More About Continental's New Summer UHP Tire
'The ExtremeContact Sport 02 is a Trackable Street Tire,' Says Glaser
In developing the new Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02, “what we’ve tried to do is have a go-to product for dealers who can say, ‘I can rely on its performance. I will have that tire for 98% of everyone out there who wants it. And it’s packaged (in a way) I can be confident selling it,'" says Bjorn Glaser, project manager, performance tires, PLT, for Continental Tire the Americas LLC.
The tire, which was recently launched at a ride-and-drive event in Palm Springs, Calif., is designed for enthusiasts and is available in more than 60 sizes, with the remainder coming online in February 2023. (It will be offered in 77 total sizes.)
The Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02 – which features Continental’s SportPlus Technology for enhanced handling, grip and tread life - replaces the Continental ExtremeContact Sport, which “already was well-liked and accepted in this segment," says Glaser.
"So what we wanted to do is continue what we have in that tire and make it better in terms of incremental performance – the feel of the tire, increases in grip and response and overall dry and wet grip."
The Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02 tire is “technically not the most extreme” product in Continental’s United States ultra-high performance tire lineup, according to Glaser.
“There is the ExtremeContact Force, which is a streetable track tire. The ExtremeContact Sport 02 is a trackable street tire. It’s focused on enthusiast street performance” but also daily driving, such as “commutes to work, taking your kids somewhere, your weekend fun-run. And you can also take it to the track.
“We offer a very holistic line-up – 91% (coverage) on Porsche sedans, excluding SUVs. For Audi, (it will fit) your higher-end A3 and A3, S3 and S4 , RS3 and RS4, RS4 and RS5 – that type of vehicle. For BMW, essentially, everything that’s not an SUV” will be an appropriate fit for the new tire, says Glaser, who estimates that the UHP summer tire segment accounts for “about 4 to 5 million (units)” in the U.S. market.
Dealers who attended the launch of the Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02 were impressed by its performance.
“This is not a tire that’s normally in my personal wheelhouse because of where I live and the vehicle I drive,” said Christopher Pierce, chief financial officer of RHD Tire, a Grand Rapids. Mich.-based wholesaler that recently opened its fourth distribution center.
“But it was very impressive. I could drastically tell the difference” in performance."
When asked to comment on where the tire might fit within his company's product screen, Pierce replied that “we don’t do a lot of summer performance tires, so I’m curious to see where we put it. I think it will fit well in our Chicago market.”
Keith Noble, who represented Whiteville, N.C.-based Black’s Tire & Auto Service at the event, is confident that the new tire will sell briskly, “especially in the metro markets, where you have more enthusiasts and higher socio-economics. I think we’ll have a lot of success with it.
“Continental does a great job with the intangibles, too – outside of just the price of the tire. What comes with (the company’s products) is pretty impressive. It just gives us more selling points at the store level.”
Noble also likes the new tire’s size coverage.
“They’ve done a great job with the fitments.” SKUs “are so diverse now. They’re so complex.”