There truly is no better time like the present, so taking advantage of mid-January in Big Sky, Mont., to roll out two new winter tires made sense.
Continental Tire the Americas showcased two future winter lines – set for April 2015 sales – with the General Grabber Arctic LT and the Continental WinterContact SI.
The latest Grabber winter tire is entirely dedicated to LT-metric fitments, while the WinterContact SI, which replaces the ExtremeWinterContact, covers passenger cars, minivans and CUVs.
Continental WinterContact SI
The “SI” in the name stands for “snow and ice,” and as such the technology strongly favors traction in extreme temperatures. The new studless line features the tiremaker’s patented “Polar Plus+ Technology,” Continental’s combination of a tread compound that “stays pliable in very cold temperatures,” traction elements in the pattern grooves for improved grip, and its “Alignment Verification System” that gives drivers a quick reference to see if they need an alignment.
The PolarPlus+ Technology tread compound’s pliability, CTA said, is “a significant improvement over an all-season tire,” particularly for drivers in regions where daily temperatures consistently fall below 45˚F. To maintain that level of traction on wet and snow/ice covered roads, Continental included “+Silane” compound additives, and added a significant number of biting edges.
The WinterContact SI will carry 22 metric sizes, all XL load, in T and H speed ratings. Among those sizes are one 15-inch that bookcases a single 20-inch size, with the remaining 20 sizes spread across 16- through 18-inch wheel diameters.
The tire, which carries the mountain snowflake symbol, comes with multiple warranties (three-year roadside assistance, road hazard coverage, and materials/workmanship) as well as CTA’s 30-day Customer Satisfaction Trial. These have all been repackaged into what CTA calls its Total Confidence Plan.
General Grabber Arctic LT
The studdable Grabber Arctic LT replaces the LT-metric sizes in the General AltiMax Arctic line, CTA said, and brings to bear specific technologies to provide winter performance for large pickups and vans.
Toughness comes from CTA’s “Duragen Technology,” which combines a “robust compound” and chip-and-cut resistance with ultra high-strength steel belts and a broad contour for a larger, more stable footprint, improved braking and even wear, the tiremaker claims.
Winter traction capabilities come from snow traction ridges in tread elements, interlocking siping designed to work around stud pins and deliver longer biting edges, and unique pattern reinforcement and tread element buttresses that add grip and enhance braking and handling.
All Grabber Arctic LTs are load range E with 10-ply rating, and carry the mountain snowflake symbol. The line comes with 10 R-rated sizes, covering 16- through 20-inch wheel diameters. The tire comes with CTA’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee.