With the new EcoContact 6, Continental has launched a high technology summer tyre that delivers substantial improvements in terms of rolling resistance, mileage, steering precision and braking distances. Compared to its predecessor, the newcomer offers 20 percent higher mileage, 15 percent lower rolling resistance, even more precise handling and shorter braking distances on both wet and dry roads. Continental has already received approvals from 12 European vehicle manufacturers for factory-fitting of the EcoContact 6 on compact to mid-range models. The new summer tyre is designed to meet stringent requirements in terms of safety, precision handling, high mileage and low fuel consumption.
Constantly at the forefront of innovations, the engineers at Continental studied every component of this high-tech tyre, looking for possible optimisations. This involved redesigning the silica compound for an even more balanced distribution of the chemical components, resulting in even stronger bonding of the polymers in the compound and lower deformation of the tyre whilst driving. This has led to a significant overall reduction in rolling resistance, which in turn cuts fuel consumption. Continental 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 GreenChili 2.0.
Depending on the tyre size, the developers have chosen a tread pattern with three, four or five ribs. With this customised solution, the tyre can deliver good grip and precision handling all the way to its physical limits. The very balanced ratio between tread ribs and grooves also helps 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, achieving 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 afford extra grip and provide more effective drainage for the tread.
Continental has begun volume production of the first tyres for the replacement market. By March 2019, 112 items for 13 to 22 inch rims are to be available; the EcoContact 6 will be produced in tyre widths from 145 to 315 millimeters with aspect ratios between 80 and 30 percent. The tyres are approved for speeds up to 186 mph, corresponding to the speed index “Y”.