HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G. has started volume production of its EcoContact 6, a new "high-tech" summer tires for the replacement market.
The tires use the company's GreenChili compound, which Continental claims delivers 20 percent higher mileage and 15 percent lower rolling resistance compared to its predecessor model.
By March 2019, the company expects 112 units for 13- to 22-inch rims to be available. The tires are approved for speeds up to 186 mph, corresponding to the speed index "Y".
Continental said it has received approvals from 12 European vehicle manufacturers for factory-fitting of the EcoContact 6 on sub-compact to mid-range cars.
To develop the tire, Continental said its scientists redesigned the silica compound for a more balanced distribution of the chemical components. This strengthened bonding of the polymers in the compound and lowered deformation of the tire while driving. The technology, Continental said, "has led to a significant overall reduction in rolling resistance, which in turn cuts fuel consumption."
Continental also introduced "innovative additives" to the compound that it claims help the contact patch adapt better to the road surface. This, it said, improves transmission of braking forces while ensuring less wheelspin and more mileage.