Continental Tire the Americas Inc. is gearing up for September 2012, when the PureContact luxury performance all-season tire goes on sale.
Continental says the premium tire brings together best-in-class wet braking, fuel efficiency and ride comfort in a sleek design.
At a ride-and-drive event held recently in Indianapolis, Ind., Continental outlined the new tire’s attributes to dealers and members of the media.
“The PureContact is in the luxury performance segment and it’s a replacement-only product,” said Joe Maher, Continental’s manager of product planning. “In this case we have no original equipment tires that are part of this lineup and we have no plans for the future.”
The PureContact fills out Continental’s growing line of replacement-only products, Maher said. The PureContact covers the luxury performance segment, while the ProContact covers the touring segment. The ExtremeContact DWS is an ultra-high performance tire in the all-season segment, and the ExtremeContact DW covers the summer performance segment.
The PureContact has some of the best features of the rest of the line, plus some new design elements.
“When we took on designing this product we wanted to have a tire with balanced performance much like the ExtremeContact DWS, and we really focused on a requirement that had the consumer in mind and only the consumer in mind,” Maher explained. “We wanted to have innovative technologies, and since it’s not an original equipment tire, we can add elements that make it easier to sell.”
Those elements include special styling intended to make the PureContact a performance leader in wet grip, especially with wet braking. Conti engineers also aimed to have snow traction and best-in-class in the all-season high-performance segment.
“We wanted to make sure we were competitive and we really didn’t want to try and lead the category because it’s impossible to do everything in one product,” Maher explained. “We wanted to be competitive in dry responsiveness. We wanted to be competitive in fuel efficiency, which is really important today. We wanted to be competitive in long wear with a mileage warranty to support it. And we wanted to have a quiet, comfortable ride which is important in the luxury performance segment.”
Available for 2007 and later model premium vehicles, the PureContact features Continental Tire’s EcoPlus Technology that improves tread wear while enhancing grip on wet roads, promoting a shorter stopping distance. EcoPlus Technology’s TgF polymers also improve wear and fuel efficiency and in the PureContact, can save the consumer money over the life of the tire, says Continental.
Maher said EcoPlus technology has two main components. TgF polymers are temperature-activated to help with bonding, which helps in wear and rolling resistance for improved fuel efficiency. Plus Silane is an additive that helps with grip on slippery and wet roads.
The PureContact is backed by a 60-day customer satisfaction trial and a 70,000-mile or 72-month limited warranty program. Continental also offers 12-month or first 2/32-inch road hazard coverage. The PureContact comes in a wide range of sizes from 15- to 18-inch wheel diameters with a UTQG rating of 700 AA with H and V speed ratings. “We wanted to give you a tire that you can sell,” said Maher. “It will be very competitively priced and it will outperform the OE tire. So you get an opportunity to create satisfaction for the consumer and get the consumer to come back to you for future replacement.”
One of the PureContact’s most innovative features is a new Continental exclusive: Comfort Ride technology. This comfort band is located under the tread layer to absorb vibrations caused by road surface irregularities.
Continental’s Tuned Performance Indicators — D for dry, W for wet and S for snow — are located on the outside rib of the tire.
The PureContact also borrows tried-and-true features from the ExtremeContact DWS. These include chamfered tread blocks for dry braking and lateral grip, and traction grooves for improved snow grip.
“We are really focusing our marketing efforts on EcoPlus, Comfort Ride and Tuned Performance Indicator technologies,” Maher explained. “The PureContact also has technologies to support it if you’re selling it in the Northeast with the snow grip and excellent all-season capability, and dry performance with chamfered edges.”
“Our team is constantly working to develop new and innovative technologies to give consumers the best tire we can,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. “The
PureContact brings together our EcoPlus Technology, Comfort Ride Technology and Tuned Performance Indicators for a replacement tire that will help our customers save money, be kind to the environment, and arrive at their destinations safely.” ■