- Continental is the official tire supplier for Extreme E race series
- Extreme E tire based on ‘CrossContact’ Ultra-High Performance SUV tire
- CrossContact Extreme E tire is designed to withstand maximum stress
The Extreme E race series features extreme acceleration, masses of torque, high speeds through tight corners, with drifts and jumps. As exclusive tire supplier to the new series, Continental faced probably the toughest challenge that motorsport has ever presented for a set of tires.
The Extreme E vehicle is the ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV. At 15 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 6 feet tall, it is not all that different from a conventional SUV. An almost 10 foot wheelbase sounds pretty normal too. But that’s where the similarity ends.
With a peak output of 550 hp, the Spark Racing Technology-built vehicle is a genuine powerhouse – particularly as it tips the scales at just over 3600 pounds. By way of comparison, the average Dakar Rally car will deliver around 300 hp and weigh upwards of 4400 pounds. So the impressive acceleration figures come as no surprise.
Powered by its two electric motors, the Extreme E racer sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Added to which, this e-SUV can take 55-degree inclines smoothly in its stride. To reliably put down that much power onto all manner of surfaces in different climate zones, all of the teams in the new off-road series are placing their trust in the CrossContact Extreme E tire, specially developed for these race events by Continental.
The CrossContact Extreme E tire delivers maximum stability and resilience under the very toughest conditions – like those in the Amazon rainforest or on the glaciers of Patagonia – and goes beyond any passenger tire that Continental has manufactured in the past.
It all begins with an impressive physical presence: the tire’s sidewall shows sizing of 37 X 12.5 R 17, which means the tire is 37 inches in diameter, 12.5 inches wide, and fit for a 17-inch wheel.
“The tread pattern has been optimized to enable the tire to provide top performance on all kinds of terrain,” explains Anuj Jain, tire development engineer with Continental. “With this tire we arrived at a very good compromise – a product that takes account of the various surfaces and local and climate-related requirements, the necessary reliability under race conditions, and the key topic of sustainability. It’s an exceptionally capable, one-size-fits-all solution.”
Among other things, that meant developing a special tread compound, while the pattern features the ideal combination of traction ribs and pockets to provide maximum grip over any terrain.
“Additionally, this tire has an all-new off-shoulder design that forms a robust link between tread and sidewall,” said Anuj Jain. “And to complete the picture we also reinforced the casing.”
Given that there are no suitable challenges for the exceptional performance delivered by the CrossContact Extreme E tire in everyday driving, Continental is ruling out any possibility of these extreme sports products becoming available from dealers. But anyone hoping for future technology transfer from track to road will be pleased to know that the high-end series-built counterpart to this racing tire is already available.
“For the development of the Extreme E tire, we first analyzed the maximum performance and resilience of a number of proven high-performance products before deciding to use the Continental CrossContact series as a point of reference as we took the process forward,” added Anuj Jain. “The challenge from a technical angle was then to adapt the tread pattern, sidewall and construction to the challenging demands of the very different Extreme E locations.”
And indeed, the sporty CrossContact family in its various guises for on and off-road use in summer and winter brings together Continental’s expertise in the SUV segment. With its different on/off-road ratios, what the various models all have in common is a technical focus on superb dry and wet braking, as well as on delivering outstanding handling, even under maximum load and at extremely high speeds.
As a premium partner of the Extreme E series, Continental is equipping all of the race vehicles with tires for the diverse and very demanding conditions that they will encounter.
2021 Extreme E Schedule
April 3-4 | AlUla, Saudi Arabia
May 29-30 | Dakar, Senegal
August 28-29 | Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
October 23-24 | Santarem, Brazil
December 11-12 | Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego