Continental has received its first AA rating on the EU tyre label for wet grip and rolling resistance.
The Conti.eContact, originally launched in 2011 with electric vehicles in mind, has been refined to meet the needs of hybrid models and secured the coveted EU tyre label top rating.
The German tyre manufacturer announced: “With immediate effect we are offering the tyre in six sizes for 17 and 18-inch rims, specially designed for models such as the Opel Ampera, BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, Lexus LS 600h and Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, as well as other cars and SUVs with hybrid drive.
“Given that this is a new vehicle segment that also involves highly complex production processes, Continental is kicking off with low-volume production at its French tyre plant in Sarreguemines.”
When hybrid vehicles run in electric mode they are virtually silent. As tyre noise is no longer drowned out by other sources of noise such as a conventional engine, it is all the more noticeable. Consequently, the new Conti.eContact is designed to generate minimal audible noise in the interior. This is achieved with the aid of ContiSilent technology, a thin layer of polyurethane foam attached to the inside of the tread that reduces the vibrations that are generated as the tyre rolls across the surface of the road.
According to Continental tyres, its in-house studies point to incremental growth in the proportion of hybrid vehicles in the EU’s passenger car segment, which could account for as much as eight per cent by 2020.