Hanover, Germany - Continental AG is supplying tires to an upcoming Extreme E series, as a founding partner and sponsor of the new electric vehicle (EVs) racing programme.
Set to be launched in March 2021, the five-race series spanning four continents aims to highlight the potential role of EVs in protecting the global environment.
With races being staged in some of the world’s most remote locations, Extreme E poses the 'biggest challenge that motorsport tires have had to face,' says Nico Meier, Continental product designer.
Tires, he said, will be exposed to much larger loads during the races than any other tire, explained the Conti official who is specialising in the design of the tire sidewall.
The specially-developed Odyssey 21 vehicle to be driven by all Extreme E teams, is said to be roughly similar to commercial SUVs in length, width and weight.
However, its electrical equivalent of 550HP has three times the torque of the Formula E Gen 2 vehicle, according to the Continental engineer.
In addition, Meier pointed out, the races will take place in natural environments, with varying and very different surfaces such as sand, scree, mud, ice.
Moreover, the racing will involve extreme accelerations, violent braking manoeuvres, high speeds, even on tight corners, drift movements, and even jumps.
Here, ContiPressureCheck technology will provide tire data such as the air pressure and temperature to the driver, so they can adapt their driving style in extreme situations.
A further challenge is that tires will not be changed for varying surfaces, Meier explaining: “There's no special desert tire, or a special polar tire.”
Continental, therefore, developed a tire based on its “tried-and-tested” CrossContact tires, that can work at all event locations and in all conditions.
Furthermore, the race organisers do not intend to fit new tires for every start.
“This would also not be in line with the sustainability requirements of the racing series,” concluded Meier.
*Article based on edited details and comments from Q&A article on the Continental website