Product Spotlight
ContinentalExtremeContact DW and DWSContinental Tire has become virtually synonymous with performance. Conti tires are the OEM choice for makes including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Now, Continental has produced a tire lineup custom tailored to varying North American climates and driving conditions, and conforming to American consumers' desire for the all-year-round or three-in-one tire.

As tire technology advances, Continental incorporates ever-new technological achievements into its products. Pretty soon you're going to need an engineeringdegree to decipher all the hi-tech terms.

Simply put, Continental has combined a number of technologies to produce an ber-tire that's long-lasting, performs in wet, dry or snowy conditions, and fits a multitude of applications and sizes, while still providing a comfortable ride without increased road noise. Taking technology to the next extreme level, Conti's latest offering is well deserving of its ExtremeContact DW and Extreme Contact DWS monikers.

DW and DWS are Continental's Tuned Performance Indicators that describe the conditions for which the tire is built. DW being Dry and Wet (utilizing a summer tread compound) and DWS meaning Dry, Wet and Snow (using an all-weather tread compound). These indicators are actually stamped into the tread, and as long as they are visible the tire will be guaranteed to function at full performance. When the indicators have faded from sight, so has the performance. For example, if the S is gone, don't go driving in snow, and when all the letters have vanished it's time for a new set... which may not be as soon as you think. Unlike most performance tires (which usually are toast after 5,000 miles or less) Continental ExtremeContacts utilize Dynamic Temperature Distribution technology, which decreases tread pattern distortion for improved, longer tread-life. As the tire's silicate-rubber compound is molded, Continental employs a method of heat control to alter the bonding of the molecules, which enhances the overall structure and ultimately provides lower rolling resistance (less friction and less heat = increased fuel efficiency and tread life).

The ExtremeContact DWS is perfect for the impromptu early Friday snowboarding trip because of a breakthrough design only featured on the new Conti tire. Traction grooves are basically made up of little rubber "teeth" embedded in the tire's tread grooves that bite into snow and prevent it (the snow) from sliding out of the tread. Basically these rubber teeth eat the snow by compacting and compressing it into the tread grooves, so when you drive on snow-covered roads the tires don't slip. The premise is that, basically, snow sticks to other snow.

If you want snow to stay in your tires' tread grooves, the opposite is true for water. Continental's Enhanced Groove Curvature, found on both the DW and DWS, is designed to create a high-velocity splatter that literally shoots water out the sides of and away from the tire's contact surface, providing wet handling performance. If a sudden downpour were to occur, the ExtremeContact lineup has a high void-to-tread ratio to prevent hydroplaning.

For normal conditions, Continental has also applied new technologies to improve dry performance, handling and braking. Chamfered edges are designed to prevent tread block deformation during heavy cornering and increased load during acceleration. Essentially, Continental has cut 45-degree angles into each side of the tread blocks (instead of the standard 90-degree cut), allowing increased road surface contact and traction. You might think of it as the reason why tall buildings sway whereas pyramids don't

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