Continental Tire has taken its knowledge from the track to the street with its newest ultra-high performance tire, the ExtremeContact Sport, which was developed by five championship-winning IMSA drivers.
The manufacturer’s latest production tire offering was launched on Monday during a preview event in California, and will be available beginning in February.
Ryan Dalziel, Ozz Negri, Joao Barbosa, Andy Lally and Lawson Aschenbach all played key roles in the development of the ExtremeContact Sport, a UHP street tire aimed at the sports car, sport and luxury car market.
“We chose five of the best sports car drivers in the world to help deliver the performance driving enthusiasts demand in a tire,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire.
“These drivers pushed our tires to the limits to help develop a tire that includes superb dry handling while not sacrificing any of Continental’s award-winning performance in the wet.”
The IMSA drivers took part in a series of tire tests at multiple locations throughout the U.S. with production vehicles, to provide feedback and expertise.
“Being able to push a tire to its limit, while still leaving enough bandwidth inside your brain to evaluate and give feedback to the tire engineers is exactly why race car drivers are good for tire development,” Lally said.
“I’ve had over 20 years of racing experience working with hundreds of different types of tires and each of those experiences contributed to this project.”
Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype champion Barbosa said the tire exceeded his initial expectations.
“It’s a comfortable tire for an everyday drive that really excels when you demand more from it and never lets you down, great performance,” he said.
Negri, who recently claimed overall victory at Petit Le Mans, added: “It’s what I want to have on my car carrying my family.
“The tire has good grip all around, wet and dry. Very predictable, very forgiving, and has the sporty feeling as well as that comfortable ride.”
Dalziel said: “We work hard every year with the great people at Continental Tire to develop our race tires and the gains we have made have been outstanding.
“It’s great to see a company join hands with both sides of the industry to give consumers what they want.”
Continental applied a number of elements to its ExtremeContact Sport tire, including SportPlus Technology for enhanced dry handling and steering response as well as improved tread life.
The tire also has tuned performance indicators, with an enhanced warrantee program including a 12-month road hazard coverage and 60-day customer satisfaction trial.
The ExtremeContact Sport comes in 71 sizes, including 17 new sizes, ranging from 15–20-inch wheel diameters with a W and Y speed rating.