Specially engineered rubber polymers help Continental reduce rolling resistance and improve braking performance in its recently introduced ContiEcoContact 5 tire.
Proprietary short- and long-chain molecules in the tires' so-called Black Chili material react in different ways when the tire rolls straight ahead vs. when braking or cornering.
The long-chain molecules in Black Chili help provide low rolling resistance and improved fuel economy when the tire is not stressed.
But when the tire reacts to braking or cornering forces, the short-chain polymers are physically excited into action. The molecules immediately stiffen, boosting the ContiEcoContact 5's grip.
When demand for braking or handling passes, the short-chain molecules relax and the tire returns to its low-rolling-resistance state.
Meanwhile, Michelin's Energy Saver tires feature a new siping technique that indirectly improves fuel economy. Sipes are the tiny cuts in the tread of new tires.
Michelin's intricate grooves and cuts within individual tread sections help reduce heat buildup in the tire tread. Lower heat makes for a tread compound with lower rolling resistance.