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I have heard a lot about how Elise got together with Yokohama to have special tires developed for the Elise. A lot of folks are making a big deal about this. Would that "Elise development" be the A048, the AD07, or both? What confuses me is that both the A048 and AD07 have been available in other sizes for other cars for some time, just not in the U.S. (well, maybe less than a year or so - I don't know when they first became available). If in doubt, just go to Yokohama's Japanese (not U.S. oriented) web site and see where you can purchase both of these tires and in what sizes. They are readily available. So, does the "special development" really just consist of getting those tires made in the sizes the Elise needs? I can't believe that the tire model in the Elise sizes would differ in design and construction from the other sizes. Does someone know the real facts here, not just the rumor or hype (and I wouldn't put Lotus press releases past having some hype)? I somehow doubt that Yokohama would not have done the A048 if it wasn't for Lotus.
 

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It's not uncommon for tire manufacturers to customize a specific tire out of an otherwise commonly available line for a particular car. The S2000 uses the Bridgestone S02, but when ordering, you need to specify that that you want the Honda OEM version otherwise you get a slightly different tire even in the same exact size.
 

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When I did a search, I saw that the Advan A048 and AD07 available (outside the US) all had the "LTS" designation after it. (LTS = Lotus I'm guessing.)

This is my guess why Lotus would want to work with Yokohama on the compound (as opposed to just the tread design): The Elise is much lighter than most cars on the market. Yokohama probably had to come up with a different (softer) compound to get the tire to perform with Lotus' suspension. Too light of a car and too hard of a tire compound means that a tire won't reach it's operating temperature and offer maximum adhesion. Of course, that's just my guess.

Bob
 

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Correct. The Yoko's labeled 'LTS' are specifically made for the Elise. Not just the size, but also the tire construction (carcass) and compound.

These 'LTS' versions (at least here in europe) are not available from a regular tire shop. Only through Lotus dealers.

EVen the Bridgestone RE040 used on the european S2 is a specific type and you have to get a version with the right DOT code to identify it. The VX220/Speedster has a different DOT code on the (rear) tire, even though the size is the same. And then there's the 'normal' RE040 sold in regular tyre stores..

But.. All this doesn't mean you can't choose your own tires, especially if you have specific demands/uses that the normal tires don't address enough.

Just be aware that results of tires on other (heavier) cars may not translate at all to the Elise. A good tire on a 'normal' car may perform horribly on the Elise.

Just make sure you know what you are doing when changing to different (non-Lotus) tires.

Bye, Arno.
 
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