With the new WinterContact TS 860, Continental presents its successor to the highly successful ContiWinterContact TS 850. Designed for use in Central and Western Europe, the tire will be available in retail outlets from fall 2016. Initially there will be 36 items in 21 sizes for 14 to 17-inch rims, with a further 20-plus models scheduled to join the range in 2017. So this new winter tire for compact and mid-range models is set to gradually replace the outstanding ContiWinterContact TS 850. Over the past four years, the ContiWinterContact TS 850 has proved best-in-test in 47 product comparisons run by the European trade press, automobile clubs and consumer organizations, making it the most successful Continental winter tire to date.
Winter tires 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 were focused on delivering maximum safety on wet and icy surfaces in particular.
Looking at the tire market for compact and mid-range models, Continental sees good prospects for its new winter tire. While demand for 14-inch tires is falling and the European market for 15-inch models has reached a plateau at around 20 million units, Continental is expecting to see demand for 16 and 17-inch tires continue to rise over the next few years.