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The thrill of perfect grip with Continental

Continental has continued its successful range of ultra high-performance summer tyres with the SportContact 6. This tyre is particularly suited to pure sports cars such as the Audi R8 as well as vehicles such as the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes AMG.

To boost the performance of the SportContact 6 even more, the chemists at Continental have further developed the “Black Chili” tread compound. In the SportContact 6, two factors ensure optimum adhesion when pushed to the limits.

The rubber compound is designed to mesh with the roughness of the road. At the same time, temporary atomic connections between the tyre compound and the road surface ensure high adhesion, acting like small suction pads at nanoscopic level. Both factors make for the greatest possible adhesion in all directions – during braking, cornering, and acceleration on both wet and dry roads.

To achieve precise handling and rapid steering performance, Continental’s tyre designers use force vectoring technology for optimal force transfer. This technology deploys different tread elements on the inside, outside, and centre of the tyre. Depending on the size of the tyre, three or four central ribs and the tyre’s inner shoulder ensure a maximum crosswise transfer of force, noticeably improving the direct translation of steering commands to the road. Because the outside of the tyre is subject to greater forces than the inside during cornering, the rib flanks are designed to be asymmetrical.

This increases the stability of the ribs and allows greater forces to be transferred. When working on the outer shoulders, the tyre designers combined the different block elements to form one larger unit. Large tread blocks on the outside are connected with interlaced elements in a second row of blocks. This allows the tread blocks to support each other during fast cornering and offer optimum lateral force transfer.

The first high-performance ContiSportContact tyre was released for sale in 1994. As was usual at the time, it emerged from the hot press in sizes of between 13 and 20 inches. It was soon a firm favourite with tuners and vehicle manufacturers alike.

Manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, ABT, and Hartge all used the sports tyre in their top models. But the tyres were also a hit with end consumers. It was therefore seven years before a successor – the ContiSportContact 2 – was required. Today, the tyre industry expects shorter product cycles because progress made in R&D is quickly passed on to motorists through new developments.

The success has continued with Continental SportContact 6 recently achieving a “highly commended” recommendation in the evo 2020 tyre test. The tyre was commended for its braking performance in both wet and dry, good rolling resistance and its refinement on a road route.