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Discussion Starter #1
Based on prelim information, stock tire/rims-

5.5x16 - 175/55-16 (6.5" wide with Sport Suspension)
7.5x17 - 225/45-17
Suggest running
Front- 205/50-16 if they fit*
Rear- 225/45-17 or *maybe* 245/40-17 if they fit*

*The issue is not if they fit on the rim, but clearance issues under the wheelwell, to the struts, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hoosier

Hoosier Track Racing R3S03
A very low weight, good tire with excellent grip. Longer lasting that the AS203 but less grippy, specially on asphalt. Requires pressures around 38-44psi.

205/45-16 $180 23.5x8.2 (7.3 tread)
215/50-16 $180 24.6x9.3 (8.8 tread)

225/45-17 $203 24.6x9.5 (8.8 tread)
245/40-17 $208 24.510.5 (9.2 tread)
245/45-17 $208 25.3x9.8 (9.3 tread) (limited availabillity)

Hoosier Autocross AS203
Maybe the lightest, grippiest tire out there, but the cost is that it is a soft tire with limited life. How much is winning worth to you? Requires pressures around 38-44psi.

215/40-16 $180 22.7x9 (8.5 tread) ~18 lbs

225/45-17 $203 24.6x9.5 (8.8 tread)
245/40-17 $208 25.3x9.8 (9.3 tread)


NOTE.. Hoosiers are probably going to be replaced soon with another model number. Some numbers may change.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Kumho

Kumho Ecsta V700 6/32" dread depth

205/45-16 $118 23x8.1 19.75lbs
225/50-16 $133 24.6x9.1

225/45-17 $139 24.8x8.9
235/40-17 $134 24.2x9.5
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Toyo

Toyo Proxes RA-1
A longer lasting tire. Performs better as tread wears. Can be purchased shaved. Requires higher pressures, above 45psi to reduce sidewall flex and improve performance. Good value. Can be flipped on the rim to increase tread life. Will stick down to cord.

205/55-16 24.8x8.4 23lbs
225/50-16 24.8x9 23lbs

235/40-17 24.4x9.6 23.8lbs
235/45-17 25.4x9.3 25lbs
255/40-17 25.1x10.2 26lbs (can it fit?)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yokohama

Yokohama A032

16" not available in "S" compound
205/55-16 24.8x8.3
225/50-16 24.9x8.9

235/40-17 24.4x9.4
255/40-17 25.2x10.1
 

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Word from Clyde a few months ago when I asked about tire sizes
--no. the front sizes are not definate now other than we are getting a wider front than that is currently on the S2(maybe a 195/50/16. The rears will prob. be a 225/45/17
I'll probably start with 205 + 235 ECSTAs and think about 215 + 245 Hoosiers later. I might even drive the ECSTAs on the street if there's not an immediate source for stock sized wheels...

Clyde says that Lotus will probably work some deal with Yokohama to get properly sized competition tires for the Elise. I'm not sure how concerned they will be with the SCCA Solo2 requirement for a minimum of 6 sizes and 4 wheel diameters. Current offerings in the A032R are

205/55-16 24.8x8.3
225/50-16 24.9x8.9

235/40-17 24.4x9.4
255/40-17 25.2x10.1

The 17" sizes are available in the new "S"ticky compound, the 16" sizes are not.

The 205/45-16 ECSTA weighs 19.75 pounds. The 215/40-16 Hoosier weighs around 18.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks John!

I am thinking of getting a set of the Toyos for street/track. Depends on how serious I get about campaigning the car, which depends on the classing too.

I put the Toyo race tires on my MR2 and my Alltrac for street use. A great tire that lasts quite a while and can be driven right to and then on the track with good stick. I just lower the pressure for street and get a softer ride.
 

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erm. I have a little bad news for you, Randy.

This is the inside of my read wheel arch after doing an airfirld day on 225 toyo proxes t1-s road tyres.

Note the scuffmarks where the tyre is making contact with the liner.

Wider tyres may be possible if you can run a bigger offset or something else to move the tyre out but you'd do that at your own risk.

Craigy

ps. See the damper - bilstein/eibach. Remember I've got an S1... this is what the S2 suspension looks like when fitted to an S1.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very good point. Perhaps we can get away with lower pressures.

Craigy, perhaps some thin wheel spacers might solve that. It looks like it's only rubbing a little.
 

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Just for a data point the tire pressure for the stock car is a very low (for a performance steet car) 23 front and 24.5 rear (per Jeremy Walton's Lotus Elise, the Official Story).
 

