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How can we minimize rolling resistance without losing grip?

15 percent ...                                               
With our ContiPremium Contact 5 tire, braking distances have been shortened by up to 15 percent on wet roads in comparison to its predecessor. This tire combines low rolling resistance, high mileage performance and precise handling with comfortable driving characteristics.   

The braking distance, cornering speed, acceleration, load distribution, permissible curb weight – a great deal of the handling characteristics are determined by a postcard-sized area of the tire. The contact patch of the tire is the vehicle’s only contact with the road and transfers all the forces from the vehicle. This means that tires are one of the most important of a vehicle’s components.

The greatest challenge is to guarantee maximum safety with short braking distances and high grip, but at the same to reduce fuel consumption with a lowered rolling resistance. This is exactly what the experts in our Tire division are working on day to day.

How can rubber help to save fuel?

Since 2002 we have succeeded in lowering the rolling resistance of various truck and trailer tire lines by 8 percent. This reduces diesel consumption by 1,600 liters a year when a distance of 150,000 kilometers is covered.

For car tires, we have achieved a reduction in rolling resistance of a third. At the same time, the safety-related tire characteristics have been considerably improved. 

New technologies are enabling us to gradually resolve physical conflicts within tire development at a much higher level.

How can we close the cycle in tire production?

At the end of 2013, the ContiLifeCycle plant will start operations in Hanover. Through the integration of commercial vehicle tire retreading and rubber recycling, we will be able to complete the tire life cycle – a world first. Using the new process, the proportion of recycled material in new tires will be nearly doubled.

How can new tires be tested even more accurately and regardless of the weather?

In order to prepare the optimum tire characteristics for each vehicle, you need perfect test conditions. To this end, in 2013 we commissioned the world’s first fully automatic tire testing facility that is not dependent on the weather. At our Contidrom test grounds, a 300-meter-long hall houses hydraulically interchangeable tracks with various surface coatings. The test vehicles can be accelerated without a driver up to speeds of 120 km/h within just 100 meters, all under the various weather conditions that can be simulated. Then the braking maneuver is performed by a braking robot – always with precisely the same force and with ABS control. Up to 100,000 braking maneuvers per year give us a wealth of extremely accurate data.

How individual does a tire need to be?

As long as we have been manufacturing truck tires, so for about 90 years, the entrepreneurial customer has been the focus of the Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit. It is for them that we are always reinventing the tire. For the carrier this means lower fuel consumption on the highway, for passengers on a coach it means more comfort and safety, for port operators more stability for tall loading vehicles, and for construction companies robust tires that sticks and stones cannot harm. Our customers work under challenging conditions. We make sure they have the right tires. For optimum efficiency.

6 business units
Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Original Equipment
Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Replacement Business,
(Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Replacement Business,
The Americas
(North, Central and South America)
Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Replacement Business,
(Asia and Pacific region)
Commercial Vehicle Tires
Two-Wheel Tires