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2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe - Tire Review

The Extreme Contact DWS leads the class during the winter months.

Mar 17, 2010

Continental Extreme
Contact DWS

Size 225/40ZR19 (f), 245/40ZR19 (r)]
Type Ultra-high-performance, all-season tire
UTQG 540 A A

Modp_1004_01_o+2006_infiniti_g35_coupe+traction Photo 2/6   |   2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe - Tire Review

Key Features
Molded 10/32nd of tread depth.

Unique DWS treadwear indicator makes it easy to tell when the tire is no longer optimum for each of the three designed road conditions (D for dry, W for wet and S for snow).

Chamfered Edge dry road surface technology and asymmetrical tread design with stable shoulder blocks enhance responsiveness and cornering stability.

High void-to-tread ratio with enhanced groove curvature improves water evacuation for outstanding wet handling.

High-angle, criss-cross traction grooves provide biting edges for improved wet road and light snow traction.

Industry-leading tread life combined with lower rolling resistance and improved energy delivery to the road surface.

Test Mule
'06 Infiniti G35 Coupe
Test Driver

David Pratte, Tech Talk columnist and regular contributor to Modified

Modp_1004_02_o+2006_infiniti_g35_coupe+front_tire_tread Photo 3/6   |   2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe - Tire Review

Test Track
Toronto Motorsports Park, 1.8 km front track

Test Condition
35 degrees Fahrenheit, overcast and foggy, wet pavement with patches of slush and ice and a deep snow drift across corner 4

Just over a year ago, the tire-obsessed nutters from Tire Rack (tirerack.com) went to the Arctic Circle region of northern Sweden to do a comprehensive ultra-high-performance (UHP) all-season tire test. Of the five tires tested, the Continental Extreme Contact DWS proved itself to be by far the best snow and ice performer of the group, with Goodyear's Eagle F1 All-Season tire placing second. It just so happens that we have both of these UHP all-season tire options equipped on OE Infiniti G35 wheels, so we headed to Toronto Motorsports Park in mid January to do a little winter testing of our own.

I have to say I was extremely impressed by the level of grip both of these UHP all-season tires provided in highly variable and very slippery conditions. The track was damp with a lot of slush and icy patches on the straights and in the corners, and one corner in particular had a deep snowdrift running across it that made things particularly interesting (and entertaining).

With the Goodyears on the car, I managed a best lap of 1:05.3. I've done a lot of lapping at this track and have been using these tires as my winter setup, so it was relatively easy to get up to speed and slide the car around at the limit of available grip. Once we swapped the Continental Extreme Contact DWS's onto the car, I spent a few laps familiarizing myself with them. Once they were scrubbed in a bit and warmed up, the available grip was really quite shocking, especially through the snowdrift in turn 4 and on the slicker sections of the track. I was able to brake much later and harder with the Continentals and could also get on the gas earlier and more aggressively, thanks to the improved grip level. As a result, my lap times dropped to 1:03.1 seconds-more than 2 seconds quicker than the Goodyears.

I was also very impressed by the Continental Extreme Contact DWS's during the drive home from the track, where their softer sidewall, tread design and carcass construction provided increased ride comfort and reduced road noise (both features I appreciate in the winter on the rough roads and highways in my area).

Based on past experience testing UHP all-season tires, this category tends to emphasize performance during the three non-winter seasons, but Continental has clearly paid very close attention to the Extreme Contact DWS's winter performance abilities. Whether or not this means some dry/warm weather performance is given up as a result remains to be seen, but Tire Rack's warm-weather testing of UHP all-season tires places Continental squarely in the mix with its competition while its winter testing (and my own) shows that the Extreme Contact DWS leads the class during the winter months.

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