Hot stuff as Black Chili adds spice to our drives in performance cars
Continental have been using the Black Chili compound in their tyres for a few years now. But recently the opportunity to try them out on mountain roads around Marbella was too good a chance to pass up.
Six cars with different tyres, but all featuring Black Chili, the special rubber mix designed specifically to grip the road like a limpet awaited our drives.
The first was the BMW M4 - as impressive as ever, with a well-balanced and grippy chassis that inspired confidence on winding roads.
Next was the electric Tesla Model S with impressive levels of mid-range punch. Not as agile as some of the others, it was still an enjoyable drive. This was fitted with special ContiSilent tyres, which reduce noise by 9db. They did make a difference as all we could hear was wind noise from the open sunroof.
The contrast to the following car couldn't have been greater. I wasn't expecting much from the Chevrolet Corvette but boy was I surprised. It's a heavy car and you can feel the weight through the corners but it was hugely enjoyable to punt around. A 7spd manual gearbox was an unusual feature but the torque from the 6.2 litre V8 was so prodigious, third gear was all I needed.
Day Two brought us the Porsche Macan V6 diesel. Although impressive in its own right, it really had no place in this company, so we treated the first leg as a commute towards Ronda.
We swapped on the way up and switched to the Jaguar F-TYPE convertible. It was sublime on these roads. Turn-in and grip were so impressive we felt we could take corners at any speed of our choosing. The Continental tyres came into their own here.
Our final chariot was the Mercedes AMG CLA 45 with a 2-litre engine. It might have seemed out of its depth, but with 360hp and a 4WD chassis wrapped in a small body, it was a really fun drive - great soundtrack, too.
I can't say we can attest to the differences between the various tyres we tried. Each was fitted to a different car and driven on different roads, so it was impossible to make real comparisons.
It was a unique opportunity, though, to discover the difference good tyres can make to great cars.