The new SportContact 7 from Continental makes its debut designed for safe handling on both wet and dry roads. Continental’s SportContact 7 features three new technical tyre details, with its adaptive tread design adjusting to dry and wet roads, offering maximum driving pleasure for every vehicle, while the BlackChili rubber compound has been precisely adapted to the tread design for maximum grip.
The new tyre sees Continental redefine the standards of tyre performance, generating high levels of trust in the handling characteristics of the new flagship for the Passenger and Light Truck Tires division. “The focus of our development is on wanting to have the best sporty summer tyre on the market for every vehicle class,” reports Professor Burkhard Wies, Head of Research and Development for the Passenger and Light Truck Tire replacement business worldwide at Continental. “This includes significantly improved handling on dry and wet roads or racetracks and an exceptionally long service life that surpasses that of the previous model by 17 percent. With the EU label value ‘C’, we are making a good contribution to the issue of sustainability, through good fuel efficiency.”
With an asymmetrical, adaptive tread design, the new SportContact 7 can adapt to dry and wet roads, ensuring precision handling and strong control characteristics, even at high speeds. “You can put a tyre under stress if you put increased demands on it,” says Wies. “In this kind of situation, the new adaptive tread provides safety and driving confidence together with very precise cornering stability in wet and dry road conditions.” This is made possible by the tyre’s innovative design. While driving, the tyre’s footprint ends at the point of the highest water removal in the tread, to offer outstanding grip when braking, accelerating, and cornering on wet roads. When cornering on dry roads, the footprint shifts to the outer shoulder, which is designed to transmit the highest forces for stable handling. New “locking elements” in the outer shoulder ensure further stability, only enabling limited movement of the tread for high ride stability.
Conventional sports tyres react differently to different vehicle models – depending on the weight, size and engine of the car in question. “Our new SportContact 7, is the first product in the high-performance tyre segment that is tailor-made for every type of vehicle,” explains Wies. Heavy vehicles require different tyre solutions to light cars. So, the specifications of the SportContact 7 are adapted to each vehicle class. “As a result, we have developed new technologies, suitable for roads and racing, that are used depending on the tyre size, so the typical driving feel of the SportContact family is retained irrespective of vehicle. This includes a design tailored to different vehicle classes. We can also adapt the stability of the sidewall, the grip under different loads, as well as the high-speed capability, handling and design of the carcass to every vehicle class,” he adds.
The third technological building block of the new SportContact 7 is the BlackChili rubber compound, which has been precisely adapted to the tread design. This soft compound perfectly matches the very rigid, low-profiled tyre design and not only enables excellent handling characteristics, but also significantly increases mileage. Tyre engineers and chemists at Continental had to balance out various conflicting objectives to achieve this, with the result an unusual mixing compound technology, which, together with the tread design, enables significant progress in handling characteristics.
Continental’s internal tests provided impressive values when comparing the SportContact 7 and its popular predecessor. Service life is extended by 17 percent, mileage on the racetrack increases by 10 percent, wet braking distances are reduced by eight percent, and the new SportContact 7 is six percent better in dry braking too. Handling and grip in both wet and dry conditions will also benefit from this new development (test with tyre size 245/30 R 20).