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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone gotten winter tires yet? I just got my build date (11/11, yay!), and am expecting to pick up the car just before xmas (yay!) assuming the logistics are improving a bit. Anyway, as I have LSS, I'm not sure of the wisdom of a 150 mile drive home in the middle of winter on the A048s.

My plan is to get a set of SSRs, put winter tires on them, then switch them out for autox tires in the spring. Tire rack doesn't list any options for the car, and I know the stock sizes are a bit rare. Anyone know if I could use a size thats just slightly off the stock? I never would have worried about it in the past, but I don't know if non-stock sized tires mess up the ABS or something. Let me know if any of you have a winter plan yet.
 

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Lotus suggests a particular Pirelli Winter tire. It's the 210 and is listed in the manual. I don't have my manual handy to list the sizes they suggest, but someone else might.
 

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Ok, this is a good enough place for an update. I ended up geting Dunlop Graspic-DS2 tires on SSR comps from TireRack. The recommended Pirellis are effectively unavailable in the USA. You can get them in other sizes but not the required sizes. You can get them from Lotus UK at ~$300 per tire :eek: but they are back ordered and there is no ETA. Incidentally, if TireRack could get these they would be about $140 per.

If anyone is interested, the price breakdown looks like this.

Pirelli Snowsports on Lotus 8-spoke wheel:
Wheels: $1500.80
Tires: $1200.
Total: $2780.80 :eek:
Available ???

Dunlops on SSRs:
Wheels: $1268.00
Tires: $350.00
Total: $1618.00
In stock now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nathan968 said:
Ok, this is a good enough place for an update. I ended up geting Dunlop Graspic-DS2 tires on SSR comps from TireRack.
Thanks for the info. So what sizes did you end up getting with the SSRs?

Also, are these dunlops ok to run in cold rain as well as snow? I know the little marketing blurb on the pirellis mentioned rain, but not the dunlop. I know the marketing blurbs aren't the best source of information, but I know next to nothing about winter tires.
 

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I was just checking out winter tires for my M3 at lunch. I highly recommend at least looking into Nokian Hakkepeliitta's. Hell just saying it is fun. I have their NRW tires on my M3 and will be replacing them with their new WR tire. These are snow rated yet they still handle well in the dry. They are available in wide sizes (i.e. I use 225-45/17 on my car) so I think you should be able to get suitable sizes. These are the best tires I have ever found for CT winters that will get me to work but are not horrible in the dry.

They even released the fantastic Hakkepeliitta Q in a new version called RSi that is available in performance car sizes. These are true winter only tires. They look (and feel) to squirmy for my M3.

The Finnish do know something about snow tires (and rallying!)

They are a little hard to find but go to the Nokian web site and they have a dealer locator.
 

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My winter plan has a three pronged support structure. If the first prong fails, I pick one of the others -

1) Keep my existing car and its snow tires (snow tires purchased after I did a 360 and smacked into the Jersey barrier on the I-83 bridge in Harrisburg).

2) Sell the existing car. Spend the 'winter tire and wheel money' on an old Subaru.

3) Sell the existing car. Drive girlfriend's Saturn in the snow.

4) Sell the existing car. Ditch girlfriend. Stay home during the six times a year in which it snows.

Don't buy the snow tires until you have the car and have driven it a bit. You may decide you won't feel comfortable in the snow anyway.

You don't want your first drive to be in the snow.
 

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Regardless, I'm still curious about how it drives in the snow. I've heard things like 'okay' and 'bloody awful.' One of the bloody awfuls was from factory trained driver.

Anyone have any input on how it drives in the rain?
 

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rob said:
Regardless, I'm still curious about how it drives in the snow. I've heard things like 'okay' and 'bloody awful.' One of the bloody awfuls was from factory trained driver.

Anyone have any input on how it drives in the rain?
That quote was about the A048s.
 

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I've used the Pirellis on my Porsche. They worked great. The DS-2 is a new tire so there are not really any reviews available. According to TireRack the DS-1 (previous model) was rated better on ice and snow than the Pirelli, but slightly worse in the other categories (dry handling, etc).

From the marketing material, the Pirelli is a "Performance Winter" tire while the Dunlop is an "Ice and Snow" tire. I'll try again to get the Pirellis once I've used up the Dunlops, but I won't pay $300 for one snow tire.

Recommended sizes are 195/50R16 and 215/45R17 as per the owners manual.
 

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It's my understanding that the AO48s are much worse than the Advans in the snow and rain. I have Advans (stock or LTS) and it's a bit scary in the rain for me. I generally go pretty slow and with the slightest burst of throttle the rear end wants to break loose.

