UHP Tread Wear Indicator
The Continental SportContact 6 introduces a new era in tread pattern
Incorporated in the advanced design of the SportContact 6 is an
development. The pioneering Force Vectoring technology features different
innovative new multi-stage ultra-high performance tread wear indicator
tread elements on the inside, centre and outside of the tyre to deliver
(TWI), specifically developed for Continental’s latest offering.
maximum transmission and control of the tyre’s lateral forces.
The new UHP TWI makes it easy for the driver to identify when the
The solid Centre Responsive Rib Design uses reinforced shaped centre
remaining tyre tread depth reaches 3,0 mm. Continental recommends
ribs and an inner shoulder that allow for maximised stress resistance when
replacing tyres at this point in order to provide continued safety in wet
cornering, where the lateral forces from the outside of the tyre are larger
conditions, especially in terms of aquaplaning resistance.
than from the inside. To enhance the transmission of these forces, the centre rib design incorporates improved bracing with asymmetric flank angles and chamfered edges. Additionally, concave long grooves produce a broad rib base, providing more rigid stabilisation for maximum lateral force transmission.
A further TWI marker is set at 1,6 mm remaining tread depth, indicating that the tyre must be replaced. Although legal tread depth limit for South Africa is 1,0 mm across the entire width of the tyre, wet grip is severely compromised at this level, as the tyre simply isn’t able to channel water away from the tread surface.
An Advanced Macro Block Design is used on the outer shoulder of the
Accordingly, this results in a far greater risk of aquaplaning, reduced
SportContact 6. It contains large shoulder blocks connected to interlinked
cornering grip and traction, as well as longer braking distances in wet
elements in a second row of tread blocks – which together create a larger
macro block unit. This enables the tread blocks to provide mutual support during fast cornering, contributing to maximum cornering stability at the limit. Aralon 350 Overall tyre stability is further aided through the use of a new synthetic reinforcing material specially designed for the SportContact 6. Aralon 350 uses two strands of high-strength aramid and one strand of flexible nylon, which are tightly wound together, combining the oppositional behaviour of two different materials in one yarn. It is located beneath the tread as a jointless Adaptive High Speed Cap Ply which acts like an additional steel belt, above the regular angled belt and lateral casing ply. This allows the construction as a whole to adapt flexibly to varying stability requirements – in particular the enormous centrifugal forces acting on the tyre at very high speeds – thus resulting in unprecedented high-speed stability and safety.
Outstanding performance Our first-hand driving experience on this new tyre confirms that it does indeed provide significant improvements in handling, stability and wear resistance. Compared to its predecessor, steering precision has improved by 14 percent, along with an 11 percent increase in dry handling. High-speed performance sees a 10 percent improvement, while wear and noise levels have both seen a 7 percent gain. Race track grip, which is the most punishing environment for any road tyre, has been enhanced by 4 percent. And despite the exceptional top-end performance characteristics on the new SportContact 6, it matches the proven capabilities of the previous model in aquaplaning and wet braking, thus achieving a new level of allround capability.
Published on Jun 1, 2016