Winter tires with Central European compound for Central European driving conditions
The latest products from the Continental, Uniroyal and Semperit brands at a glance
Tire manufacturer Continental has one of the most extensive winter tire ranges in the market with brands and products to meet almost any need. Winter tires from the premium Continental brand make for safe driving in even the most unfavorable road conditions, while the latest products from other Group brands offer a special focus on wet weather (Uniroyal) or snow (Semperit) driving characteristics. The current portfolios of these three brands alone offer a prime selection of tire options for the various applications and vehicles.
With the WinterContact TS 860, this year Continental is launching a new winter specialist for compact and mid-range models. On the safety front in particular, the new tire brings real progress: Under braking on wet wintry roads it performs five percent better than even its outstanding predecessor, the ContiWinterContact TS 850. Braking distances are four percent shorter on ice and there are improvements in snow handling, grip on snow and ride quality as well. Mileage and rolling resistance remain at the same commendable levels as with the ContiWinterContact TS 850. Designed for use in Central and Western Europe, this premium winter tire will be available from tire dealers in the coming fall. Initially there will be 36 models in 21 sizes for 14-17-inch rims, with a minimum of 20 more models slated to join the range in 2017. On the EU Tire Label the new Continental winter tire scores a C rating for rolling resistance and a B rating for wet grip. When it goes on sale, this winter tire for compact and mid-range models will gradually replace the exceptionally successful ContiWinterContact TS 850 which, over the past four years, has proved best-in-test in no fewer than 47 comparative tests by the European trade press, automobile clubs and consumer organizations. That makes it the most successful Continental winter tire to date.
The Continental WinterContact TS 850 P is the version for mid-range and luxury models, as well as for sports cars. With this tire the development engineers at the leading winter tire manufacturer have achieved a further marked improvement in performance characteristics. For example, the Continental WinterContact TS 850 P delivers a tangible improvement over its predecessor both in its handling on snow and dry roads and in its braking performance. This is due not least to the asymmetrical tread design of this winter tire. One new arrival this winter is a special version for all-wheel drive vehicles, which bears the letters "SUV" on the sidewall alongside the customary product designation. Both models are manufactured for 16- to 20-inch rims.
With the ContiWinterContact TS 830 P, the tire manufacturer is targeting the owners of high-performance vehicles who want to do their winter driving on tires approved by the appropriate premium manufacturer. This winter tire from Continental has received numerous approvals from vehicle manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. These winter tires are tailored precisely to the design of each model, thus serving up a perfect combination of driving pleasure, safety and economy.
The Master-Grip 2 from Semperit delivers even more safety on snow-covered roads for cars with 13 to 15 inch rims. With its extremely high sipe density and its wide grooves between the shoulder blocks, it offers a very large number of edges for maximum grip on ice and snow. Due to a balanced contact patch of tread blocks, the tire counteracts the micro-aquaplaning which occurs when braking on ice, resulting in shorter braking distances on icy patches. Precision handling on both wet and dry roads is aided by the compact tread blocks, while on wet roads the water is easily laterally dispersed by the wide tread grooves.
The Speed-Grip 2 for executive and luxury class cars and SUVs delivers an impressive performance on snow and good aquaplaning characteristics. This tire’s excellent braking performance on ice and snow deserves special mention. This is mainly due to the innovative distribution of labor between tread center and shoulder, combined with a large number of edges, leading to better interlocking with the snow-covered road surface and thus better grip. The Speed-Grip 2’s three-phase high-performance compound is another technical highlight. This raises the bar in terms of reconciling the conflicting objectives of delivering grip both on snow-covered roads and in the dry. The versatile rubber compound remains flexible at low temperatures and stiffens up as temperatures rise. The reduced rolling resistance also enables a drop in fuel consumption.
In many parts of Europe, winter roads will more likely be wet than snow-covered. Good reason, then, for choosing a winter tire that offers a high level of protection against aquaplaning and good grip in the wet. That is where the MS plus 77 from Uniroyal – the rain tire brand – comes in. With its multiple innovative technical properties, this winter specialist for cars and SUVs offers a high level of active safety in cold, wet conditions and on snow and ice. This winter all-rounder is available in 82 sizes with speed ratings for between 190 and 240 km/h. That includes multiple sizes for 13-18 inch rims and with aspect ratios of between 80 and 40 percent. Other sizes for SUVs fit 16-18 inch rims, with aspect ratios from 70 to 55 percent.
Dispersing the water from under the contact patch is the supreme challenge for any rain tire. At 80 km/h, the MS plus 77 displaces around 25 liters of water per second – enough to fill a normal bathtub in just six seconds. Thanks to this rapid water displacement capability, the risk of aquaplaning is reduced substantially. The tire is helped here by Uniroyal’s typical steep V-shaped tread pattern that aids the water dispersion process to great effect. The sloping V-shape and the wide open grooves accelerate the flow of water away from the contact patch. Added safety is provided by the large, stiff shoulder blocks that make for precision handling on wet roads, which is particularly important when the driver needs to take rapid evasive action. The advanced silica compound specially developed for this rain tire delivers added grip and supports good interlocking with cold, wet roads. A carefully designed sipe system with a large number of small, stepped incisions in the blocks provides the edges that provide strong grip on snow and ice.