Continental’s new SportContact 6 is a super sports tire for the high‑performance segment that clearly improves on the handling, steering precision, and high‑speed suitability of the previous model. To bring these improvements to the roads – with a performance boost of up to 14% in some cases – the technicians in Hanover have “reinvented” the chemical composition of the tread, the tread design, and the tire structure. From now on, 41 dimensions will be available for rims with diameters of 19 to 23 inches.
High-grip compound: “Black Chili” ensures optimum interaction with the road
To boost the performance of the new SportContact 6 even more, the chemists at Continental, the tire specialist, have further developed the “Black Chili” tread compound. In the new SportContact 6, two factors ensure optimum adhesion, even when pushed to the limits: The rubber compound is designed to mesh with the roughness of the road. At the same time, temporary atomic connections between the tire compound and the road surface ensure high adhesion, acting like small suction pads at nanoscopic level. Both factors make for the greatest possible adhesion in all directions – during braking, cornering, and acceleration and on both wet and dry roads.
Tread design: Supporting blocks for perfect handling
To achieve particularly precise handling and rapid steering performance, Continental’s tire designers use novel force vectoring technology for optimal force transfer. This technology deploys different tread elements on the inside, outside, and center of the tire. Depending on the size of the tire, three or four central ribs and the tire’s inner shoulder ensure maximum crosswise transfer of force, noticeably improving the direct translation of steering commands to the asphalt. Because the outside of the tire is subject to greater forces than the inside during cornering, the rib flanks are designed to be asymmetrical. This increases the stability of the ribs and allows greater forces to be transferred. When working on the outer shoulders, the tire designers combined the different block elements to form one larger unit. Large tread blocks on the outside are connected with interlaced elements in a second row of blocks. This allows the tread blocks to support each other during fast cornering and offer optimum lateral force transfer.
New Aralon 350 reinforcing material: Maximum safety up to 350 km/h
Continental’s new SportContact 6 is approved for up to 350 km/h. This means that not only does it need to offer perfect braking performance, handling, and directional stability, but its structure must also be adapted to these extreme speeds and the associated enormous centrifugal forces on the tire. To achieve this, Continental’s engineers have come up with an innovative structure that controls the huge forces on the tire, ensuring maximum driving safety. Here, they use the innovative “Aralon 350” material developed especially for the SportContact 6, a synthetic fiber in which two yarns made from strong aramid are closely interwoven with a yarn of flexible nylon. Implanted in rubber, this fiber is placed under the tread as a jointless cap ply. This complex structure acts like an additional steel belt and offers controlled, safe tire contour behavior even at speeds of up to 350 km/h.
Performance overview: Up to 14% development progress
With the new SportContact 6, Continental has once again made considerable progress compared with its already very good predecessor model, the ContiSportContact 5 P. Steering precision has been increased by 14%, while handling on dry roads has improved by 11%. The grip level when driving on race tracks has been increased by 4%, and the overall wet-grip characteristics of the new SportContact 6 are 2% above the high level of the previous model. In addition, service life and comfort have received a 7% boost.