To echo that famous quote by 19th-century writer and artist, John Ruskin, “Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of intelligent effort”. Thus, improving on existing quality is understandably more complex and painstaking.
A feat that has been comprehensively achieved by Continental with the introduction of their all-new Generation 6 range of tyres. The new range hits the ground running with the ComfortContact 6 (CC6) and newcomer UltraContact 6 (UC6) models.
The new products are the result of thorough R&D efforts and have been designed based on an extensive understanding of the needs and driving habits of motorists in the APAC region.
Cameron Wilson, Managing Director of Continental Tyres Malaysia adds “With state-of-the-art technology, the two brand-new Generation 6 products deliver a perfect all-around performance and an ultimate driving comfort with the added benefits of high mileage, high safety and decreased noise levels. The launch of the Generation 6 products marks an important milestone in the history of Continental Tyres and proves to be another testament of our relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction and commitment to the local customers”
The ComfortContact 6 takes over from the well-known and widely applied ComfortContact 5 (CC5) model. The UltraContact 6 will bridge the gap between the CC6 range and the more performance orientated MaxContact 6 (MC6) once the MC6 range goes on sale in due course.
The highlights of Continental’s new tyre range is as follows:
Continental ComfortContact CC6:
- Best for drivers who consider comfort a priority in their tyre's performance.
- Low noise levels: Positioned on the inner shoulder of the tyre pattern are Harmonic Comfort Chambers. Based on the “Helmholtz resonator” principle, it cancels out unpleasant noise frequencies.
- The “Whisper Compound” of the CC6 features polymers which adapt to the rough surface of the road, resulting in the reduction of vibration and less tyre noise.
- Flexible compound absorbs road bumps: The selected “Whisper Compound” also supports the damping effect to provide improved rolling comfort.
- High mileage durability: With the advanced Sulphur network in the compound acting as an enhanced bond for the polymers, the product delivers greater efficiency in mileage performance.
- Sizes: Available for rims with diameters of 13 to 16 inches.
In line with the Continental CC6’s claim of increased comfort and reduced noise levels, a closed testing course was set up during the media demonstration – two Volkswagen Vento sedans, fitted with the older generation CC5s and new CC6s tyres respectively were driven over a rough patch of tarmac.
To keep the findings as consistent and scientific as possible, each car was accelerated to 50km/h and the allowed to coast over the rough tarmac patch (around 60 meters) – interior noise was recorded via a smartphone decibel reader. The car variants and even the smartphone models were kept exactly the same to produce repeatable results.
On average, over multiple runs, the CC6 tyres produced average readings of approximately 74.6dB, some 1.0 - 1.4dBs lower than in the car fitted with the CC5 predecessors. The numerical values don't appear to be much, but, the differences in the audible signature are quite noticeable from within the car's cabin.
On the outside, the difference of tyre roar is quantifiably more substantial, proving the effectiveness of the CC6’s Harmonic Comfort Chambers thread design and softer Whisper Compound which is able to adapt to the inconsistencies of the road surface.
Continental UltraContact UC6:
- Featuring advanced German technology and innovative tread design, UltraContact UC6 provides superior ride and a perfect all-around performance.
- High safety levels maintained even on wet roads: Aqua Drainage channels enhance wet grip and reduce aquaplaning. In addition, the Diamond Edge Pattern of the UltraContact UC6 prevents the “rolling-in” effect of the pattern blocks for short braking distances. The chamfered angle also wipes the water film away on wet roads, ensuring extreme short braking distances in wet conditions.
- Combines grip and mileage: The Diamond Blend Compound, consisting of short-chained grip-polymers and long-chained mileage-polymers have been further improved. This enables a high grip level for braking and cornering, combined with the provision of longer mileage.
- Decreased noise levels: UltraContact UC6 lowers the noise level further by introducing Noise Breakers 2.0, an enhanced version of the well-known Noise Breaker concept to interrupt the noise waves in the grooves.
- Sizes: Available for rims with diameters from 15 to 18 inches, covering a wide range of passenger car vehicles.
During a leisurely drive down to Melaka, media participants were allowed to sample the UltraContact 6’s performance under real-world driving situations, the tyres were fitted to Nissan’s D-Segment Teana sedan.
Taking into account that the Teana is an inherently comfortable and refined sedan – the UC6 tyres served to accentuate these traits further. On the smoothest highway surfaces, there was relatively no noticeable tyre roar. On rougher concrete patches, tyre roar is present but never to the point that it becomes intrusive within the cabin.
The Diamond Blend Compound proves is able to soak up the smaller inconsistencies of the road – like that of a soft compound tyre, yet be charmingly controllable and tractable at high speeds owing to its stronger rib construction.
On the test course, cars fitted with the UC6 tyres were subjected to full throttle acceleration sprints into hard ABS braking – in both dry and wet conditions. Here, the Diamond Edge Pattern of the thread is dual-purposed.
It prevents the ‘rolling-on’ effect, caused when the thread block shape distorts due to friction between the rubber and road surface, no longer maintaining its dimensions and hence contact patch on the road.
In the wet, it acts as a wiper, providing added surface area between the tyre and tarmac, pushing water away towards the sides. This provides a better surface for the thread blocks to grab on to.
This was demonstrated when cars consistently stopped just 1.0 meter further in wet braking conditions than when compared to the bone dry surface
During a special slalom test with UC6 tyres fitted to a Volkswagen Jetta – the tyres proved to provide substantial traction during acceleration regardless of the sandy tarmac surface. It was pleasingly sharp on the brakes but perhaps most impressive was its progressiveness through the corners.
Owing to its strengthened rib construction, it's able to remain flat around corners and communicate its adhesion rates rather well – almost as much as a performance orientated tyre. The UC6 truly befits its premise of being a tyre that combines both comfort and refinement with poise and impressive traction levels.