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I just had a new set of R-S3s put on my Elise. The previous owner had A048s on it, but they were so old that they probably ceased to be useful as a performance tire sometime during the waning days of Obama's first term. (Fronts were from 2007, rears were 2009.)

So, while I can't legitimately comment on the overall grip versus the A048, I can say that the ride comfort is worlds better. Yeah, I have to admit that the car definitely feels less connected to the road. You feel the softness of the sidewall in the form of less crisp seeing. But, I'll take the trade-off. Before the car rode like a shiny brick. I was afraid it was going to rattle itself apart. Now I'd say the ride quality is on par with my Miata, which has aftermarket stiffened suspension.

While I don't have a great basis for comparison, they seem to hold the road fine once you get used to having a softer sidewall than the A048.
 

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When I had RS3 tires on my GTI it took about 500 miles to wear down the greasy layer before I felt connected to the road. After that they were much better.
 
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