Deciphering Continental Tire’s Product Line:As a customer, and a recent champion of their Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship, I must say that continental’s product line is a bit confusing, from the ContiSportContact™ 2-5 with a few letters after some of them, to the ExtremeContact™, SportContact™, ContiSportContact™, ContiForceContact™,and so on… So let me help decipher Continental’s more performance-oriented product line:
-ContiForceContact™ -Continental’s contender for ‘streetable track and competition’ tire, or what Tire Rack categorizes as “Extreme Performance Summer”. This is in the same category as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3, and Dunlop Sport MAXX GT 600 DSST CTT. Tire sizes are limited and not too much is known about how it stacks up to its competitors.
-SportContact™ (2-5) -Bespoke tires designed for OE Manufacturers like Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mercedes, etc… Each tire is tuned and optimized specifically for that vehicle. These tires are typically less focused on tread life. Each number (SportContact™ 2 – SportContact™ 5) are generational summer tires. The higher the number, the newer the tire and technology incorporated in it.
If a car is equipped with a SportContact™ from the manufacturer and a customer is happy with it, Continental recommends sticking with the tire.
-ExtremeContact™ – These tires (the DW and now the Sport) utilize the latest technology and are designed and focused on the consumer replacement market and are not used or sold to OEM manufacturers. This means that the tires are not tuned for a specific car model to hide a chassis quirk, or improve a platform characteristic, but rather are designed for optimal performance that can be used on any sports car or sports sedan.
Continental recommends the ExtremeContact™ line as a replacement for any performance oriented enthusiast. While they recommend sticking with the SportContact™ if equipped from the manufacturer and the customer is happy with it, the ExtremeContact™ line has newer technology and could deliver better performance. But if the original car has a higher number (SportContact™ 4-5) the specific tuning for that Chassis may or may not be better.
The Sport is a broad product line that starts with tires as small as 15” on up to (at the moment) 20”. Continental is focused on catering to smaller tire sizes and older cars. This is huge for many enthusiasts who own older sports cars and sports sedans since as time moves on and OEMs equip cars with larger and larger tires, older, smaller sizes get left behind and the best technology is often not available in older, smaller sizes. Michelin’s PSS and many other high end tires are guilty of neglecting the smaller tire market so Continental is doing the community a huge favor here.
While the current ExtremeContact™ Sport lineup is pretty vast, they are going to continue to introduce more sizes to try to cater to the majority of the market, new and old.