Parky mornings and evenings are one sign that summer is on the wane. The appearance of all-season and winter tyre tests is another. The first to arrive this year is from German motoring magazine Autozeitung, which has looked at the commonly-fitted small car size 205/55 R16.
Amidst widespread economic and political unrest in South Africa, local tyre manufacturers have experienced significant disruption and even looting. Specifically, the Dunlop South Africa (formally Sumitomo Rubber South Africa Pty Ltd – SRSA) Durban Westville warehouse was “invaded” by trespassers and looters resulting in the loss of 90 million rand (£4.533 million; 5.255 million euros; US$6.190 million) of tyre stock. Such is the scale of the problem, the local tyre industry has embarked on a “say no to looted goods” campaign.
Continental has collected silverware in the Auto Express Product Awards 2021, with its AllSeasonContact winning the all-season tyre category. The tyre maker states that gaining the Best All-Season Tyre award “highlights how committed Continental is to providing drivers with the safest and top-performing choice all year round.”
About a year ago Continental announced its selection as a tyre supplier to the ID.3, and under this arrangement is providing original equipment EcoContact 6 summer tyres, WinterContact TS 850P winter tyres and AllSeasonContact all-season tyres. But tyres are only one of a host of Continental products and technologies going into the new all-electric range. The company is also supplying computer equipment, brake technology, hose lines, heat pumps and driver assistance systems.
Consumers benefit from independent tyre tests, but the advice given is sometimes conflicting. Whereas Auto Bild declares that all-season tyres can provide a safe solution for year-round motoring, ACE still believes motorists must live with a compromise when choosing these products.
For its 2018 winter tyre test, German vehicle inspection organisation GTÜ evaluated nine winter tyres together with German motoring organisation ACE and Austrian counterpart ARBÖ. For good measure, it also tested three all-season tyres alongside the winter rubber. The result? An all-season tyre took second place in the winter test.
Tyre testers have labelled all-season tyres a ‘compromise’ purchase in past years for their inability to deliver the performance of both summer and winter tyres whenever the weather snaps its fingers and demands this. In its evaluation of the current generation of all-season rubber, Germany’s auto motor und sport harbours no illusions that such a compromise still exists. It wanted to know, however, whether the compromise can be effectively reduced through considered choice of product – the answer, the publication shares, is that it can.
Never say never. These were the words uttered by Prof Dr Burkhard Wies, passionate physicist and vice-president of Tire Line development at Continental when asked at the end of 2015 about the likelihood of an all-season tyre range for Europe. These three words flew in the face of everything we assumed the staunch supporter of seasonal tyre fitment stood for, yet weren’t altogether surprising in light of growth occurring in the all-season segment. What Wies didn’t mention at the time was that Continental was already working on an all-season range that would come to market less than 18 months later.
Towards the end of 2015, tyrepress.com reported that Continental may be warming to the idea of selling all-season tyres in Europe, and earlier this year we were given further reason to believe these products were on their way. The wait, it seems, is nigh on over. Several of Continental’s European market websites now include details about a new tyre, the AllSeasonContact.