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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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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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I've done about 3000 miles on DS-2s mounted on SSR rims. Dry handling is acceptable and they grip very well on ice and snow. This is good for me since my city considers my street a secondary road and it is salted / plowed less frequently then the main roads.

When this set wears out in a few years I will probably buy another unless the Pirellis or M2/3s become available in the correct sizes. I wouldn't want to mount a wider (more than 215) rear tire as this is may induce more oversteer on snow or slush. If you don't drive in snow frequently you could probably get away with it.
 
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