Manufacturer is optimistic about the market for the ContiSportContact 5 P
Demand for tyres approved for speeds of over 240 km/h (150 mph) still on the increase
Vehicle manufacturers' approvals already obtained before market launch
High-end customising firms recommend Continental's new sports tyre
Hanover / Seville, March 2010. Continental is opening up a new chapter in super sports tyres with its new ContiSportContact 5 P- and the company is keen to highlight the approvals already gained from sports car manufacturers and top class customisers. Moreover the new summer tyre from Northern Germany is designed in such a way that it neatly fits into a new niche created by the vehicle manufacturers. This niche in the tyre market came about through the need for appropriate fitments for the Audi TT RS, Mercedes AMG C 63 and other top class sports cars. In the past these cars were often equipped with tyres from existing series, which were adapted to meet the manufacturers' high requirements. However, with its new super sports tyre Continental now has a fresh product which is not only designed specifically for the Original Equipment sector, but which also meets the highest demands of the replacement market.
In terms of its name, the new sports tyre follows in the tradition and nomenclature of the ContiSportContact family, which has been a success story for over fifteen years. These tyres grow with the demands placed on them - the CV 90, the first official SportContact, fell into the 13" to 16" tyre category common in the 1990s. Its successors, which from 1994 onwards carried the name ContiSportContact, then had to meet the demand for tyres up to 20" in size. The ContiSportContact 2, launched in 2001, attained the impressive size of 22". Its successor, the ContiSportContact Vmax, was optimised for high speeds and in 2003 was timed by the tyre developers in Nardò, Italy, at over 360 km/h (225 mph), a speed it surpassed in 2007 when it reached 409 km/h (255 mph) on a Porsche 9ff.
In 2006 Continental introduced the next high-tech sports tyre - the ContiSportContact 3. When this tyre was launched, its maximum size was also 22". By now the tyre engineers at the Research and Development Centre in Hanover are already working on the next 'standard sports tyre', the ContiSportContact 5, which is due to make its debut in 2011. The ContiSportContact 5 P constitutes an interim stage designed to become the benchmark, offering maximum grip for fast acceleration and braking, perfect handling for driving right up to the limit, and fun at the wheel coupled with safety, as its main features.
Continental is also confident about the sales figures for the new ContiSportContact 5 P. Demand for 17" and 18" tyres in particular will be more pronounced in the next few years. Especially in Europe the UHP tyre experts predict substantial growth - whereas in 2007 some 14.5 million car tyres were ordered in these sizes, by 2012 demand will rise to 30.4 million units across Europe, equivalent to 110% market growth in this segment.
More prestigious vehicles are the main trendsetters here. The manufacturers already fit the appropriate sizes of rims straight from the factory - to meet higher speed approvals, in line with ever more powerful engines.
At the same time the demands made by vehicle manufacturers before complex Original Equipment approvals are granted continue to rise - particularly in the case of fast sports cars, where handling is of the utmost importance. For tyre producers it therefore makes good sense to offer car manufacturers, leading customisers and sporty drivers tyres which have been developed specifically to meet these requirements, as these products can more easily be adapted to suit individual vehicles.
So even before its official debut, prospects for the ContiSportContact 5 P are looking good - with initial approvals being granted by AMG for the C 63, E 63, SL 63 and SLS, as well as by
Audi for the TT RS and Renault for the Mégane III Sport. Continental's technology partners in the high-end customising sector are also visibly impressed by the new sports tyre from Hanover - Abt, AC Schnitzer, Techart and Lorinser have all praised the good handling, grip and braking characteristics of the ContiSportContact 5 P. Close co-operation between Continental and its technology partners in the customising sector plays a crucial role in this - adapting their products to meet the requirements of the high-end customisers constitutes a particular challenge for Continental's development engineers. As the world's largest manufacturer of tyres for customised vehicles, Continental places great value on the technological leadership thus created - after all, more than a third of all tyres used in the tuning sector originate in the development department in Hanover. Which is why the company is confident about the launch of its new high-tech tyre - with the genes it carries, it was designed specifically to meet the dynamic driving requirements of prestigious super sports cars.
With sales of approximately €20 billion in 2009 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 134,500 in 46 countries.
The Passenger and Light Truck Tires division develops and manufactures passenger and light truck tires for compact, medium-size and full-size cars as well as tires for 4x4, vans and light trucks. The division produces tires under the brand names of “Continental”, “Uniroyal” (except in the NAFTA region, Columbia and Peru), “Semperit”, “Barum”, “General Tire”, “Euzkadi”, “Viking”, “Gislaved”, “Mabor”, “Matador”, “SIME Tyres” and, in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, “Dunlop”. The Passenger and Light Truck Tires division also includes the two-wheel business (motorcycle and bicycle) and the retail tire companies with more than 2,200 specialty tire outlets and franchises in 13 countries.