The Continental ContiSportContact 5 model follows the CSC3 (they skipped the “4”, in case you’re wondering).
This latest incarnation features more tread blocks for a “tighter” pattern. This might potentially affect aquaplaning resistance, but more on that later.
The pattern is unidirectional and asymmetric, with outer tread blocks optimised for cornering.
Stiff sidewalls replace the thinner ones of the 3s. Continental uses a special carbon compound dubbed “Black Chilli Technology” in the mix, which is claimed to improve traction and reduce rolling resistance.
DRY PERFORMANCE – 9/10
The Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres feel ready for immediate use, although they’ll really show their stuff after the customary scrub-in period.
Steering felt more positive and accurate than with CSC3s. Cornering tests also saw the Continental ContiSportContact 5 trump its predecessor (and most other competitors).
The tyres do their job with hardly a squeal, so you’ll need to be sharp to read the signs if your vehicle begins to slide. Still, the special compound mix hugs the tarmac tenaciously.
Braking reaction felt impressive, but less so than the cornering ability when measured. (Although subjectively, we felt massive reserves of grip.)
The Continental ContiSportContact 5 might be a little better than the CSC3s when braking, but differences are not as obvious when cornering. Wheelspin resistance is also good, thanks to the grippy tread compound.
WET PERFORMANCE – 9/10
As in the dry test, the Continental ContiSportContact 5’s wet grip proved superb. The final measured figures put them on top, beating some of the biggest names in wet performance.
It was a pleasant surprise, as Contis are not renowned for their ability on slick surfaces. Steering feel and accuracy were also great, even in streaming conditions.
Handling was excellent, always staying close to neutral, and only understeering with abrupt power applications. It was quite easy to drive them to the limit without fear of abrupt breakaways.
Wheelspin resistance was excellent in a straight line. Braking performance, while very good, could not match the impressive cornering grip.
Nonetheless, the Continental ContiSportContact 5s were easy to read and could be driven hard in the wet without fear of spins or skids.
There were no issues with aquaplaning resistance, but still, drive sensibly during heavy downpours.
COMFORT & NOISE – 8/10
One might expect a rough ride with such stiff sidewalls, but the CSC5s delivered as “comfortably” as the softer CSC3s. High tyre pressures of up to 38 psi were used through the test, with no detriment to ride quality. Noise was largely unobtrusive.
The Continental ContiSportContact 5 raises the bar with its phenomenal cornering grip in both wet and dry conditions. It makes handling easy and so is recommended even for novices.
Such performance comes at a price, however, as the tyres we tested cost $675 per piece (although this particular size has been homologated for the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG).
Less specialised versions will hit the market in due course. Clearly recommended.
Dry cornering: 1.03g Dry braking 80-20km/h: 1.80sec, 25m
Average G: 0.95g Peak G: 0.97g
Wet cornering: 0.90g Wet braking 80-20km/h: 2.38sec, 32m
Average G: 0.72g Peak G: 0.78g
Rolling resistance: 0.0258g (good)
Weight: 9.4kg Noise: 63dBA at 70km/h
Check out the successor to the CSC5, the Continental ContiSportContact 6