I disagree. The Yoko A048s were spec'd by Lotus engineers for road use and track use. The car is so light that it benefits from tires of this 'soft' compound. You will benefit if you are pushing the car in CA canyons.
If you are simply driving the car to shows or for coffee, then Andrew is right, there are tires with MORE life. Performance - as I measure it - is all about grip in the corners. The A048s and R888Rs don't last as long BUT they are what make the lotus handle the way the Lotus engineers intended. Having owned and driven countless Elise/Exiges, I'm with Lotus on tires.
There you go again, thinking my Lotus is driven like my TL. But I wouldn't know anything about driving because I don't have canyons near my house, right?
Think again bro.
The thing is, the A048 is really a competition tire. Yes, you can drive it on the street back and forth to competition, but it's not a good street tire at all. Not nearly as good as say an RS4, AD08R, or RE71R. What do I mean by that? Well, it doesn't last nearly as long, it doesn't handle rain as well, and gets hard much quicker.
Now, if the average Elise/Exige buyer spent 80% of their miles on the track and 20% on the street, I'd side with Lotus here too. Unfortunately, it's the other way around.
Lotus chose the A048 because they had little else to choose from, PERIOD. And the same rings true today...because of the 16" front wheel choice.
But you go ahead and live your canyon life in 2004 Shinoo, I know you like it there