Continental tires are more commonly thought of as OEM rubber for the upper echelons of the automotive industry. Now, though, the German tire manufacturer looks to capture the entire industry with the introduction of its latest products in the Philippines via JM Far East, the official distributor of Continental tires in our country.
The first of the three new models recently announced is the Continental UltraContact 7. The brand describes this as the everyday sort of tire. Given its size range of 15 to 18 inches with a maximum width of 245mm and a maximum side profile of 50, this tire will most likely fit sedans and midsize crossovers on OEM wheels. With that being said, its features focus primarily on the task of daily driving.
Thanks to Continental’s Confidence+ technology which uses a proprietary formulation of silica and resin in the tire compound, the UC7 boasts longer mileage compared to its predecessor, the UC6. An added benefit of this technology is better performance in wet conditions, as well as a significant reduction in tire roar and road noise.
Staying true to its upscale reputation, the second tire launched is the SportContact 7. This replaces the SportContact 6, and sits at the very top of Continental’s lineup as its ultra high-performance tire, much like Michelin’s Pilot Sport.
Since its global release, the SportContact7 has been praised all around the world. Various third-party tests have shown its performance to be superior to the SportContact 6 and even its competitors from other brands. It even won the iF Design Award as well as the Red Dot Award in 2022 for its innovative design.
The SportContact7 can be purchased in sizes ranging from 18 inches all the way to 23 inches—all with low-profile sidewalls, of course. Applications can vary with sizes and ratings that cater to something as light as a featherweight Porsche 911 GT3 RS or even something as boorish as a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG. According to the distributor, the complete size run will be made available in the months to come.
The third and perhaps most exciting product announced is the brand’s first pickup/off-road tire in over a decade: the CrossContact AX6.
In western markets, this design can be found under the CrossContact ATR nameplate. Though they both look the same on the surface, Continental reiterates that this is no mere name change. It says that the tire compound was reformulated specifically to suit the driving conditions found in the ASEAN region, hence the rebadge. The AX6 is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 15 to 20 inches, making it a perfect fit for pickups and pickup-based SUVs.
When asked how the AX6 compares to the current all-terrain king—the Falken Wildpeak AT3W (JM Far East is the exclusive Philippine distributor for both Falken and Continental)—JM Far East president Winston Manabat answered, “If you want more on-road refinement and class, go for the AX6. If you want the aggressive looks and more off-road capability, go for the AT3W.”
Manabat added that this is but the beginning of Continental’s aggressive push to become a staple in the Philippine market. According to him, we can expect at least five more tire models to be launched within the year.