The TS850 is well known in the passenger car winter tyre segment. With its solid reputation earned after winning several comparative tests since its launch in 2012, the TS850 has had to face some stiff competition and the arrival of several all season tyres that have gained ground on the winter tyre market.
In this context, the TS860 intends to put forward its technical arguments based on Continental’s German technology by delivering even better performance than its predecessor.
Developed with versatility in mind, its technology concentrates on fairly specific winter performances:
Continental has developed a “Cool Chili” compound that provides reliable wet grip. Compared with the TS850, Continental announces a 5% improvement in this area.
Another new technology is incorporated in the tread. This technology allows faster water evacuation through a drainage system that aims to deliver even better performance on icy roads.
The tread pattern features 3D sipes to improve handling and traction in snow. Tread blocks are designed to provide greater grip and better traction in these conditions.
An electric test
We were given the opportunity to test the WinterContact TS860 behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf which is characterised by its electric motor. For the test drive, the route took us round the Alpe d'Huez snow/ice track and then for a run on a twisty road.
The electric motor was quite an audacious choice, since the way in which this type of vehicle delivers power is a factor liable to affect its traction in snow.
In any case, testing the TS860 immediately reflected the German tyre manufacturer’s technical expertise and experience. The first miles immediately gave an impression of coherence and consistency. Whether on snow, ice or cold asphalt, the resulting feeling was very reassuring, therefore ideal for drivers who are not familiar with winter driving. Indeed the loss of grip (normal) that may occur on ice is very progressive and is in no way brutal.
On dry surfaces, it is not spongy or imprecise like certain winter tyres can be.
The first results of tests conducted by test organisations such as ADAC will be available by the end of 2016. They will assess this tyre’s potential to face stiff competition.
For what vehicles? In which sizes?
The Continental WinterContact TS860 will be available in 21 sizes for 14 to 17 inch rims from autumn 2016. The range will be completed with 20 other sizes in the course of 2017. It is designed for city cars, compact cars and saloons.