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A man getting out of a performance SUV in the city

Performance SUVs –

where power meets utility

SUVs for sportscar enthusiasts

A casual observer of automotive trends is more than likely to assume that speedy sports cars and powerful SUVs exist in two entirely different categories. Those in the know, however, are well aware that this clear distinction has long been blurred. Today’s luxury SUVs offer the speed and performance of a supercar, paired with the power and versatility of sport utility vehicles. From high-engine SUVs and sporty crossovers to tuned off-road vehicles, performance SUVs are a force to be reckoned with – and a trend that shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

The characteristic features of performance SUVs at a glance

Performance SUV vs. regular sports utility vehicle

What makes a performance SUV special

Here’s what sets a performance SUV apart from a regular sports utility vehicle:

  • More luxurious design and interior
  • More horsepower
  • Higher speed
  • Faster acceleration
  • Sporty and dynamic handling
  • Often tuned

The best performance SUVs for sportscar enthusiasts

A man parking a performance SUV in the city

A performance SUV looks as good in the city as it does off-road

Performance SUVs combine the best of two worlds – the sleek speediness and sporty handling of a sports car with the robust design and versatility of a sport utility vehicle. To realize their full potential, they need the high-performance tires to match. Our Continental premium SUV tires are top of the range products that live up to this task.

Safety is our top priority, no matter which car you drive. However, fast, heavy vehicles place the highest demands on tires, so it is particularly important to fit them with top-of-the-range models designed for unique performance. Our high-performance tires typically offer maximum levels of grip on dry tarmac and a high speed rating, meaning they are capable of performing at much higher top speeds than regular tires. Our world class engineers and a dedicated team at our High-Performance Technology Center (HTPC) work hand in hand to continually develop new, innovative technologies and materials, such as the Black Chili compound, as well as new tread patterns. For example, asymmetric pattern designs, with an outer shoulder that is different from the inner shoulder, have a positive impact on handling and cornering and are typically found in high-performance tires. Meanwhile, stiff center bands provide fine steering precision and responsive feedback.

Since every third new car in Europe rolls off the manufacturing line with Continental Original Equipment tires, there‘s a good chance your performance SUV’s Original Equipment tires were manufactured by Continental. These are the tires fitted when you buy a new car, also known as OE tires. A lot of research and development goes into these tires, to ensure they are the best fit for your car and enhance your driving performance in every way. If you aim to use the best fit for your car, you can simply replace them with the same tire. You can check their availability with the help of an OE key in our tirefinder tool.

If you are driving a tuned SUV, we also have you covered. After all, the HTPC has long been successfully collaborating with some of the world’s best car tuners to develop ultra-high-performance (UHP) tires for their high-performance cars, including SUVs. These tires aren’t just large in size (UHP starts at 17 inches, Ultra-UHP at 19 inches), they can also handle the huge demands placed on them by increased power and speed.

Find out more about our ultra-high-performance tires here.


SUVs are currently getting a lot of attention and the range is enormous.”

Michael Schneider, Head of Tuning, Continental

The most impressive performance SUVs hit the Contidrom


In fact, our high-performance tire experts have become so enamored with high-performance SUVs that they decided to dedicate an entire event to them. In 2019, the best tuning companies in the world came together with car enthusiasts and automotive journalists for a very special Conti Tuning Day, featuring only tuned SUVs. Michael Schneider, Continental’s Head of Tuning, explained why the team chose to invite performance SUVs to the Contidrom test track: “We don’t do this kind of theme very often, because sports cars are generally of more interest, but SUVs are currently getting a lot of attention and the range is enormous. Coverage of these cars is mainly focused on their off-road capabilities, but what is fascinating for Tuner Day participants is how fast an SUV can move on our course. The tuners really give us an impression of what they can do with SUVs.”
Read an in-depth report on the event here and see the performance SUVs in action below.    

What happens when tuned high-performance SUVs get together

UHP tires for your performance SUV

Cutting-edge tire technologies make the SportContact™ 6 a high-performance speed companion.

Performance SUV FAQ – you asked, we answer…

What Does SUV stand for?
A variety of SUVs lined up with Continental tires

Just as the name suggests, Sports Utility Vehicles offer a whole lot of cargo space for all your sporty and utilitarian needs.

Learn more about the term SUV
Do all SUVs have four-wheel drive?
Large SUV going off-road in nature

While most SUVs can go off-road, the same way four-wheel drives can, there may be some limitations.

Learn what they are here
Can I take my SUV off-road?

Most SUVs certainly can go off-road. Just make sure you know the conditions and have the right tires.

Find out more here
Which SUV tires are best suited to my vehicle?
Red SUV on a city road

If you're looking for new SUV tires, there are a number of things to consider to ensure safety and quality.

Find out the details
What are the legal limits (speed, tread, age) for SUV tires?

Depending on where you are in the world, you should heed several SUV tire limits.

Find out more here
When should I replace my SUV tires?
A mechanic changing SUV tires

There are several indicators that tell you when you should replace your tires. Even if you've never had a puncture, they could be showing wear.

Find out what you need to check
How do I find out the correct SUV tire pressure?
Person adding air to their SUV tires

The right tire pressure ensures optimal traction and grip on any terrain and gives you more mileage for your fuel. If you're unsure what the pressure of your SUV tires should be, refer to your vehicle's manual.

Here's how to check

Find the perfect Continental tires for your car

Different SUV types mean different SUV tires

Given the huge variety of vehicle models, SUV tires have to be selected to suit the specific car.