The UltraContact NXT is Continental’s most sustainable series tire to date. The new line is composed of up to 65% renewable, recycled and mass-balance-certified materials, without compromising on levels of safety and performance. The launch makes Continental the first manufacturer to launch a volume production tire with a high share of sustainable materials and maximum EU tire-label performance.
All of the 19 sizes available will carry the highest possible rating (“A”) on the EU tire label in rolling resistance, wet braking, and exterior noise. The UltraContact NXT was designed for both electric and combustion engines and will be available in Europe this July.
“At Continental, safety, performance and sustainability go hand in hand,” said Ferdinand Hoyos, head of Continental’s Business Area Replacement Tires EMEA. “With the UltraContact NXT, we deliver on our ambitious sustainability goals. This development represents a significant leap forward and demonstrates our technological leadership as well as our strong commitment to both sustainability and safety.”
Depending on the tire size, the UltraContact NXT is made from up to 65% renewable, recycled and mass-balance-certified materials. Renewable materials compose up to 32% of the tire, the proportion of recycled materials is up to 5%, and Continental has sourced up to 28% ISCC PLUS mass-balance-approach certified materials from bio, bio-circular and/or circular feedstock.
Renewable materials include resins based on residual materials from the paper and wood industries. These resins enable creation of flexible compounds to improve the material’s grip. The UltraContact NXT contains silicate from the ash of rice husks. Rice husks are an agricultural waste product which may be processed into silica through a new, less energy consuming process.
The new tire sports a special logo – “contains recycled materials” – on the sidewall. These include recycled rubber material, which comes from mechanically processed end-of-life tires. Continental is also using recycled steel. ContiRe.Tex technology has also been adopted, which generates high-performance polyester fibers that are used to reinforce the tire carcass via the recycling of PET bottles.
The tire’s use of mass-balance-certified materials consists of sustainable synthetic rubber and carbon black made from bio-based, bio-circular and/or circular feedstock. The ISCC PLUS-certified balance mechanism ensures transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain by tracking the origin and characteristics of raw materials, verifying compliance with sustainable criteria, and certifying the resulting products.
By 2030, Continental aims to have over 40% renewable and recycled content in all its newly produced tires, and is planning for 100% sustainable materials in all its tire products by 2050 at the latest. The UltraContact NXT is an important step toward fulfilling these ambitious sustainability goals.
The UltraContact NXT is an extension of the UltraContact family, which was launched by Continental in 2022. The 19 sizes will replace any existing respective dimensions of the UltraContact. Continental will gradually launch the UltraContact NXT in Europe. The first sizes will be available for retailers in Europe, including the UK and Ireland, this July.