Tyre test: The brand-new Continental Generation 6 range
For those who like premium tyres for their cars and yet at a Made-in-Malaysia price, they will be pleased that the leading German tyre manufacturer, Continental Tyre Malaysia recently has unveiled new Generation 6 tyres.
The Continental ComfortContact CC6 and UltraContact UC6 that were launched are specially-designed for Malaysian road conditions and its customer expectations. They will also replace the preceding CC5 and UC5 tyre models.
Specifically for Malaysia, the market research shows that the consumers in the country want tyres that provide comfort and good performance on wet surfaces. Hence, Continental Tyre Malaysia designed the ComfortContact CC6 for superior low noise level and comfortable ride and the UltraContact UC6 for high level of grip during dry and wet surfaces.
We were invited by Continental Tyre Malaysia for a drive to experience what the new Generation 6 tyres have to offer.
The ComfortContact CC6
Continental Tyre showcases different technologies for both the CC6 and UC6 tyres. The ComfortContact CC6 carries what Continental calls as “HOW”, in which each letter represents individual technology as listed below:
H – Harmonic Comfort Chamber: Based on the ‘Helmholtz resonator’ principle, it’s a noise cancelling chamber that is specially designed and positioned on the inner shoulder of the tyre pattern. Noises generated between the road and tyre are effectively cancelled out as air waves migrate in and out of the chambers.
O – dB-Eater: ‘O’ or zero dB – The dB eaters are uniquely-shaped in-groove elements designed to split and diffuse noise waves for lower road noise.
W – Whisper Compound: It is a smoother rolling tread compound that adapts better to the roughness of the road surface for superior comfort, thus enabling the tyres to roll smoothly and reducing rolling resistance in the long term.
During the drive to Melaka, we tested the ComfortContact CC6 tyres fitted to a Nissan Teana. At low city speed, the tyre noise was there, which is somewhat similar to other comfort tyres. But then the difference become more apparent as we gather more speed.
At speed above 140 km/h, only wind noise can be heard while the tyre noise barely presents. If the tyre noise can be drawn in the form of graph with noise level on the y-axis and speed on the x-axis, the noise produced by CC6 tyres will translate to a more gradual and moderate line compared to a steeper line produced by normal tyres.
Continental Tyre Malaysia set up a driving course in Hang Jebat Stadium to test the technologies offered on the Generation 6 tyres. To see exactly how the ComfortContact CC6 performs, we hopped on to a Volkswagen Vento fitted with CC5 (predecessor) tyres. The instructors drove the car around the course and up to 50 km/h before the cabin noise is measured. With CC5, the noise level reads at 74.8 dB on average.
Up next, we jumped in another Vento, this time fitted with CC6 tyres. Same route, same speed, and when the noise reader is reset, the cabin noise was recorded at 73.3 dB average. Continental Tyre suggests that the new CC6 is around 1 dB quieter than the previous tyre. This was a conservative figure as other runs sometimes recorded more than 1 dB of difference.
The UltraContact UC6
With the UltraContact UC6, the acronym is “ADD” to simplify the technologies and innovations involved. ADD can be described as below:
A – Aqua Channels: It is the surface sipes that quickly direct water film from the tread pattern as they contact the road. As the name suggests, Aqua Channels help channels and evacuates water from contact patch thus reducing the risk of aquaplaning.
D – Diamond Edge: The Diamond Edge is chamfered cutting angle in the tyre pattern that maximizes the contact area to distribute braking forces more evenly. It eliminates the possibility of tyre block distortion and loss of contact with the road, especially during heavy braking. In wet conditions, Diamond Edge acts as a wiper that clears the water film away from tread block to reduce braking distance.
D – Diamond Blend Compound: The new adaptive Diamond Blend Compound consists of two polymer types, namely ‘short grip-polymers’ and ‘long mileage-polymers’. The short grip-polymers are triggered when the vehicle is driving through corners or while braking, which transforms the energy into heat to enable high grip. Meanwhile, the long mileage-polymers are entangled and strongly connected to each other, ensuring high mileage performance.
High mileage and high grip performance are usually conflicting goals. This problem is taken as an opportunity by Continental Tyre to deliver an all-rounder tyre. While prioritizing wet and dry braking, UltraContact UC6 also put mileage into serious weightage in its development goals.
At the same experience ground in Hang Jebat Stadium, we were brought to a slalom course to conduct the handling test. Driving a Volkswagen Passat with UC6 tyres, the slalom course enables us to explore the grip limit of the tyres.
Under hard acceleration and almost 180-degree steering input, the front still grips and responds to steering input with no hesitation and no sign of inside-wheel spin. During the direction change, the UltraContact UC6 helps increase the car’s agility. Too much body roll is probably the only factor that would scare the driver and not the loss of grip on either ends of the car. The innovative compounds in the UC6 provide high limit of grip and put Traction Control and Stability Control at rest.
As for dry and wet braking performance of the UC6, it was then tested using the Nissan Teana on two separate braking areas. During the tests, the cars were accelerated to 50 km/h before applying full braking force. The stopping distance for wet surface is naturally longer than the dry one, however, the difference in distance is surprisingly low.
After several runs made on both braking surfaces with pretty consistent stopping distances, it can be concluded that the UltraContact UC6 tyres perform pretty similar on wet and dry surfaces. The Aqua Channels dissipate water quickly to maintain contact with the road surface and minimizing ABS intervention.
According to Mr. Cameron Wilson, Managing Director of Continental Tyre Malaysia during the product launch, the new Generation 6 products are the one-in-one-out replacement product to replace the outgoing CC5 and UC5. He also added that on January 2017, the company will introduce the new MaxContact MC6 to replace the MC5, and slotting it above the UC6.
The ComfortContact CC6 tyres will be available for rims with diameters of 13 to 16 inches, while the UltraContact UC6 will be available in 15 to 18 inches. Continental Tyre Malaysia also proudly announced that each Generation 6 tyres come with 5-year warranty from the purchasing date instead of from manufacturing date.
The brand-new products are made in the company’s manufacturing facility in Alor Setar and are now available at Continental Tyre Malaysia dealerships nationwide – BestDrive Continental, Continental, Dunlop Klinikar and Viking Stores.