Continental has launched the new EcoContact 6 car tyre, a summer tyre that delivers better performance on rolling resistance, mileage, steering precision, and braking distance. Compared to previous models, the EcoContact 6 offers 20% higher mileage, 15% lower rolling resistance, even more precise handling, and shorter braking distances on wet and dry roads.
The company has thus far received approvals from 12 European vehicle manufacturers for factory-fitting of the tyres on subcompact to mid-range cars.
Continental studied every component of this high-tech tyre, looking for possible optimisations. They redesigned the silica compound for a more balanced distribution of the chemical components, resulting in even stronger bonding of the polymers in the compound and lower deformation of the tyre while driving. This has led to a significant overall reduction in rolling resistance, which in turn cuts fuel consumption. They also introduced innovative additives to the compound to help the contact patch adapt even better to the road surface. This enables more effective transmission of braking forces and the good tyre/road contact means less wheelspin and more mileage. The product of these two innovations in the compound goes by the name of Green Chili 2.0.
Depending on the tyre size, the developers have chosen a tread pattern with three, four or five ribs. With this customized solution, the tyre can deliver good grip and precision handling all the way to its physical limits. The ratio between tread ribs and grooves should help channel water into the tread grooves when driving in the rain and reduces the risk of aquaplaning. At the same time, the shoulder grooves disperse the water to the outside, away from the contact patch, to achieve even better grip on wet roads. For driving on dry roads, the tyre developers have taken their lead from sports tyres. The resulting asymmetrical tread geometry with rounded corners adds stability to the individual tread elements when cornering, delivering more precise handling and more grip. On wet roads, sipes with beveled edges provide extra grip and effective drainage for the tread.
Continental has mass production of the first tyres for the replacement market. 112 items for 13 to 22 inch rims will be available by March 2019. The EcoContact 6 will be produced in tyre widths from 145 to 315 millimeters with aspect ratios between 80 and 30%. The tyres are approved for speeds up to 300 km/h.