The Continental ContiSportContact 5 P is the latest generation ultra-high-performance tire from Continental. Continental's 5 P tire technology spawned six years ago when developers found new and improved solutions for both tread compound and reinforcement material.
The ContiSportContact 5 P, successor to the successful ContiSportContact 3 benefits from a tread compound using Continental's "Black Chilli" technology that features an innovative type of racing-grade carbon black that helps promote a speedy warm-up procedure (i.e., gets up to temperature quickly) along with using special grip resins that optimize traction on wet and dry roads. The new carbon blacks and resins were introduced into the compound to support the flexibility of the rubber, aiding in traction and rigidity, which is important for handling. The middle and outside tread areas feature a large number of small tread blocks, creating plenty of transverse edges to easily cut through and divert water, thus improving grip levels when driving in wet conditions.
Also a first in Continental tire technology used on the 5 P is a special hybrid reinforcing material mixture of Aramid (a special heat-resistant synthetic fiber) and nylon threads instead of using a 100 percent nylon composition, which is typical for sports tires. The hybrid combination improves the flexibility of the tire while maintaining a rigid sidewall, which improves the tire's contact patch in both dry and wet conditions.
Continental invited journalists from across the globe, including Import Tuner, to their Hannover, Germany, test facility dubbed the "Contidrome." After an 11-hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean and midday luncheon of curry covered sausage, or Würste (which I might add was delicious), we had the opportunity to test the 5 P tires firsthand as we punished them using a Porsche 911 Carrera and a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG through various exercises such as dry handling circuit, wet course, oval track testing using Conti 5s with varying tread depths, and a high-speed slalom.
Despite sweltering 100 degree track conditions, the 5 P tires with a UTQG 240 treadwear exhibited high levels of grip, offering excellent feedback to the driver with minimal degradation. With impressive dry handing abilities, we were rather surprised to see the same tires outperform many of its brand name competitors on the wet handling and panic braking course where journalists were instructed to perform emergency lane changes in the wet. The Contact 5-equipped vehicles offered high levels of grip even at high speeds, including shorter braking distances. With so much technology placed into the ContiSportContact 5 P, don't expect these tires to be cheap. You get what you pay for.
The Continental ContiSportContact 5 will be offered as an OEM tire replacement and as original equipment on the Audi TT RS and Mercedes-Benz 63 AMGs, including C, E, and SL models. The tires will be offered in diameters up to 23 inches with overall widths ranging from 225 to 315 mm.