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I must confess that I am in fact a strong supporter of Japanese tyres and have never deviated from brands like Bridgestone or Yokohama. As a matter of fact, I already had a set of Advan Sport v105 on its way from the land of the rising sun.
But, having heard so much about the Continentals, the temptation was not easily overcome. So submitting to my desire, I made history and got my first set of Continental 5Ps on the first week of the new year to see if the German designed slicks are as good as they say.
As usual, I am running a staggered configuration with 245/35R19 (Fronts) and 275/30R19 (Rears). Interestingly, Continental had an extra hydroplaning groove on the 275s and I suppose this is to cater for the wider profile. It is also worth mentioning that the 5Ps had really sexy sidewalls. They certainly do with smooth markings for ease of tyre shine application.
After some break in, I found myself in the middle of the monsoon weather and I hate to admit it but the 5Ps performed much better than any Japanese tyre I had ever driven with. The braking and control in the rain was extraordinary. There was just something about the "black chilli" compound that's unrivaled to many tyres in the market today. The improvement in stopping distance and braking control was so obvious that it felt like I had my brakes upgraded. So that was pretty awesome for first impressions.
This was clearly a sports tyre because the sidewalls felt rather stiff and the steering felt like it was 'reading' the road with every grain of sand felt by my palms. Not exactly ideal for comfort.
Again, no complaints while on dry tarmac. Turn-ins and high speed bends were negotiated with confidence.
The sound department...
To my surprise, the 5Ps were decently quiet and that was certainly a plus. Well, at least it was way quieter than my worn Advan dBs. Let's see how long that would last but given the stiff sidewalls and the thick grooves, it fairs rather well.
Great overall balance for the performance luxury category. While I got mine just north of S$1700 for my set, it was certainly money well spent and cheaper than the Yokohama Advan Sport or perhaps even Bridgestone Potenzas. Based on the DOT Code, the Continentals were made in Czech Republic so it's certainly accurate when classified as European made. Worth every penny especially if you are driving in rainy conditions. Stopping distance and control in the wet is truly awesome!
Stay tuned for further reviews throughout its useful life.