Continental Tire UltimateContact Winter Debut: Let it Snow!

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The UltimateContact Winter will be sold exclusively through Canadian Tire. Photo Jack Kazmierski

This new winter tire competes head-to-head with some of the bigger names in this tire segment.

Continental Tire recently invited Canadian media to experience their newest winter tire, the UltimateContact Winter on a test track at the ICAR Mirabel Motorsports Complex. This new tire will be sold exclusively through Canadian Tire, and will replace the Continental WinterContact SI Plus when it debuts in stores in August 2024.

While this new tire promises better performance on dry and wet pavement, as well as on ice, Continental says it offers the same level of snow performance, road noise and durability as the SI Plus.

Tire design

The UltimateContact Winter will replace the Continental WinterContact SI Plus. Photo Jack Kazmierski

The UltimateContact Winter tire features a directional tread pattern with an advanced siping layout, designed to boost grip on snow, ice and slush. By varying the sipe angles in the tread blocks in the centre of the tire, Continental says the new tire is better able to handle corners in icy conditions, and this was certainly evident when we pushed the UltimateContact Winter to its limits on the icy test track.

Snow traction is improved thanks to shoulder blocks that were designed to collect snow, thereby improving snow-on-snow friction. This too was evident during some of the acceleration and braking exercises on the track.

Another key design element is what Continental calls, “PolarPlus Technology,” which means, in part, that the compound was made with plant oils that enhance the elasticity of the rubber at lower temperatures, thereby boosting grip in slippery conditions on wet pavement, snow and ice-covered roads.

Continental’s team explained that the UltimateContact Winter has been engineered with electric vehicles in mind, which means it offers the low rolling resistance and low road noise EV customers want in a tire.

Head-to-head comparison

Continental was so sure of the quality of their new winter tire that they were willing to allow the media to compare it head-to-head with some of the leading names in winter tires.

During our day at the track, we had numerous opportunities to test drive vehicles equipped with four different tires: Continental UltimateContact Winter, Bridgestone Blizzak WS90, Michelin X-ICE and Goodyear WinterCommmand Ultra.

It was a challenge to see a significant difference between these four tires. They’re very closely matched. Most notably, however, Continental’s UltimateContact Winter seemed to do a bit better on tighter turns, when compared with the competition. When we really pushed the test vehicles through turns on ice and snow, Continental’s new tire had a bit more grip, which translated into less fishtailing in uncertain road conditions.

Continental Tire set out to demonstrate that their new tire is a worthy contender in the winter tire segment, and they certainly proved that it can compete head-to-head with some of the leading names in this segment of the market.

Pricing and sizes

Pricing for the new tire hasn’t been announced yet, but according to one of the Canadian Tire executives who attended the ICAR event, since the UltimateContact Winter tire is going to replace the Continental WinterContact SI Plus, consumers can expect pricing for the new tire to be similar to what the SI Plus sells for currently.

Continental will offer the UltimateContact Winter in a total of 26 sizes, from 15-20 inches, and in T and H speed ratings. All sizes come with an XL load range, which means that EV owners can rest assured this new tire will be able to handle the weight of their vehicles.

We had an opportunity to push the test vehicles to their limits on all four tires. Photo Jack Kazmierski


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