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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Ardent Red/Biscuit/LSS on order. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I'm worried about the AO48s on our constantly wet concrete. We won't be dry up here until April now.

Are there any Lotus recommended wet weather tires? I'm also looking for a "street" that will work on the LSS. I probably won't keep the AO48s as this will be my daily driver.

Any suggestions?
 

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You might try snagging another set of wheels with the stock 175/225 AD07 tire combo on them for regular street driving or for when it is wet. I am not sure if there is a 195 tire similar to the AD07 that works well with the car, but I'll leave that to someone else to determine.
 

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I have to ask why you are getting the LSS if you are using it as a daily driver and don't want to keep the A048s. Why not save some money and get the standard suspension and tyres that work better in the wet. Unless you use the car on track you should not approach the cars limits as to do this on the road would be a) unlikely and b) mad.
 

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Toyo T1S (and upcoming T1R...1/1/05 in Canada, not sure about the US) are great rain tires with great dry grip AND numerous Elise compatible sizes are available. Same thing for the Goodyear GS-D3. Michelin's new PS2 would be awesome but the sizes won't work on the Elise. The PS2 has comparable dry grip to the AO48, but is civilized and can do heavy rain extremely well. The others are not far behind.

You can get the sport size tires but you won't be able to get the touring or AD07 sizes as the front 175/55/16 size is unique.

You could also work out a trade of some sort (+ cash) for the regular wheels/tires as many want the sports.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I ordered the LSS because I liked the wheels. I thought I could live with the tires. I was hoping to get my Elise during the summer and wear out the tires. But, my Lise is delayed and now it will arrive during the rainy season.

I'm not too concernced about the stiffness of the ride on the LSS. I prefer that. Although, I am concerned about speed bumps. I live in speed bump hell.

After finding this board and reading the posts regarding the tires, I think the AO48s would be a handful on the roads around here.

Afterall, I like to keep the headlights pointed forward when driving
 

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Just for clarification Steve, I don't think he has taken delivery at all from his posts. However, it's over little concern now as he cannot change the order.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, Vantage. I haven't taken delivery of my car yet and I can't change my order.

I will be moving back to San Diego next year and the tires shouldn't be a problem in California.
 

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That's wonderful. We have a large Elise community in San Diego and SoCal with lots of meets.
 

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What Stan said. The Toyo T1-S come in the exact same sizes as the LSS tires, and the Goodyear F1 GS-D3 come are available in a "close" size in front, exact in back.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone,

After doing reasearch today, I think I'll try the Toyos since they come in the exact same sizes. I had difficulty finding any other brand that fit perfectly.
 

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The T1-S is quite popular here, however be aware that it can give a slightly odd feeling as the sidewalls flex when turning. Most people use a slightly higher pressure to deal with this. The T1-R is supposed to not have this problem and be a bit better in the wet. Another tyre that is supposed to be good though I have not used is the Goodridge G-Force Profiler if it is available in the sizes you need.
 

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Ok, first time driving in the rain this morning. The A048's were not a problem. To be fair, I did not drive through any deep water. Also, my roof didn't leak.

I think the trick to driving the Elise in rain is the same as any other sports car, just go easy on the gas and leave extra distance for stopping.
 

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Every single premium "dry" tire I have run in wet conditions has outperformed normal all-weather street tires in those conditions. For example my M3 runs BF Goodrich G-Force KD (killer dry) Summer tires that are dry specialists. But in Northeast Rain they work wonderfully, even when not at full tread depth. They can't do massive, deep puddles. The kind where when you hit them huge water splashes explode out to the sides and hit other cars. They also get squirrely the first few miles in roughly 45 degree weather if you push them at the time..

Try playing with a car in wet conditions in a safe place. Try some hard starts, stops and cornering. You may be surprised.

If the temps are above about 45-50 and the water is not causing a lake type surface on the pavement you'll likely be just fine.

I think the dry oriented AO48s have more grip in the wet than the AD07s, although I have not measured this characteristic. I'm not talking about deep water, I'm talking about wet roads in the rain with good drainage and temps that are not just above freezing.

A lot of this sort of thing depends on your being an alert, aware driver who doesn't drive full speed into deep puddles while dozing off.

On another site I ran into someone from this site who seems to feel that the Elise is useless to drive since the front is low. He felt that it's impossible not to dent the front up. I know that the car is low but if you slow down and enter things on an angle you'll likely be fine. If you drive it like a truck you won't be. I learned how to deal with a low front since I've been driving BMWs with low aftermarket air dams for years. Once you recognize the trouble spots you can deal with them. In some case you see a driveway and you simply do not enter it. Or enter a store the back way or whatever. (I brought this up because if you just drive an Elise blindly without some awareness of potential issues you'll run into troubles from time to time....like if you fly into deep puddles of water while changing CDs...)
 

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What Stan said. I will say that my AO48s are much more stable and handle better than my AD07s on wet roads, and I have both and have compared them a bunch. Avoid the big puddles with any tires, IMHO.
 

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Stan said:
Every single premium "dry" tire I have run in wet conditions has outperformed normal all-weather street tires in those conditions.
Historically, that's been generally true. Especially when the pavement is merely wet and not saturated, the softer rubber used for sports tires grips a lot better.

However, there is a wide variation in how well sports tires work in heavy rain, especially with the advent of large-block tread patterns like the Falken Azenis and Yokohama Parada (these are similar to the Yokohama A032R and A048). There are two reasons for this.

The first is the grip vs temperature properties of the tire. Tires designed for autocross (Falken Azenis, Hoosier A3S04/DOT Rain) need to have good grip when cold, and warm up quickly to a low optimum operating temperature. The downside is that they may tend to overheat easily and lose some grip. These are great on cold pavement or in the rain, where the road keeps them cool and near their ideal temperature. Tires designed for the track (Yokohama A048, A032R, Toyo RA-1) need to have maximum grip at the high temperatures of an extended session on the track, but don't grip as well when cold. Cold wet roads can keep them from warming up. Most performance street tires are somewhere in between; grip tends to be stable across a range that includes high temperature freeway cruising in the summer and cold wet trips to the store in the winter.

The other reason is simply the tread pattern. Some tires pump water out of the way better than others. Part of the reason is obvious. The more open spaces in the tread, the more room there is for water to escape. Less obvious is the angling and connections of the channels in the tread, which determines how effectively the open area is used.

In a real life example, I had a set of Bridgestone S-03 tires on my old Miata. I could drive 80+ MPH in torrential rain and the car felt well-planted. When I put Falken Azenis on the same car, I had to limit my speed to 60MPH in the same conditions because I could feel the start of hydroplaning at 65-70MPH. But in light rain on the autocross course, the Azenis gripped better than the S-03s.
 

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Dan ran his Elise in a wet autocross last weekend with his A048s and he stuck as well as any car out there. I really didn't see any issue with the A048s in the wet. He posted several videos of the event see for your self.
 
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