Continental’s revolutionary SportContact 6 is an all-new super sports tyre for the ultra-high performance (UHP) segment.
The trend-setting newcomer establishes elevated benchmarks for handling, steering precision and high-speed performance, and succeeds the proven and highly-rated ContiSportContact 5P as the range-topper in Continental Tyre SA’s passenger car tyre portfolio.
“With the new SportContact 6, Continental is continuing its proud legacy of producing cutting-edge high-performance tyres,” says Shaun Uys, Managing Director of Continental Tyre South Africa.
“While the ContiSportContact 5P was already an award-winning product, the SportContact 6 raises the bar to new heights through the use of several innovative new technologies. It’s our sportiest and most dynamic road tyre yet, delivering exceptional performance and maximum safety at speeds of up to 350 km/h.”
To bring these improvements to the roads – with a performance boost of up to 14 percent in some areas – Continental’s technicians ‘reinvented’ the chemical composition of the tread, the tread design, as well as the tyre structure. This resulted in marked improvements in grip, particularly in the wet, matched to unparalleled driving precision.
The SportContact 6 is available in 41 sizes for rims with diameters of 19 to 23 inches, meeting the growing demand for larger wheel and tyre combinations – a trend that is expected to accelerate globally by an annual average of around nine percent.
The new flagship tyre is ideally suited to thoroughbred sports cars such as the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, the Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911, as well as high-performance vehicles such as the exciting range of Mercedes-Benz AMG models, the BMW M range and other top-end performance cars.
The new high-tech SportContact 6 already received its first seal of quality when Honda approved the tyre for the ground-breaking Civic Type R before its official release. Equipped with Sport Contact 6 tyres, the Civic Type R set a new lap record for front-wheel drive cars on the infamous Nordschleife at the Nürburgring, with a time of 7 min 50.63 sec.
Innovative tread pattern, revolutionary materials
To realise the vastly superior performance of the new SportContact 6 compared to its predecessor, Continental’s technical wizards virtually reinvented the chemical composition of the tread strip, as well as the tread pattern and the tyre construction.
The Black Chilli technology with special grip resins patented by Continental already provided the ContiSportContact 5P with optimum micro-flexibility and exceptional grip in the dry. For the new SportContact 6, the rubber compound was fine-tuned to closely mesh with the structure of the road surface.
At the same time, fleeting atomic bonds in the contact patch act like nanoscopic suction pads to ensure high adhesion. Together, these two factors provide maximum grip in all directions when braking, cornering and accelerating, regardless of whether the conditions are wet or dry.
Another innovation is the new tyre’s Force Vectoring technology, designed for optimum force transmission. This involves using different tread elements for the inside, outside and centre of the tyre.
Depending on the tyre size, three or four central ribs and the tyre’s inner shoulder are responsible for maximum transmission of the lateral forces. This also contributes to a perceptible improvement in the direct translation of steering commands to the road.
As the forces acting on the tyre during cornering are greater on the outside than on the inside, the innovative rib edge design is asymmetrical. This allows for greater rib stability and enables higher forces to be transferred.
When creating the outer shoulder, the tyre designers interlinked the various block elements into a larger macro block unit. Large tread blocks on the outside are connected to interlinked elements in a second row of blocks. This allows the tread blocks to provide mutual support during fast cornering, while transferring the high lateral forces with ease.
The third significant development step is the use of a new reinforcing material, called Aralon 350, which was specially designed for the SportContact 6. This synthetic textile fibre, in which two yarns of high-strength aramid are twisted together with a yarn of flexible nylon, is embedded in the rubber.
Located beneath the tread, this endless cap ply acts like an additional steel belt, providing extra stabilisation to help deal with the enormous centrifugal forces that act on the tyre at very high speeds.
The SportContact 6 features an additional safety feature in the tread design. A new two-stage UHP tread wear indicator (TWI) allows the driver to see when the remaining tyre tread has reached a depth of 3,0 mm – Continental’s recommended replacement point in the interests of maximum safety. A further tread depth indicator emerges when the tyre has only 1,6 mm remaining, and must be replaced.
Top performance in handling, grip and safety
The Continental SportContact 6 represents significant performance gains over the ContiSportContact 5P predecessor model, which itself won top marks in numerous tyre tests.
As the new tyre to beat in the prestigious ultra-high performance tyre segment, steering precision has been increased by 14 percent over the over the 5P, while handling performance in the dry is 11 percent up.
The grip level on race tracks has been improved by 4 percent. And when it comes to wet-weather properties, overall the new SportContact 6 has a 2 percent edge over its predecessor’s high performance. On top of which, mileage and comfort each rack up a 7 percent improvement in performance characteristics.