The new supersports tyre wowed independent testers, setting new benchmarks in a highly competitive category
The Continental SportContact 7 had been set a high bar to clear by both its predecessor and highly rated competitor tyres ahead of its launch in the second half of 2021. Following the publication of its first round of tyre test results in the first quarter of 2022, it’s fair to say the manufacturer had jumped it with room to spare. As well as winning the major UK accolades and gaining top marks from Auto Bild and Sporttyre, the tyre made an impact with car manufacturers, winning original fitment deals with Maserati and tuning brands like AMG and Brabus. The tyre even won major product design awards in 2022, with the Red Dot Award for Product design and the iF Design Award.
Against its sixth-generation model, Continental improved track performance by 10%, reduced wet braking distances by 8%, dry braking by 6%, and increased mileage 17%. All of these improvements indicate the step-change in key performance characteristics achieved by the tyre, as described by Dr Burkhard Wies, Continental’s head of research and development for passenger tyre replacement, at the tyre’s launch.
“The goal of our development was to have the best summer sports tyre on the market for each vehicle class. This has allowed us to obtain a much more effective driving style on dry and wet roads or on the track, and at the same time an exceptional mileage that improves by 17% that of the previous model. As regards fuel efficiency, thanks to the C category of the European label, we make an effective contribution to sustainability.”
Handling and grip in the wet and dry are also significantly improved, the manufacturer says. The tyre’s C-grade rolling resistance label score also places it among the top-rated premium brand U-UHP tyres in this metric.
Though it specifies the upper end of the UHP tyre segment, Continental is targeting a wide range of vehicles. These include models like the Audi RS series and the sporty BMW M series; compact cars like the Ford Focus III RS or the Mini Cooper S Clubman; and, of course, supercars like the Porsche 4 S GT, and various AMG, Lamborghini and McLaren cars. Conti is also providing fitments for refined cars, such as the Brabus S 65 Rocket 900 Coupé.
What made the Continental SportContact 7 WhatTyre Tyre of the Year?
Finishing top of our shortlist of the best Supersport Tyres of 2022, the Continental SportContact 7 has immediately risen to the top of the most recommendable tyres for sports cars and cars with larger, 19” and above rims, with class-leading Tyrescores in many sizes. The tyre’s C-grade fuel efficiency is particularly noticeable. While this may not seem so special compared to the overall market, it is typical of production tyres capable of performing to supercar standard to carry the E-grade here.
The ability to improve fuel efficiency while also hitting segment-leading performance targets shows why WhatTyre’s editors felt the tyre deserved top honours. As Conti explained, the range of cars fitting tyres made for 19”-plus wheel diameters is getting wider. Recognising this, the manufacturer has successfully broadened its approach to tyre development within the supersports (or UUHP) segment, supplying a more well-rounded product that does not sacrifice its performance edge. In this way, Continental pulled off one of the most difficult tyre development tasks spectacularly with the SportContact 7.