For the new WinterContact TS 870, the tyre engineers at Continental have come up with a new tread design and compound. Their challenging mission was to develop an even better tyre than its multi award-winning predecessor. The outcome is a tyre that, in a direct comparison, delivers 5 percent shorter braking distances on ice and 5 percent better handling on snow. The new WinterContact TS 870 also offers better grip on snow, improved wet-weather properties and enhanced handling on dry roads. Continental’s engineers have made good progress in terms of the tyre’s environmental properties, achieving a 7 percent increase in mileage, as well as a 4 percent drop in rolling resistance.
Good winter tyres demonstrate a very balanced performance across all disciplines. To achieve this, a new tread pattern was developed, and the tread compound was brought into line with the latest research findings. The focus here was on safe performance on snow and ice and in the wet, as well as on higher mileage and lower rolling resistance.
To make braking on ice even safer, the contact patch includes up to ten percent more tread blocks than its successful predecessor. The edges and sipes in these blocks act like windshield wipers, dispersing slush fast and ensuring good grip on icy surfaces. With their deep sipes, arranged parallel to the diagonal grooves, the tyres present a large number of edges, enabling the dynamic forces to be transferred more effectively and delivering good straight-line and cornering grip on snow. A further benefit of this design is the larger snow pockets in the tread. These fill up with snow and ensure even better grip.
The new 3D interlocking sipes are set at the best possible angle to engage with the snow. As the tread blocks dig deeper into the snow, they can interlock with it more effectively and deliver additional grip.
The new tread pattern features a special center-groove concept that makes for even faster lateral water displacement when driving in the rain, providing better protection against aquaplaning. Another factor that contributes to the shorter braking distances, is the newly developed tread compound, which, like in the predecessor model, goes by the name of Cool Chili Compound. A blend of special resins ensures better grip and shorter braking distances in the wet.
A further positive effect results from the flexibility of the polymer compound made possible by the optimized crosslink density. This improves the quality of the contact between the tyre and the road, reducing abrasion and increasing the tyre’s mileage. At the same time, the compound was developed to generate a marked reduction in rolling resistance. On the EU Tyre Label, the new WinterContact TS 870 is rated “C” for fuel efficiency and “B” for wet grip, while its noise level of 70 dB puts it in the lowest category, represented by a single sound wave.