When you buy a new car, there’s a strong chance there are already Continental tires fitted to the wheel. These are known as Original Equipment (OE) tires, developed in close collaboration with leading car manufacturers and experts.
The safety, comfort, and performance of a vehicle are paramount. And as the only point of contact between the car and the road, OE tires play a pivotal role in ensuring the best driving experience without compromising your safety or comfort.
In straightforward terms, OE tires are the automotive equivalent of a custom-tailored suit. They’re purpose-built fittings that leverage the unique characteristics of your vehicle to optimize their performance.
Why is this necessary? Because not all cars are created equal. They come in many different sizes, makes and models, with a diverse set of driving objectives. That translates into specific needs for the tires on their wheels.
An SUV, for example, is at its most versatile with tires that have optimal wet and dry performance. Luxury cars, by comparison, will purr most contentedly when fitted with tires that are smoother and quieter on the road. Other considerations – for example, fuel efficiency – also enter into the design and fitment equation.
To capture the full scope of requirements for each model of vehicle, we work in close collaboration with vehicle manufacturers to create the perfect tire. Once approved, the resulting OE tire is fitted onto each new car before it leaves the factory.
In this way, vehicle manufacturers have full confidence that all of their new cars have the correct tires for various road conditions, and each model can accelerate, brake and corner to the best of its abilities.
The short answer is yes. The OE label can be a little misleading because they’re not strictly limited to new vehicles. You can also buy them as replacement tires when it’s time to fit a new set to the wheels.
So if you're happy with the way your OE tires have performed on your vehicle, then it’s incredibly easy to get the same fitment later. Meanwhile, if you’ve bought a car on the second-hand market that’s missing its OE tires, it’s not a problem to source Continental OE tires for your model and have them fitted later. In this way, you’re bringing your used car as close as possible to its original performance spec.
OE is also a key driver for the development of ultra-high performance (UHP) tires. Together with our car manufacturer partners, we develop tires and rubber compounds to meet their exacting standards of outstanding grip and road safety. UHP tires can ensure better stability when cornering, more precise steering, accurate speed ratings, and shorter stopping distances.
Also important to remember is that if you’re already driving a vehicle designed to use UHP tires, you shouldn’t try to switch to lower rated high-performance tires when the time comes to replace them. It could have a negative impact on the overall performance of your car.
Continental has a broad range of UHP tires to ensure that every vehicle type – from sports cars to family vehicles – are supplied with the ideal product.
With so many competing tire brands out there, why should you choose Continental OE tires? It all comes down to quality. In addition to being specifically designed to maximize the potential of your vehicle, our tires also conform to the highest safety and quality standards.
Dedicated teams of engineers put OE tires through more than 100 rigorous tests to assess everything from maximum speed to handling, comfort, noise level, and mileage. We also determine how effectively your vehicle can brake in wet and dry conditions.
For these reasons and more, Continental ranks high among the leading OE suppliers for car manufacturers around the globe. And because one in three cars manufactured in Europe leaves the factory fitted with Continental tires, we’re the first choice among all tire producers on the continent.
Continental has an extensive range of OE tires. OE keys on the tire sidewall identify the brand and model. Refer to this table of two-digit and three-digit keys for an overview.
You can also use our tirefinder tool, and identify the ideal tire your make of car, size, seasonal application, and vehicle category.
|RO1, RO2, R03|
BMW / Mercedes
BMW / Mercedes Runflat
|NO, N1, N2|