special drive and engine concepts have also become more significant now. To meet these requirements, the leading tire manufacturer from Hanover offers highly individual solutions for fitting ex works and develops the right solution for almost any vehicle concept. At roughly a third, the rate of use as original equipment by European vehicle manufacturers has been at a very high level for years, while this figure is approximately 16% in the U.S.A.