I will park my Elise on snowy days, threat of snow, or expected big thunderstorms AND on really cold days (temps under 20 degrees). Since I live in eastern PA, I experience similar conditions to you. I estimate I'll get about 10.5-11 months/year in my Elise. Oh, I am NOT buying snow tires.
 

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Surferjer said:
It's my understanding that the AO48s are much worse than the Advans in the snow and rain. I have Advans (stock or LTS) and it's a bit scary in the rain for me. I generally go pretty slow and with the slightest burst of throttle the rear end wants to break loose.

I will park my Elise on snowy days, threat of snow, or expected big thunderstorms AND on really cold days (temps under 20 degrees). Since I live in eastern PA, I experience similar conditions to you. I estimate I'll get about 10.5-11 months/year in my Elise. Oh, I am NOT buying snow tires.
This is similar to what I heard - car is scary even with the base tires in the rain. Someone told me that full throttle in the wet can send the car into a spin.
 

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Nathan968 said:
Ok, this is a good enough place for an update. I ended up geting Dunlop Graspic-DS2 tires on SSR comps from TireRack. The recommended Pirellis are effectively unavailable in the USA. You can get them in other sizes but not the required sizes. You can get them from Lotus UK at ~$300 per tire :eek: but they are back ordered and there is no ETA. Incidentally, if TireRack could get these they would be about $140 per.

If anyone is interested, the price breakdown looks like this.

Pirelli Snowsports on Lotus 8-spoke wheel:
Wheels: $1500.80
Tires: $1200.
Total: $2780.80 :eek:
Available ???

Dunlops on SSRs:
Wheels: $1268.00
Tires: $350.00
Total: $1618.00
In stock now.
BIG difference between those tires. The Pirelli performance is amazing. Back when I lived in Rochester, NY I ran a whole bunch of different snow tires and the Pirellis were in a class of their own. Their high speed stability and cornering performance were worlds better than the others. They DO wear fast in the dry, so try not to be overly tempted to drive aggressively when the roads are clear.

Note that going to one size narrower tires for the snows makes a huge improvement in snow performance.

Ara
 

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When I lived up north in snow country (upstate NY, CT, MI and Canada) I loved the Dunlop Winter Sport M2s, even better than the Nokian NRWs. I had a BMW M3 and a WRX at the time. They are the perfect compromise snow, ice, rain and dry tire. This would especially work for your region. I can't praise these tires enough.
 

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Cisitalia said:
When I lived up north in snow country (upstate NY, CT, MI and Canada) I loved the Dunlop Winter Sport M2s, even better than the Nokian NRWs. I had a BMW M3 and a WRX at the time. They are the perfect compromise snow, ice, rain and dry tire. This would especially work for your region. I can't praise these tires enough.
I have Dunlop Winter Sport M2s on my Mercedes C230 Sport Coupe. I drove it home from Toronto last December on The Snowiest Day of the Year. It kept me moving on some roads in northern Pennsylvania that had inches of snow in the tire tracks - proof that good snow tires are an excellent substitute for front wheel drive.

This was a far cry from the year before when I spun out and hit a Jersey barrier at 50mph with the regular all-seasons.
 

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Graydon said:
What would be the narrowest tire you could put on the LSS rims - could you go any less than 195 & 225?
For the rear, you could certainly run a 215/45-17, and a 205/50-17 should also be within specs. Both of these are very close to stock diameter. Narrower tires than that would probably get too skinny for the 7.5" wheels.

For the fronts, I'm having problems finding many available tires for anything close to the two stock sizes, so I can't check the specs. In general, if you have something specific in mind, the rim width range is always listed in the specs, and you can use one of the online tire (like http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html) to verify that the diameter is close to stock.
 

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i have had my audi tt convertible with quattro for 3 yrs (i give it back next week). I put pirelli snow tires on it 3 yrs ago and have been driving year round with them. the snow performance is great with them but after a few yrs usage they have cracked and split all over the place...two went flat and the remaining two are split.....hopefully will last me 7 more days! but as far as snow tires...they worked extremely well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Kumho ECSTA ASX

Anyone have an opinion about these? We don't get a lot of deep snow down here in Baltimore, so I'm wondering if the DS-2s might be overkill. Would the Kumhos be better in cold/wet than the DS-2s, while still being ok for some light snow?
 

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It's supposed to snow here next week. So the DS-2s will be going on this weekend. I'll post an update after I've driven on them.
 
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