High performance rubber for all seasonsThis tire's classification is a marriage of two terms not normally associated with one another: performance and all-season. However, it has impressive wet handling and braking characteristics, plus a welcome and extraordinary lack of road noise on the freeway.
The ContiProContact comes as standard on many European applications, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Embodied in this tire are three new design elements: PROactive Edge Technology, PROgressive Groove Ramp (PGR) and Controlled Sipe Interaction (CSI).
The concept behind PROactive Edge Technology is to maintain the largest possible tire contact patch perpendicular to the direction of travel, ensuring maximum stability and handling. This optimal contact patch is made possible by incorporating a minimum of 800 active arched pattern edges in the tread block design.
Progressive Groove Ramp technology is designed to prevent tread block deformation. Imagine a square tread block with no lateral support. As force is applied through braking or cornering, the non-supported block can distort, causing instability. In this case, the tread blocks are designed with a rounded groove base, resembling a skateboard ramp. As stress is applied, the ramp distributes force evenly, thereby preventing excessive lateral movement and increasing stability. The ramped tread block gives an additional benefit of increased water expulsion, decreasing the likelihood of hydroplaning.
Sipes are the small cracks encapsulated in each individual tread block (which are bordered by the larger spaces) and are designed using the same arched principle used in the PROactive Edge Technology. Using Controlled Sipe Interaction, the curved sipes contained within the tread blocks are designed to merge rather than slide apart. As the tires turn, the blocks group and interlock to give a precise steering feel. An additional benefit of this process is decreased wear.
The ContiProContact is available from 15 to 18 inches and will fit most European applications. It comes with a traction rating of AA and a temperature rating of A, plus a UTQG rating of 400 and mileage warranties of 40,000 to 80,000, depending on the speed rating. It's also available as a Self Supporting Runflat (SSR) in a few select sizes, most notably as a 17-inch option for the BMW 3 Series. Run-flats are often rough riding and noisy, but these SSRs maintain a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride.
Thousands of batteries are replaced annually due to a lack of proper charging and maintenance. The Xtreme Charge is a next-generation 12-volt battery charger that provides users with an advanced method of battery maintenance. Its proprietary computer-integrated system can determine and deliver the appropriate amount of charge, while patented PULSE technology minimizes sulfate build-up on battery plates-the reason most batteries end up dying young. Just connect the unit to a car battery and plug it in. $99.95
After extensive testing and fielding customer concerns, Craven Speed deduced that the thin sheetmetal at the top of the MINI Cooper's factory strut mounting points was prone to deflection, compromising vehicle handling in extreme situations. The company's answer is the Strut Tower Defender, a reinforcing plate for shoring up the strut tower tops to eliminate 'mushrooming.' Shipped in pairs, they are a direct bolt-on treatment, available in anodized red or black.