Hanover, April 2009 – Farewell to winter tires, they have done their job on the car. Temperatures are going up, so now it is time for the summer tires to take over. But be careful! Not every summer tire is a safe tire. A test conducted by Britain’s Autocar weekly magazine highlights the ‘staggering’ difference in quality between a quality tire made by Continental and five cheap imports from Asia. Testing was performed on the ContiPremiumContact 2 – a tire described as having very well-balanced properties and delivering top performance especially in wet braking traction, and which was rated “highly recommended” by the German Motoring Club (ADAC), the Austrian Motoring and Touring Club (ÖAMTC), and the Swiss Touring Club (TCS). It was also the Auto Zeitung’s test winner versus eight rivals, and the winner of tests conducted by Auto Bild. The British automobile magazine lined the ContiPremiumContact 2 up against budget tires of the Asian brands GT Radial, Nankang, Wanli, Linglong and Triangle. Safety risks among the latter tires were drastically high in comparison with the Continental tire: Differences amounted to as much as 8.5 meters when braking on a wet road at a speed of just 50 kilometers per hour.
A recent test performed at the Leibniz University of Hanover likewise demonstrated that cheap imports from Asia are a considerable risk to the safety of the driver and passengers of a car. Professor Jörg Wallaschek, director of the Institute for Dynamics and Vibration Research at the faculty of Mechanical Engineering explained the process. “We had various tires on our test rig to examine whether budget tires are really of substandard quality. The results show that the cost benefit of cheap tires from Asia is outweighed by serious safety deficits. Of the cheap tires we examined, the friction coefficient of the tread blocks was on average 20 percent lower than that of quality tires from Europe. But only a high friction value makes it possible to brake and steer safely. Those seeking to pay 30 euros less when buying tires must take into consideration that they might be risking a total loss at some later stage. So, it’s not worth neglecting this fact and saving at the wrong end.”
Not only ContiPremiumContact 2 but also other Continental tires received good ratings in recent tire tests. ContiSportContact 3 was singled out as best in tests conducted by sport auto and the UK-based FAST car magazine. ContiCrossContact UHP was declared the winner of the Auto Bild Allrad test.