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For calibration to a widely-developed platform:

The Miata weighs 2200-2350 in autocross trim. The factory recommended tire pressure is 26psi on all four corners. The pressures I typically use for autocross are:

Bridgestone Turanza ER30 (original tires): 35-38psi hot
Pirelli PZero: 30psi hot
Bridgestone S-03: 32-33psi hot
Falken Azenis RS: 34-36psi hot
Kumho ECSTA V700: 50-54psi hot
Hoosier A3S03: 40-43psi hot
Kumho Victoracer V700: mid-high 30s (other people's experience)

Hoosier actually has a formula to estimate what pressure to start at with their tires. However, the Elise is certainly at the "unusual" end of their range.
 

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I'm curious how the new Hoosiers will do, and if they'll make a size specifically for the Elise. :)

They're in the new GRM if anybody's interested...
 

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I would stick with Lotus recommended tire size and models.

Lotus suspension are tuned with specific tires in mind. Keep in mind that 28psi HOT is the recommend tire pressure on the Exige. I generally start with 23psi front and 25psi rear.

Another issue with this is that the Elise isn't heavy enough to heat most tires.

My A048's are really great tires. Another good thing is that the Elise is really easy on tires/brakes due to the light weight.
 

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meat said:
Lotus suspension are tuned with specific tires in mind.
Somehow I just don't see installing tires with incrementally more grip making the handling worse. It might require a slightly different alignment to make the most of the grip, or stabilizer bar changes to neutralize handling if the proper stagger isn't maintained.
Keep in mind that 28psi HOT is the recommend tire pressure on the Exige. I generally start with 23psi front and 25psi rear.
I think that most of us recognize that the car is light and will require much lower tire pressures than a heavier car. However, most of us also recognize that optimal tire pressure varies widely among tire brands and models (see my list, ranging from 30psi hot to over 50psi hot on the same car).

Another issue with this is that the Elise isn't heavy enough to heat most tires.
Cars that are lighter than the forecast weight of the Federal Elise use Hoosiers and Kumhos to good effect. They are designed to grip well without having to build up heat. This is a big difference between race tires (which are required to tolerate heat for long periods) and autocross tires (which are required to grip well when "cold").

The A048 may indeed be a great tire (how does it compare to the A032R/A032RS?) but it has a fatal flaw: I don't think it is made in enough different sizes to be legal for use in SCCA stock and street prepared classes. The requirement is 6 different sizes including 4 different wheel diameters.
 

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Re: Toyo

Randy Chase said:
Toyo Proxes RA-1
A longer lasting tire. Performs better as tread wears. Can be purchased shaved. Requires higher pressures, above 45psi to reduce sidewall flex and improve performance. Good value. Can be flipped on the rim to increase tread life. Will stick down to cord.

205/55-16 24.8x8.4 23lbs
225/50-16 24.8x9 23lbs

235/40-17 24.4x9.6 23.8lbs
235/45-17 25.4x9.3 25lbs
255/40-17 25.1x10.2 26lbs (can it fit?)
Heck, I might as well have my second post be on the same topic as my first.

I've had a fair bit of time on this tire the last couple of years, and I fairly doubt it will match well with the Elise. I'm looking forward to the 'liz for the sharpness of it's handling, and expect good grip levels due to suspension geometry and light weight. The RA1s, while they last a heck of a long time, are a very "insensitive" tire. No, that does not mean that they are rude or insulting to your date, but rather that they often come across as numb. I'd rather not have that combo, especially if we're trying to increase front grip disproportionatly to rear over the stock set-up.

I'm really toying with the idea of running the Falkens for street and track usage, at least initially. (That mean's until enough people have played with enough tire combinations that I don't have to experiment on my dime!)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My experience is that the Toyos were numb unless run at very high pressures, because they lacked the sidewall stiffness. :)

But we shall see. I have put down some great times on RA1s. Beating cars with Hoosiers and Kumhos and good drivers.

P.S. Welcome to the forum!
 

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Well, heck. When I pump these suckers up they seem to lose quite a bit of grip (the ol' greasy tire feeling).

Are you talking autocross? For reference, I'm coming at it from a trackday/time trial and roadrace perspective. Then again, maybe my car isn't set-up right. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Anyhow, I'll return to lurking until I have something constructive to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am basing my experience on the initial recommendations from a very good road racer that used them on his Firebird. He told me would run then 50-56psi. :eek:

Our local autocrosses were 70-80mph with sweepers and offsets, so it's not too far from what I have experienced in tracks. I have also used the RA1s on track events.

My experience is that the tires do indeed get greasy when they get hot, so that is part of it. I don't like how they feel when hot.

P.S. I am not saying this as the expert. Far from it. I welcome your input. For my car, and for me... I have tested the tires at lower pressures and have done worse lap times. Using higher pressures rewarded me with better lap times. I was able to set Fast Time of Day locally with a set of old Toyos.
 
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