By David Shaw ERJ editor
Athens--Continental AG is launching its new Original Equipment tyre here in Athens. The tyre takes over from the ContiPremiumContact and is called ContiPremiumContact 2 (CPC2). According to Dr Frank Walloch, project manager for the new tyre, it is expected to take off where the old tyre left off.
Walloch said Conti is now the leading supplier of winter tyres to European car makers and to tuners, and is running Michelin a close second across the range of mid- and high- performance cars.
Conti sold over 30 million units of the CPC1 and expects the CPC2 to do even better. The company claims it has improved all aspects of the tyre, including wet grip, dry grip, rolling resistance and lifetime.
In the compound, the company has eliminted PAH oils and introduced a "3rd generation silica reinforcement".
In the tread, the company has changed the design of the leading edge of the tread blocks to optimise wet and dry braking. Walloch said that a good wet braking tread block has a near-vertical leading edge, which develops high pressure on the road to squeeze water out from the tread block and improve grip to the road surface.
A good dry grip tread block has a less steep leading edge, to develop even braking across the contact area of the block.
Conti alternates between steep and shallow-angled tread blocks to develop optimum braking performance in both wet and dry conditions. According to Walloch, this delivers about 50 percent of the total improvement in dry braking performance and up to one third of the total wet braking improvement.
Walloch said Conti has won large OE contracts on the strength of price, technical performance and its ability to be flexible in terms of technology development and in terms of product delivery. He said it was this package which had won Conti increased sales; not just low prices.