I seem to be the lone voice in the Lotus community screaming about the benefits of having a lot of wheel width. I run a 205/50-15 on a 15x8 front and a 225/50-15 on a 15x8.5 rear (I can't reasonably fit a 15x9 in the rear without hacking the fenders). By Lotus community standards, I run a lot of wheel width and comparatively little tire width. So why do I do it? In repeated tests by Andy Hollis (and others in the Miata racing community), it seems that matching the proper tire width to the wheel width produces the fastest times, instead of just trying to stuff as much tire as possible for a given wheel width. I've had discussions with Emilio (949 Racing) about this and he's stated that he doesn't really see a time improvement going from, for example, a 225 to a 245 on a 9" wheel. The optimal ratios seem to be 8" for 205, 9" for 225, and 10" for 245. Of course, everyone in the Lotus community tends to want 8" for 225 and 9" for 245 so I'm kind of the odd one.
2011 Lotus Elise SC Final Edition 15 of 15 - Ardent Red