Why is the Continental VikingContact 7 replacing two tires? Because its performance is superior to the two Continental tires it is replacing -- the WinterContact SI in North America, and the VikingContact 6 in Europe and Russia.
At the recent launch of the tire in the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Timur Yilkiran compared the VikingContact 7 to the WinterContact SI. He said Continental was targeting three areas for improvement -- ice braking, snow traction and overall handling -- with little or no tradeoffs in other areas.
The result? The performance of the next generation studless tire was signifcantly better in ice braking. It also was better in dry braking and a little better in snow traction. As a bonus, the tire is less noisy during highway driving.
Snow handling was a wash between the two tires. Only in wet braking was the WinterContact SI superior, and Yilkiran said there was only a 2% difference.
The company's flagship winter tires are being produced in Korbach, Germany, and Puchov, Slovakia. They are aavailable worldwide in 91 P-metric SKUs, including three SSR (Self-Supporting Runflat) sizes. By comparison, the WinterContact SI was available in 38 sizes in the U.S. and 44 in Canada.
Continental says the VikingContact 7's size complement covers 87% of the market, ranging from sub-compact cars to full-size SUVs and light trucks.Mid-size CUVs also are among the targeted vehicles.
The tire will compete against the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90, Michelin X-Ice XI3, Toyo Observe GSi05, Pirelli Ice Zero FR and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3.
For more information on the VikingContact 7, visit "VikingContact 7 Is Continental's Next Gen Winter Tire."