Continental tyres have just released their latest tyre, the new Continental PremiumContact 6. The new PremiumContact 6 replaces both the PremiumContact 5 and the SportContact 5, unifying the comfort and efficiency of the PremiumContact range, with the high performance, steering precision and grip of the SportContact.
The Continental SportContact 6 still exists for maximum performance in 19" and above, and the EcoContact 5 in 16" and below. The PremiumContact 6 will be available in 16" - 21", and offer a blend of performance and comfort to rival the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3.
With the merging of the Premium and Sport lines of tyres, the engineers had to combine opposing qualities, known as target conflicts. Wet braking, rolling resistance and dry handling all require different performance qualities from the tyre, which Continental solved with a number of interesting solutions. The new innovations include a synthetic amorphous silica compound for short braking distances on wet roads, an abrasion-resistant polymer compound with a supple tread pattern to improve mileage by 15% and dropping noise by ten percent, and “advanced macro-block design” which employs long shoulder blocks that support one another, providing additional grip and steering precision for sporty handling.
Technical presentations only tell the story in numbers. To directly experience the new tyre, Continental invited TyreReviews to the Circuit MonteBlanco in Southern Spain to test the new PremiumContact 6 against the outgoing SportContact 5 and PremiumContact 5 tyres. We tested using BMW 6 Series for steering speed and lane change stability testing, Mercedes E Classes for noise and comfort, and a collection of hot hatches just to see how the tyre performs at, and past the limit of grip.
Unsurprisingly, the new tyre excelled. On the BMWs the PremiumContact 6 was leagues ahead of the PremiumContact 5 in terms of outright grip, steering speed, car balance and manageability at the limit. More impressively, it was the better sports tyre when compared directly to the SportContact 5, offering a slightly quicker steering speed with a broadly similar balance and grip level. On the open road the PremiumContact 6 again excelled. Even with a tyre size disadvantage in the form of a bigger wheel and smaller sidewall (225/55 R17 vs 245/45 R18), the PremiumContact 6 crashed less over bumps, and had a lower pitch cavity noise to the PremiumContact 5 making it easier on the ears.
The final test of the day was using a VW Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS and Subaru Impreza STI. There was no comparison tyre available so we couldn’t learn anything specific, but the new PremiumContact took the abuse well, and offered a sharp and pleasing turn in and a god overall balance on all three cars.
Continental have pulled an impressive feat with the new PremiumContact 6 and combined two very opposing performance qualities.
The PremiumContact 6 genuinely offers all the sporty handling characteristics of the SportContact 5, while improving on the comfort, noise and efficiency of the PremiumContact 5. We're very keen to see how this tyre tests against its key rivals such as the new Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 in 17" and 18" sizes, as from our first impressions it will be a very strong competitor!
The new PremiumContact 6 will be available in early 2017, with 70 sizes between 16 to 21 inches available for the 2017 summer tyre season. All sizes achieve an "A" score in the EU wet grip label.