I always find it amusing that one of the most important pieces of equipment on an automobile is also one of the most neglected. I speak of course about your tires, and it amazes me how little attention people actually pay to them. Understand that your cars tires are the only connection that you, as a driver have to the road. They give you feedback on road conditions, ride quality and are instrumental when it comes to a cars handling and breaking performance. Yet for some reason the majority of people will go for the cheapest tire available just to save a buck, however they’ll spend thousands of dollars on things like stereo systems and rims. It’s a bit frightening actually. I recently swapped out the tires on my 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8 and was so impressed with their wet weather performance that I just felt the need to write about it.
The Dodge Magnum is a 4,000 lb. performance oriented vehicle. Its big, with a long wheelbase and possesses decent handling and breaking characteristics. The tires that came with the car were Goodyear F1 Super Car tires and truth be told, I wasn’t overly impressed with them. Yes they were grippy, but I only managed to get about 15k out of them and since I live in the northeast, they were useless when the weather went south. Since the Magnum’s stock wheels are big 20-inchers, my tire choice was limited, however after doing my due diligence I decided to go with Continental’s new ExtremeContact DWS. Going in I knew that the side walls weren’t going to be as stiff as the F1’s they were replacing, but I wasn’t tracking the car, so honestly, that didn’t concern me. What did impress me was the fact that they received a great wet weather performance rating as well as good marks for handling and breaking. Continental classifies the ExtremeContact DWS (Dry, Wet & Snow) as:
“Ultra High Performance All-Season radial developed for drivers of sports cars, sports coupes, performance sedans and sport trucks. The ExtremeContact DWS is designed to satisfy their year-round driving needs by blending dry and wet road performance with light snow and slush traction.”
I found out about their wet weather performance levels on Saturday evening when I drove through 2 hours of torrential downpours. This is the first tire that I’ve driven on that truly dissipates water while keeping the car firmly planted on the road. There was no hydro-planing or side to side movement, and cruising at speeds of 60-65 mph was an absolute breeze. Dry weather performance is impressive as well. Granted the turn in on the ExtremeContact DWS’s may be little slower then some max performance summer tires, but honestly, the difference is marginal. The tires come with a 540AA tread-wear rating and a “Y” speed rating, which means their good for 186 mph. So, if you’re in the market for a new set of skins for your vehicle, and you’re looking for a fabulous all-season tire that offers outstanding performance, foul weather capabilities, ride quality and value for dollar, look no further then the Continental ExtremeContact DWS.