We get it. You want to save money when and where you can, but if you’re trying to save by buying poorly manufactured, cheap tires, then you’d better think twice.
Tires support the weight of our vehicle, help with handling, and in the end it’s pretty safe to say that everything rides on our tires. So is this really the one part of your car you want to cheap out on? Probably not. Why would you want to risk tire failure, a blow-out, and jeopardize the occupants of your vehicle?
Many tires are cheaper because they lack the research, development, and testing that major tire manufacturers like Continental Tires perform. Without getting too technical, let’s just say that many cheap tires may mimic the “styles,” but never the performance or structural integrity developed by major tire manufacturers.
Let’s take Continental Tires for example. The amount of money and resources they put into research, development, and testing is incredible and their facilities are the proof in the pudding. Take for example, the Uvalde Proving Grounds, located 80 miles west of San Antonio, Texas. This compound allows them to conduct automotive component testing, and vehicle handling that can be directed in a controlled environment. The same facility offers a variety of courses and surfaces, including three multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art facilities:
The Vehicle Dynamics Facility with an innovative wet handling pad, curving, twisting dry road course, and a ride evaluation course with various surfaces.
The Traction Testing Facility with both concrete and asphalt surfaces for wet testing, a dry asphalt test surface, and a lane for hydroplaning tests.
The Wet Grip Testing Facility featuring a curving serpentine wetted asphalt surface course for subjective/objective evaluations, a small 55-meter asphalt circle for lap time measurements and subjective tire behavior, and a large 200-meter asphalt circle for lateral hydroplaning and lateral acceleration using a water trough measuring 20 meters in length.
In addition to these three test areas, Uvalde has an 8.5-mile main track and nine courses of test area. Public highways in the area are also used to supplement the variety of road conditions.
This extensive proving grounds facility provides Continental Tire North America, Inc. Research and Development personnel with valuable tire performance test data that helps build better tires. Testing performed on-site by automotive companies can provide extensive data on vehicle construction, handling, and automotive components.
Not only do they make a tire for your late-model lowrider, but they also make tires for our daily drivers, haulers, and family vehicles, so here’s a look at just a few of their premium passenger tires we’re fans of:
15- to 18-inch wheel diameters with aspect ratios of 40 to 65
Features & Benefits
The PureContact delivers improved performance thanks to Continental’s new technologies:
- EcoPlus Technology that improves treadwear and fuel efficiency while enhancing grip on wet roads promoting a shorter stopping distance.
- Tuned Performance Indicators for dry, wet, and snow that disappear when the tire is no longer tuned for optimum performance in each specific road condition.
ComfortRide Technology, a continuous comfort band system that absorbs vibrations caused by various road surfaces for a smooth, comfortable ride.
Skillful balance of of luxury and all-season performance designed for long wear, a comfortable ride, and best-in-class wet braking.
The PureContact is the newest ultra-high performance tire from Continental. This tire features EcoPlus Technology for improved fuel efficiency, Continental’s new “ComfortRide Technology” for a smooth, comfortable ride, and Tuned Performance Indicators alerting the driver of optimum tread depths for various road conditions for an extra measure of confidence.
Performance and Touring
15- to 19-inch wheel diameters with aspect ratios from 35 to 75
Features & Benefits
The ContiProContact delivers responsiveness, control ,and comfort for real life driving. The ContiProContact incorporates three technologies to provide superior road performance:
PROactive Edge Technology is an innovation in the geometry of the tire sipes. This technology, which uses a curved sipe design, improves road grip while reducing tire noise. The innovative pattern edge design yields increased grip and a quieter ride, providing the best possible driving experience.
Controlled Sipe Interaction improves the interaction of the sipes and reduces tread block deformation for unparalleled steering precision and even tire wear in wet or dry conditions.
PROgressive Groove Ramp technology improves both cornering stability and water evacuation. This Continental technology uses a progressively rounder groove base to support the tire shoulder, for concise cornering characteristics. The groove ramp also provides an easy water evacuation path to move water quickly away from the tire.
Luxury touring all-season tire designed for consumers wanting performance with comfort, mileage, and enhanced braking capacity.
16- to 21-inch wtih aspect ratios of 25 to 60
Features & Benefits
The ExtremeContact DW delivers improved performance thanks to Continental’s new technologies:
- Chamfered edges and a solid outer shoulder deliver enhanced dry performance.
- Dynamic temperature distribution reduces distortion for enhanced energy delivery, lower rolling resistance and improved tread-life.
- High void to tread ratio with enhanced groove curvature improves water evacuation for outstanding wet handling.
One of the new features on the ExtremeContact DW is the DW Tuned Performance Indicators. These are visible letters built into the second rib of the tread and are designed to alert drivers of the tire’s optimal performance levels. “D” indicates the tire is at optimum tread depth for dry conditions. “W” indicates the tire is at optimum tread depth for wet conditions. When the indicators disappear, the tire is no longer tuned for optimum performance in that particular road condition.
Light Truck, Crossovers & SUVs
16- to 20-inch with aspect ratios of 40 to 75
Features & Benefits
Traction Grooves provide “snow-on-snow” adhesion for better traction.
Smooth Response Technology includes a continuous circumferential ribs keeps noise from radiating resulting in a smoother, quieter ride.
EcoPlus Technology that incorporates Tg-F polymers and +Silane work at a microscopic level to deliver improved treadwear, wet braking, and fuel efficiency.
The premium SUV, crossover, and light truck all-season tire with excellent wet braking, long wear and enhanced fuel efficiency.