Continental Launches New Line of Extreme High-Performance Tires
Tires are just tires, right? Well, to some they are and to some they are not. We happen to fall into the latter camp. If you are just rolling to the grocery store you may not care about the rubber you ride on but for those of us who are performance oriented, the tire you choose makes a big difference. Sub5zero cars demand high-performance tires that handle well under the most demanding conditions. Bridgestone, Goodyear and Pirelli all make great tires for sports cars as well. But whenever a new tire is released into the marketplace it’s important to take note because new tire launch equals new technology and Continental Tire has it in spades.
Today I attended Continental Tire’s ride and drive event for their new product line at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The venue provided an opportunity to pit the new Continental ExtremeContact DW and DWS tires against their biggest competitors. It also provided an opportunity to really examine these new radials under a variety of scenarios including wet tests on freshly watered down pavement, a dry handling course, braking tests, a road course, an oval race track and a drifting pad. BMW 3 series and Mustang GTs were used for the everyday driving tests while Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Celicas, operated by Fast Lane Racing School, were used for the oval and road courses.
My overall impression of the Continental ExtremeContact tire in both variations was positive. I can’t comment on specific treadware or tire life due to the short test span but spent enough time on the numerous tracks to get a good feel for their performance in general. Traction was exceptional on both wet and dry surfaces and launch control was a breeze. There was zero spin and the tires didn’t break away at any time. Cornering was above average and I was able to come in hot and correct quickly without getting sideways. No additional understeer or oversteer was readily apparent. Handling and maneuverability were both crisp. Tire noise was not an issue and I didn’t experience any excessive vibration. Braking was exceptional, and with ABS turned on, slamming on the brakes could be performed without any fear of slippage. In general, the Conti tires inspire confidence, even outright boldness.
Both the Continental ExtremeContact DW and DWS are fine-tuned, ultra-high performance tires. The DW stands for Dry and Wet, while the DWS adds the S for Snow. So, one tire is exceptional under dry and wet conditions and the other covers all seasons. The tires share several new technology advancements. Chamfered Edges and a solid outer shoulder offer improved dry performance. Dynamic Temperature Distribution decreases distortion for better energy delivery, lower rolling resistance and greater tread-life. High Void to Tread Ratio with Enhanced Groove Curvature allows for better water evacuation for solid wet handling. And the DWS adds Traction Grooves and Increased Pattern Edges for excellent handling in snow.
All in all, it was a fantastic event, and I’d like to thank Continental Tire for their meticulous planning and preparation. The day began with a presentation and moved quickly to a variety of driving tests. We were also privy to some good ole’ karting fun at CalSpeed Karting where competition was fierce. A special thanks to Harry Wowchuk from The Hollywood Stunt Driving Experience who took me on a thrilling ride complete with 90 and 180 degree slides. A smattering of high-performance cars were positioned around the staging areas as well as the West Coast Customs mobile trailer with some of their latest creations. And of course, Continental Tire had their beautiful models in attendance as well. For pictures of the day, please see the photo gallery below.
Source: Continental Tire