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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know of wheel mfgs that will be making wheels for the Elise? I'm looking more for street wheels than track wheels but would be interested in something as light as possible without getting too crazy on the price ($100-$300 per wheel). Just curious as I was in a similar situation with a WRX a few years back. It seems like you can hardly find a wheel mfg now that doesn't make wheels for the WRX.
 

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Don't hold your breath.

In all the years that the Elise has been available in europe has no 'large' wheel manufacturer ever designed/made any wheels that directly fit the Elise outside direct Lotus deals.

Only available options are/were done together with either Lotus Cars (usually on an 'exclusive' basis, so not sold outside Lotus dealers) or Lotus Motorsport.

The last option usually has less 'exclusivity' rights and some manufacturers are willing to make small series (eg. when at least 50 sets of wheels are ordered) after the deal expires.

Most other wheels found on european elises are either custom made by small manufacturers (eg. www.compomotive.co.uk) who 'build to specification' or by using (adaptor) spacers to modify the Elise offsets and/or PCD to fit 'off the shelf' wheels.

The Japanese Lotus importer (www.lotuscars.co.jp) seems to be a bit more active in this area and is selling very light, but very expensive KMS wheels.

Some group-buy deals in Hong-Kong (edgar??) have also been done with WedSPORT as far as I know, but again not cheap.

Remember.. The Elise is a miniscule market for the big manufacturers (the Subaru is sold in huge numbers world-wide..), so your best bet will be small/flexible manufacturers who can easily make wheels with oddball offsets/backspacing/PCD..

Bye, Arno.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

I may just have to get a second set of LSS wheels, not a bad option but I would still have the same look.
 

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AutoXr said:
Thanks.

I may just have to get a second set of LSS wheels, not a bad option but I would still have the same look.

if my memory serves me correct you will be looking to spend around $2000 for the rims-eek-
 

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We're working hard on this!

We've got somebody locally working on wheels, and I'll be meeting with people in Europe over the next couple of weeks.

The main problem is that the front wheels are very unusual. The caliper sticks out pretty far from the face of the hub.

Because this requires a wheel built exclusively for the Elise, and we're talking pretty small quantities, these are not going to be cheap.

I appreciate your interest, and I'm sorry we don't have any definite info yet, but I'm not willing to jump the gun and make promises I can't keep or claims I can't back-up.
 

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Robert Puertas said:
The main problem is that the front wheels are very unusual. The caliper sticks out pretty far from the face of the hub.
Exactly!

The backspacing behind the spokes to clear the calipher on the front means that many 'off the shelf' wheels would not fit, even if they were available in the correct offset/PCD's.

Bye, Arno.
 

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there 'should' be a source to get the OZ wheels that are run in the UK. Hopefully TireRack or someone like that will see the demand and get on board. I am not going to spend another $2,000 for a set of autocross rims.
 

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CrashTestDummy said:
there 'should' be a source to get the OZ wheels that are run in the UK.
The OZ wheels are not available from regular OZ dealers in the sizes used on the Elise.

Also you won't find the right sizes (especially the 16x6.5 front wheels) and offsets in the generic OZ 'Superturismo' lineup.

Only Lotus dealers sell these wheels and OZ only delivers these wheels to 'Lotus Cars Ltd.'.

But.. Even Lotus has to meet minimum order requirements, because originally they were to sell 15/16" wheels for winter tires on the S2. But Lotus did not get enough orders for wheels, so they could never order them.

Bye, Arno.
 

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If the problem is the front wheels with the caliper sticking out too far then would it be possible to use a wheel spacer to push it out alittle bit more to give some clearance? Is the problem finding the bolt pattern and offset or is it just a clearance issue? I wonder if HRE could make them, all of their wheels are "custom" according to them. -Michael.
 

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1HOTBMW said:
If the problem is the front wheels with the caliper sticking out too far then would it be possible to use a wheel spacer to push it out alittle bit more to give some clearance? Is the problem finding the bolt pattern and offset or is it just a clearance issue? I wonder if HRE could make them, all of their wheels are "custom" according to them. -Michael.
The next problem you will run into is clearance from the outside of the tire to the inside of the wheel well.
 

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I am confident that the problem can be licked. There are many castings available to wheel manufacturers. Brake clearance is not a problem unique to this car.

If anyone can give me specs, I have a manufacturer in mind that I can check with.

Ara
 

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Honda S2000 front wheels (16x6.5) could be made to work. The S2000 has caliper clearance issues, too, so S2000 wheels have spokes that are bowed out to go around the brakes.

But the S2000 has a different bolt pattern and really high (55mm) offset. Not like the Elise at all. Except that you can use a bolt pattern adapter to get the right bolt pattern. Those are very thick spacers, which is normally undesirable, but in this case brings the offset down to being about right for the Elise.

I don't know what to do about the rears. Maybe NSX front wheels?
 

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Forged wheels for Elise

For everyone's information:
The Tire Rack and SSR discussed the Elise wheel issue in late February and already have a wheel being made. The SSR Competition, specifically designed for the the Elise, will be available in a 16x6.5 front and 17x7.5 rear. All measurements were taken from the actual car in-house to insure an exact fit with adequate clearances for the front calipers, suspension and wheel housings.
We have designated this wheel as the Comp "L", for Lotus. SSR was asked to produce a wheel that was model specific, so we expect a perfect marriage of wheel and car.
The Tire Rack is very responsive to the SCCA market and SSR is positioned and flexible enough to respond to their demands with this high tech, SSF wheel.
Delivery information will be forwarded to the Tire Rack by the end of the month.
Thanks for the opportunity to share this information!
 

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any idea of cost?

I had a set of SSR comp's on my third gen RX7 and loved them but they tend to be pricey.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great news.

I suspect that they will be in the same price range as current SSR Comps of comparable sizes? Definitely a question for TireRack.
 

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SSR Comps are normally around $350 for 17" sizes and $300 for 16", so that should be around $1300 for a set. Not unreasonable for very light wheels of good quality.
 

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Do you think that the wheels for the elise will be limited to the SSR comps or do you think other SSR wheels will also be developed for the elise. I'm not to crazy about the way that the competitions look, but the SSR GT3's look great. Hopefully more than one rim style will be developed for this car. -Michael.
 

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Anyone know the weights of the SSR Competitions in those sizes?

Images-
http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/ssr/ssr.jsp

P.S. Welcome Bob! Great to have an SSR representative here.

(note to self... put back up Tire Rack banner link)
 

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I researched this a month ago: I found some comparable weights for the SSR's. 16x7 = 11lb, 17x7.5=13 lb. Can't remember the websites, but I think one of the regular wheel weight places. Seems like respectable weights to me, maybe a few lb lighter than LSS rims?

Steve

:)
 

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Those are the weights that Tire Rack has listed on their website. They seem to be pretty good wheels from the feedback I've gotten from BMW owners, but with the caveat of being prone to dent if you hit a nasty pothole.
 
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