With the WinterContact TS 860, leading tyre manufacturer Continental is launching a new winter specialist for compact and mid-range models, building on the safety credentials of its highly successful predecessor.
Over the past four years, the ContiWinterContact TS 850 has proved best-in-test in no fewer than 47 comparative tests run by the European trade press, automobile clubs and consumer organisations, making it the most successful Continental winter tyre to date.
With safety and driving enjoyment a top priority, the latest WinterContact TS 860 makes some suitably impressive improvements across the board. When braking on wet wintry roads it performs five percent better than its outstanding predecessor, the ContiWinterContact TS 850. Braking distances are four percent shorter on ice, with further improvements in snow handling, grip on snow and ride quality. Mileage and rolling resistance are on a par with the successful TS 850.
These advances are made possible by combining a new tread compound with a newly developed tread design. The Cool Chili compound has a high proportion of silica that reduces braking distances on wet roads due to its special damping characteristics. The highly flexible polymer matrix brings a noticeable improvement in traction properties on all wintry road surfaces, providing extra grip. Also new are special high-performance resins that maintain the flexibility of the compound even at low winter temperatures, leading to shorter braking distances on cold, wet, icy and snow-covered surfaces.
To enable effective braking even on icy roads, the tyre development engineers at Continental have come up with what they call Liquid Layer Drainage. When braking on ice, a film of water is created under the tread that significantly reduces the tyre's contact patch with the road. The new technology, incorporating an additional drainage channel molded into the tread block, allows the water to drain away faster than was previously possible, effectively cutting braking distances on icy roads.
Also new in the directional V-shaped tread is SnowCurve technology with its high-grip 3D groove wall structure. With an additional groove in the wall of the tread blocks, it increases the meshing effect with the snow compressed in the tread groove to offer greater grip and provide better traction on snow-covered roads.
The new WinterContact TS 860 from Continental will be available in retail outlets from autumn 2016. Initially, there will be 36 articles in 21 sizes for 14 to 17 inch rims. The new Continental winter tyre scores a C rating for rolling resistance and a B rating for wet grip on the EU Tyre Label.
Winter tyres from technology-leading premium manufacturers like Continental are genuine all-rounders, because they have to be able to deliver grip reliably on dry, wet, icy and snow-covered roads. Winters in Central Europe are mainly cold and wet, with ten rainy days per month expected between October and March. With temperatures hovering around zero, that of course means an elevated risk of black ice – and indeed, one accident in four involving injuries is caused by slippery roads. That’s why the specifications for the new WinterContact TS 860 focus on delivering maximum safety on wet and icy surfaces.