‘Consistent front to back’ – Continental wins Motor tyre test

Friday 12th May 2017 | 0 Comments

Nine size 235/35 R19 rubber using a Ford Focus RS as test vehicle
Nine size 235/35 R19 rubber using a Ford Focus RS as test vehicle

Good on yer, Continental. Australia’s Motor magazine has crowned the ContiSportContact 5 the king of its test of nine performance tyres. In the conclusion to the test report published in the May 2017 issue of Motor, the test team stated they had “little doubt” when it came to choosing the winner, given the two gold and three silvers the Continental tyre bagged in various test categories.

The publication’s test team, including Warren Luft – also known as Wazza – headed to Sydney Dragway and evaluated the size 235/35 R19 rubber using a Ford Focus RS as test vehicle. A tenth tyre, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, was used as a control tyre to verify track and ambient weather conditions throughout the test day. The Contenders were the Continental ContiSportContact 5, Dunlop SportMaxx RT, Goodyear Eagle F1, Hankook Ventus S1 Evo², Kumho Ecsta PS91, Maxxis Victra M36, Michelin Pilot Super Sport, Nexen N’Fera SU1 and Pirelli P Zero. The nine tyres were tested in three dry and – reflecting Australia’s climate – just two wet disciplines. Each tyre was given a rating from 1 (for top performance in a category) to 9 (for worst category performance) and the points were then counted, the winning tyre being that with the lowest score.

Victory in the dry slalom test went to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, which allowed the Focus RS to be thrown around the course in just 8.43 seconds – the Motor testers said this result wasn’t “too much of a shock.” When shod with Pirelli P Zero tyres, the Ford achieved a time of 8.46 seconds, and 8.56 seconds with the Continental tyres. At the other end of the performance scale were the joint wooden spoon recipients, the Maxxis Victra M36 and Goodyear Eagle, which took 8.86 seconds to get the Focus around the course. Wazza, one of the Motor testers, commented that he’d “expected more” from the Goodyear tyre.

“Turning and burning on your performance rubber is one thing, but bringing speeds down rapidly, predictably and safely is also a key component in a tyre’s performance arsenal,” notes Motor in its introduction to the dry braking test. This category gave the ContiSportContact 5 its first taste of victory. The Continental tyre stopped from 110 km/h in 35.73 metres, half a metre shorter than the stopping distance delivered with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. Third place went to the Kumho Ecsta PS91, with a recorded stopping distance of 37.43 metres. The last placed tyre, and the only contender to exceed the 40-metre mark, was the Nexen N’Fera, whose stopping distance of 41.36 metres was a full 5.63 metres longer than the Continental tyre’s result.

The final dry test was the motorkhana, which featured seven tight radius turns connecting a short but quick straight, a fast S-bend, and a short start/finish chute leading into a sweeping right. The Pilot Super Sport found itself back on top of the table, with a time of 1:18.39. It was the narrowest of victories for the Michelin tyre, however, as it beat the ContiSportContact 5 by just a tenth of a second. Third place was once again occupied by the Ecsta PS91, which scored a time of 1:18.70. The Nexen N’Fera again found itself in ninth place, its time of 1:22.70 more than two seconds behind the second-slowest performer.

To the wet tests, and another win for the ContiSportContact 5. Motor explains that the “wet braking test is again measured in distance, with Wazza hitting a stretch of wetted-down tarmac at 70km/h and throwing out the anchor.” The Continental tyre stopped in a respectable 13.96 metres, 40 centimetres shorter than the runner-up tyre, the Kumho Ecsta PS91. “The Ecsta again shocked the big players,” commented Wazza. A further 10 centimetres separated the winner from the third-placed Hankook Ventus S1 Evo². Almost two metres separated the Continental rubber from the worst performer – when shod with the Maxxis Victra M36, the Focus needed 15.93 metres to stop.

The final test was the wet lateral G test. “Wazza makes six runs at it – three turning to the left and three to the right – with each of the nine sets, using a 45km/h entry speed, before the top and bottom scores are cast out to remove any spikes or dud runs,” shares Motor. The best performance was achieved by the Pirelli P Zero, which achieved a reading of 1.05g. With a reading of 1.04g, the ContiSportContact 5 was a respectable second, with the Hankook tyre and the Dunlop SportMaxx RT2 joint third with 1.03g. The wooden spoon again went to the Maxxis rubber, which achieved a reading of 0.97g. It wasn’t all bad news for the Victra M36, however: Wazza comments that “the Maxxis didn’t fare well overall, but its wet weather performance was actually better than I imagined it might be.”

As for the winning Continental tyre, which finished with just 9 points, Wazza shares that it was “consistent front to back, and lively with a bit of an edge.” He adds: “Great wet weather performance, too.” Russel Stewart, marketing manager at Continental Tyres Australia, comments: “We’re very excited about this latest award because it recognises Continental’s commitment to safety first as well as our German-backed innovation and technology, continued investment into research and development and overall automotive competence, especially in the sports and high performance category,”

Runner-up was the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, with 14 points, and third place went to the Pirelli P Zero, which scored 15 points. “Interestingly, the Michelin Super Sport and Pirelli P Zero were separated by a single point,” writes Motor. “Even with the distinct difference in scores between the dry and wet test set, the two tyres finished with a small difference. The Pirelli couldn’t quite match the Michelin’s performance in the dry tests, but a low score in the wet tests from the French tyre meant it couldn’t capitalise on its dry-weather prowess.”

The Dunlop SportMaxx RT2, winner of last year’s Motor tyre test, finished in sixth place with 27 points. “Ultimately, the king is dead. Long live the new king: the ContiSportContact 5,” writes Motor.

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Category: International News, Product News