Continental DWS06+ vs Sumitomo HTR A/S P03

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The Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 offers versatile, durable performance across a wide range of sizes, while the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06+ provides advanced traction and handling for driving enthusiasts. Let’s see which of these ultra-high-performance all-season tires is for you.

Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 on Honda Accord
Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 on Honda Accord

Key Takeaway

So overall, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus takes the lead in:

  • Fuel Efficiency and Tread Life: Thanks to its lighter build and shallower tread depth.
  • Wet Traction: Its Plus-shaped multi-directional sipes and efficient groove network.
  • Hydroplaning Resistance: Multi-angled grooves and open shoulders ensure better water clearance.
  • Winter Performance: Unique snow vices and multi-directional notches enhance snow and ice traction.

Review Continental’s tire here:

Whereas the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 has the upper hand in:

  • Noise Comfort: Its variable pitch tread design and composition result in a quieter ride.
  • Snow Acceleration: Despite some winter challenges, its lateral sipes and notches afford it adequate capabilities for snow acceleration.

Review Sumitomo’s tire here:

Available Sizes

SpecificationSumitomo P03Continental DWS06+
Rim Sizes15 to 20 inches16 to 22 inches
Total Sizes80Not specified
Speed RatingsH, V, WW, Y
Load RatingsXL, StandardSL, XL
Weight Range18 to 36 lbs18 to 35 lbs
Tread Depth10/32″ on all10/32″ on all
UTQG Ratings540 AA, 640 AA560 AA
Warranty65k miles (H, V)
45k miles (W)
50k miles
This table showcases the different features and capabilities of both tires, highlighting the ranges and ratings for each.

Overall Dry Performance

Evaluating dry tire performance means examining the grip in linear and lateral directions and understanding the steering response. Let’s review these elements.

Directional Grip

Several factors significantly affect a tire’s straight-line traction, including tread composition, the extent of rubber contact with the road (particularly at the center), and the tire’s weight.

And since linear grip is inherently directional, it’s most effectively assessed through braking distances, (in my tests, specifically from 60 mph).

Having said that, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06+ emerges as the distinct leader, where my tests revealed it consistently achieves approximately 5 feet shorter braking distances on average compared to the Sumitomo.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06+
ExtremeContact DWS 06+

This superior performance is largely attributed to its carefully engineered rubber composition, which adheres more effectively to road surfaces, and its tread pattern, which is densely packed with biting edges.

To be more specific, this tire incorporates angled lateral and longitudinal grooves acting as notches. And these enhance grip “multidirectionally”, contributing to its impressive performance.

Conversely, while the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 also gives you a substantial central rib with in-groove notches, the predominantly longitudinal alignment of these notches compromises its braking efficiency.

Consequently, not only does it fall short in comparison to the Continental, but it also ranks as one of the least effective in dry braking within its ultra-high-performance all-season category.

Overall Handling

Assessing dry handling requires an analysis of lateral grip and steering responsiveness.

Starting with lateral grip, it refers to the tire’s side-to-side traction, significantly influenced by the tire’s shoulders.

This importance stems from the fact that, during turns, the vehicle’s weight shifts, pressing the tire’s shoulders more firmly against the road than the central area.

In this regard, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 has the upper hand with its compact and thoughtfully crafted shoulder blocks provide superior traction.

The tire basically achieves enhanced rubber-to-road contact through these shoulders, further augmented by interlocking and linear slits, along with off-set edges, to increase traction.

Sumitomo HTR A/S P03
Sumitomo HTR A/S P03

But even though the tire offer 0.1 greater lateral g forces (indicative of its greater cornering traction), it still lags in overall handling, evidenced by its average lap times being 1.4 seconds slower in my tests, on average.

This shortfall is primarily due to 3 main factors.

First, its subpar linear grip delays corner entry, necessitating premature braking. In other words it has a slower entry on each of the corners (on laps).

Second, the tire’s less responsive steering feedback leads to an unclear perception of available traction, causing a sense of instability at high speeds, often manifesting as understeering.

And lastly, the tire’s heavier construction exacerbates these issues.

I mean, the increased weight stresses the lugs, causing them to bend more and take longer to return to shape, further delaying steering feedback.

On the flip side, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06+ presents a stark contrast. Despite occasionally feeling slightly unnatural, its steering is notably clear and direct, particularly mid-turn.

Consequently, not only does it surpass the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 here, but it also ranks among the fastest in handling lap times in its ultra-high-performance all-season category.

Fuel And Tread Life

Fuel efficiency and tread life are pivotal in tire performance, dictated by rolling resistance, weight, tread depth, and material composition. And both boys here, perform appreciably.

Each tire maintains low rolling resistance, attributed to reinforced lug foundations and stable internal structures, contributing to their satisfactory fuel economy.

However, when delving into specifics, the Continental DWS06 Plus slightly edges out its competitor. Its advantage stems from a lighter build and comparatively shallower tread depth than the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03.

This design minimizes the excessive bending of its lugs, ensuring energy is more efficiently channeled into rolling the tire rather than deforming the tread.

Consequently, this not only enhances fuel efficiency but also mitigates heat accumulation within the lugs, leading to reduced tread wear.

Side Note: among all the ultra-high-performance tires I’ve evaluated, the Pirelli All Season Plus (review), notably stands out for its exceptional tread longevity.

Wet Performance

The ability of a tire to perform in wet conditions depends on its capacity to clear water from the tread, which influences traction and hydroplaning resistance. Let’s review these aspects.

Wet Traction

In the context of wet traction, the importance of sipes cannot be overstated. These seemingly inconsequential slits in the tread are fundamental, flexing to create a vacuum effect that draws water into their crevices and away from the road surface.

But how is that, despite possessing a significant number of sipes, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 still underperforms in wet conditions?

Well, the primary issue lies in its stiffer rubber composition, which restricts the sipes’ flexibility and, consequently, their ability to effectively suction water.

Additionally, the tire’s laterally arranged sipes struggle to provide the necessary multi-directional grip essential for maintaining control at higher speeds on wet surfaces.

In contrast, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus is engineered with “+” shaped multi-directional sipes, which don’t get stiffened up even with extreme cornering (for instance).

And needless to say, this design allows for more effective water evacuation and better traction.

Furthermore, the tire relies less on its sipes for water displacement, in the first place, due to its intricate network of grooves, which more efficiently expel water.

In other words, there’s less reliance on sipes, as more water gets out through the interconnected grooves in the first place, allowing for not just better wet traction and handling, but also resistance to hydroplaning.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning occurs when tires lose contact with the road and begin floating on water, primarily due to inadequate water displacement.

This dangerous situation arises when water accumulates faster than the tire can expel it, severing the crucial traction between tire and road.

Now, out of both tires here, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus is more adept at averting hydroplaning, thanks to its multi-angled grooves and relatively open shoulders.

These design elements promote efficient water clearance from multiple directions, ensuring sustained contact with the road and maintaining traction.

Conversely, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 falls short, mainly due to its continuous ribs, which fail to interconnect the circumferential grooves effectively, impedeing the lateral movement of water.

Furthermore, the tire’s stiffer rubber composition doesn’t create as significant a pressure differential as its Continental counterpart, resulting in less forceful water expulsion.

Noise Comfort

Tire noise primarily originates from air interaction with the tread, where air enters through shoulder gaps and impacts the tread walls, creating sound.

Now, in comparison between the two tires here, the HTR A/S P03 comes out as a quieter option, (concluding from my extensive tests with them).

Although both tires feature significant voids in the shoulder areas, the ExtremeContact DWS06+ has slightly broader gaps, allowing more air to enter and potentially generate more noise.

Furthermore, the compound used in the Continental’s tire appears to enhance the impact of the air, resulting in increased resonance within the tread. Whereas, the Sumitomo P03 employs a variable pitch tread design that effectively mitigates this issue.

It’s important to note, however, that the noise difference between the two tires is relatively minor. The Continental’s use of variable pitch technology and streamlined lugs aids in redirecting air smoothly, minimizing the impact on the tread walls and, consequently, the noise produced.

Winter Performance

When navigating winter roads, both boys here perform decently, despite lacking the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification.

However, the ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus has a distinct advantage. It’s equipped with numerous biting edges and special snow vices, which are absent in its counterpart here.

These features are designed to capture and hold snow within the tread, promoting snow-on-snow traction, which is more effective than snow adhering to rubber.

On the other hand, the Sumitomo HTR struggles somewhat in comparison. Its stiffer rubber composition becomes even more rigid in freezing temperatures, which diminishes the efficacy of its biters and siping.

This rigidity compromises the tire’s performance, especially since its biters are only laterally arranged, limiting the tire’s grip in multiple directions, a crucial factor on icy surfaces.

In contrast, the Continental DWS06 Plus offers in-groove notches extending in various directions, enhancing its multi-directional grip as detailed in its tread design section.

Despite these challenges, the lateral arrangement of the Sumitomo’s sipes and notches does afford it adequate snow acceleration capabilities, ensuring it remains a viable option for winter driving, albeit with certain limitations compared to its counterpart.

Side Note: Out of all the UHP All-Season tires I’ve reviewed so far, the Nokian WRG4 (review), is taking the lead, in terms of winter performance.


Well both tires have their good and bad, across various conditions, where the Continental generally outperforms its competitor.

It offers better fuel efficiency and tread life due to its lighter construction and design, leading to reduced rolling resistance and wear.

In wet conditions, its sophisticated siping and groove design provide superior water expulsion and resistance to hydroplaning.

Despite being slightly noisier, the Continental’s design minimizes noise production and enhances winter traction with its unique snow vices and multi-directional notches, offering a significant advantage in snow handling.

Conversely, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03, while quieter and capable in snow, faces challenges due to its stiffer composition and less effective water clearance, resulting in compromised wet and winter performance.

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