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Conti comes out top in German tyre reviews
 
 

Still on top in the wet!  October 2008  "A number of European tests praised many Continental tyres, awarding them the highest scores in several categories. The German motoring magazine, AutoBild, tested the  Conti Winter Contact TS 800, TS 810 and TS 830 tyres against sixty competitors. The testers said the TS 830 was a very well balanced tyre and gave it top marks on wet roads, on ice and on snow. The TS810 was praised for its good traction, short braking distances on snow and its excellent handling properties on both wet and dry roads. The tyre was awarded an "exemplary" rating. The Winter Contact TS 800 also came out top in the tests run by Europe's biggest motoring club. The Stiftung Warentest showed it to be the top performer on wet roads, and awarded it the highest ratings on snow and ice. All of the tests also paid tribute to Conti tyre performance with regard to safety, especially under wet conditions". Our own experiences with the Vanco Winter on our Hymer confirm these views.

Conti all seasons tread

Back in 2006 Pro Mobil tested eight 'van / light truck' tyres on motorhomes. They tested the tyres using experienced drivers and sophisticated measuring equipment on two motorhomes at a Pirelli test track. The 215/75 R16C tyres were fitted to Ducato based Hymer A-class and Hightop motorhomes for testing. The results make very interesting reading!

A number of different characteristics were assessed and measured.  Results from the tests on dry braking & handling, noise, rolling resistance, etc, showed up some differences between the test tyres but nothing very surprising.  The dry braking test from 100 kph (62.5 mph) for instance showed about a 10% difference in performance between the best and worst tyres.

The all important tests in the wet were a different matter altogether.  When braking from 80 kph (50 mph) the worst tyre took 53% more stopping distance than the best.  To put that into perspective - if these two motorcaravans were side by side at 50 mph and both tried to stop simultaneously, the vehicle with the worst tyres would still be travelling at almost 30 mph when the first one had stopped!  That's serious by anyone's standards, a 30 mph impact is very damaging, even lethal.  Even the market leading Michelin XC Camping tyre took 25% more stopping distance than the best Conti under these test conditions.  It was also the worst tyre for aquaplaning - by some margin, very worrying!

Have a look at these amazing figures for wet performance...
(All mph figures are calculated from kph and rounded & the 'extra distance' is our addition)...

Wet Braking 
from 80Kph (50mph)

Metres Extra distance  Speed when top tyre has stopped
Conti Vanco  31.9 0  0 Kph  0 mph
Conti Vanco Four Seasons 32.8 +3%    
Matador MPS 115  35.7 +12%    
Hankook RA 08  37.2 +17% 30 Kph 19 mph
Michelin XC Camping 39.8 +25% 35 Kph  22 mph
Michelin Agilis 101  41.5 +30%    
Goodyear Cargo G 91 42.7 +34%    
Bridgestone R 294 48.9 +53% 47 Kph 29 mph

 

Aquaplaning on 6mm water 

Kph Mph
Hankook RA 08   88.9 (55.6)
Goodyear Cargo G 91 85.5 (53.4)
Bridgestone R 294 85.0 (53.1)
Matador MPS 115 85.0 (53.1)
Conti Vanco 84.9 (53.0)
Conti Vanco Four Seasons 84.4 (52.8)
Michelin Agilis 101 83.7 (52.3)
Michelin XC Camping 75.4 (47.1)

 

Wet breakaway, 88m circle  Kph Mph
Conti Vanco 58.9 (36.8)
Conti Vanco Four Seasons  58.3 (36.4)
Matador MPS 115 57.6 (36.0)
Hankook RA 08 57.4 (35.9)
Michelin XC Camping  57.4 (35.9)
Michelin Agilis 101 56.8 (35.5)
Goodyear Cargo G 91 56.8 (35.5)
Bridgestone R 294 54.6 (34.1)

Overall Ratings given by the ProMobil testers

TEST \ TYRE

VANCO

VANCO4

RA08

G91

XC-C

101

MPS115

R294

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wet Braking

++

++

+

-

o

o

+

- -

Wet Breakaway

++

+

++

o

+

o

+

-

Wet Handling

++

++

+

+

+

o

o

-

Aquaplaning

+

+

++

+

-

+

+

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry Braking

++

+

++

+

++

++

o

+

Handling

++

+

+

+

++

o

o

o

Ride

o

+

o

-

+

+

+

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noise

+

o

+

+

+

+

o

++

Rolling Resistance

++

+

-

++

+

o

- -

++

Plainly these new Contis are remarkable tyres, giving exceptional performance in the wet but still having sensible performance elsewhere - ride, noise, rolling resistance etc.  Equally plainly some manufacturers may not be giving sufficient priority to tyre performance in the wet. The test did not measure wear rates, that would be an interesting addition - and a category where Michelin would doubtless come out on top.

Footnote: We're mystified by the chart ratings for the Vanco Four Seasons, the raw data seems to rate it higher. I can only assume they wanted to indicate the slight difference to the Vanco but in doing so seem to have under-rated it in comparison to its competitors! (See the wet breakaway figures e.g.). Our own Hymer now runs on Vancos and latterly Vanco Winter for better traction on difficult surfaces - I really like them.

Thanks to ProMobil Extra for testing & publishing the data www.promobil.de. Also www.conti-online.co.uk.

 

 
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