Continental’s ExtremeContact DWS06
"Don’t screw it up.” That was the mantra among the Continental dealers who loved the ExtremeContact DWS. And engineers at Continental listened.
After three years in development, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 will launch in May. The ultra-high performance all-season tire looks the same as its predecessor. That is about the only similarity between the two tires.
The original DWS, which stands for Dry, Wet and Snow, was introduced six years ago. It was known for its balanced, all-season performance; Continental dealers were particularly pleased with its snow traction.
In addition, it featured “Tuned Performance Indicators” — the letters D, W and S — built into the tread. When the “S” wore down, for example, the tire was no longer optimized for snow performance. When all three indicators disappeared, the tire had reached the end of its legal tread depth and needed to be replaced.
However, dealers also saw the need for longer tread wear and a stronger sidewall. Continental successfully addressed those issues in designing the DWS06, and improved wet, dry and snow traction as well.
DWS06 vs. DWS
Bob Liu, performance tires product manager for Continental Tire the Americas LLC, says the DWS06 is “an evolutionary product.” It is comparatively much better than the DWS in wet traction, and superior in dry and snow traction thanks to Traction Grooves and X-Sipes. How Continental defines “comfort” also was improved.
But the most significant improvement is in tread wear. The 50,000-mile limited tread wear warranty was achieved with the help of its new SportPlus Technology. For staggered fitments, the rear tire warranty is 25,000 miles because the tires can’t be rotated front from front to rear and vice-versa.
“In the North American Market, everyone cares about tread life,” says Liu. The 50,000-mile warranty matches the Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season, Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus and Yokohama Advan Sport A/S warranties in the UHP all-season segment. In addition, Continental is backing the DWS06 with a three-year roadside assistance program; a 12-month or first 2/32nds-inch road-hazard warranty; and a 72-month manufacturer’s limited warranty.
The sidewall also was enhanced. The new two-ply sidewall has 35% greater impact resistance.
“We kept the family look of the DWS. It has a clean sidewall, which seems to be very popular in this segment.”
The rolling resistance of the DWS06 also remains the same. Liu says improving rolling resistance was not as much of a focus as the other performance characteristics.
Beginning in May, the new ExtremeContact DWS06 will replace the DWS. It will be priced less than the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 and Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, according to Continental.
By September, all 87 of the tire’s W- and Y-rated sizes will be available, including 13 new sizes. They will range from 205/55ZR16 91W to 295/25ZR22 97Y. The first 52 sizes, which will cover more than 80% of the segment’s volume, will be introduced in May. ■