Tyres - Where, Which and How Much???

The A039s on the front of my new Exige are looking distinctly worn (plus one seems to have a nail sticking out of it) so it’s time to change them

Went down to my local tyre specialist and he informed me that Lotus now own the moulds for the Yoki A039s, and that I’d have to buy direct through them - is this true?? And if not, where else can I get the tyres from in the SE? He also said that I shouldn’t put A048s on it (not designed for it) which is a load of rubbish is it not?

If that is the case, where can I get A048s from, how much are they approximately, and is it safe to have 048s on the front and 039s on the rear??

I need them pretty quick as I don’t like the look of that nail…

Any advice appreciated!


A048 are about 550 quid a set and no I would not mix them - in fact I would never mix tyres on an Exige its just asking for trouble IMO.

And yes A048 should be fine on an Exige as it has LSS where as standard suspension could be considered marginal for such tyres… again IMO …

Pap! A048s are prefered by most who’ve switched to them (I’m about to). They are cheaper and are reported to have more grip and last longer. I would advise you NOT to mix the 39s and 49s. More grip on the front than the back could lead to a spin and I would suspect they’d operate differently at different temps, leading to unpredictable handling (more on track).

Yes, Lotus do own the rights to the tyres. You can buy A039s but without the LTS after the model number. These are not suited to the car as Lotus had specific side-walls designed, make sure your’s say LTS.

eliseparts.com should be able to get you a set pretty quick.


As Andy & Ian say, DO NOT mix the tyres.

The 39s & 48s which are suitable for the Exige are marked with “LTS”, & are only available through Lotus Dealers - although some of the independents eg SE Lotus Centre occasionally get their hands on them too!

I would have to agree.
My car has some right crappy budget tyres on it.(Soon to be changed I might add) and mixed too
Their Korean on the front and German on the back!!! but are really soft and ok in the dry but in the wet this morning it really was dreadful. The car definatley does not suit mixed tyres…
OR CHEAP ONES… Thank you Mr Previous owner ! (Id have prefered it to still have the original worn 39’s)
Oh well
I’m definately going for the 48’s though.


Thanks for the swift advice guys

Will stick with the A039s for now as the rears have loads of life left in them, and as you guys have said, mixing 039s and 048s isn’t on

Will have a look on eliseparts.com to see if I can get a pair



Check SELOC discounts area because Motorway Sports were offering a good discount on these…


The 39’s are very expensive, more than the 48’s.
Since most of us have switched to 48’s and what wears normally are the rears (more or less at 2 sets of rears per 1 front), some of us have a set of half-life (or more) laying about from when we switched.
I sure do, and my wife sure would like to see them go, but I’m in Aberdeen.
Maybe somebody else (closer to you) has another set of half-life fronts so you can finish off the rears at the same time and then finally switch to 48’s?

It’s still going to be cheaper than what you’d pay for the 39’s, and you won’t have to spend again on 39’s when the rears wear out with lots of life left on the front…


Isn’t it about time Lotus moved mainstream, and made the tyres available through normal outlets. After having owned many executive/performance cars over the years, I find this shopping around, and only able to source at lotus dealers and select outfits a complete pain in the arse.

If Lotus want people to own cars long-term, then they need to address this issue big-time. (I don’t know if the Elise’s have the same issues or not).
Another point is that each Lotus dealer has different prices for the same tyres. Not much variation, but a ring round 4 weeks ago (see my post from this time on the A048’s) saw prices vary by 10%, and on a �600 set of tyres, this is a lot. Eventually I bought 48’s from Brooke Kensington as they were the cheapest, and as it happens turns out to be the nearest to me.

One dealer - Bell & Colville, Surrey never even returned my call!

What can we do collectively?

I for one, even considered moving onto a more ‘supportable’ car where I don’t have these issues.

Well got that off my chest now!


I have some sympathy with your comments, as in my opinion the tyres are now about �75 per set overpriced.

But I have two howevers!

  1. There’s no way I would change the car for the sake of paying �150 (I get through 2 sets of tyres per year) over the odds for tyres!

  2. Gavan Kershaw explained to Russ, JohnO & myself earlier this year, that he developed the 48 LTS for Lotus in conjunction with Yokohama. Many different combinations of compound & carcass were tested, with about 200 sets of tyres used in all. It is therefore not surprising that the 48 LTS tyres sell at a premium!

Fortunately the massive overall “grin factor” of our cars, far outweighs the “grim factor” when it comes to replacing the worn out rubber.

One dealer - Bell & Colville, Surrey never even returned my call!

Really, you surprise me! [please detect note of irony]

They do know what they’re doing once you actually get your car there.

I think Lotus will run the LTS tyres for a number of years. As Pesky says, they need to recoup the investment first.

If you really wanted to try something, call Lotus and enquire about a bulk purchase direct. There’s a few people here who’d have a set.


I agree with your comments, and the grin factor is always there.

Anyway, didn’t mean to imply that I would depart from an Exige based on this issue. I get through probably 2-3 sets of rears a year, and one front, but also managed to have the first puncture in 20 years of motorting, and had my car off the road for 3 days trying to source, at that time a single A039 front. Ended up paying a premium to get it quickly, and driving 140 miles round trip.

The point is, there are many companies out there fighting for car business, and in this tough economy, companies have to do everything to make it ‘easy’ for people to purchase, and own a product. Lotus do not for many reasons, not just tyres.

You and I enthuse the Lotus marque, and therefore can overcome any and every obstable. Many others do not and will not.

In the next 18-24 months the roadster market will be transformed with all of the new models coming downstream, and I would hate to see Lotus suffer through serviceability issues.

Good discussion.

After careful consideration I have decided that it’s better to invest in a full set of 048s for my baby

So where can I get a full set of them from (preferably in the SE), how much, and do they have to have LTS on the sidewall also?

Cheers guys


Could try these guys.

Used them once when I needed black all round (Yikes!) admittedly not for an Exige but worth a shot.


I like the idea of a collective purchase of A048’s
I am using a set a year so I would buy an extra spare set at the right price
JohnC [color:“green”] [/color]

Could try these guys.

Used them once when I needed black all round (Yikes!) admittedly not for an Exige but worth a shot.

http://www.micheldever.co.uk/ >

Good for tyres, but not for Exige rubber. Has to be a Lotus dealer or specialist.

Try LakesideEngineering(.com ?) probably slightly cheaper than Bell & Colvill.


Thanks for your call today. Sorry I was in a bit of a rush when you rang I was in the middel of a three customer tug of war! Did you get through to the other Matthew for a price etc?

For the record,I called Motorway sports (Canterbury,Kent) today who quoted �119.63 (f) �146.23 (r) each for AO48’s.I also tried Brooke-Kensington who wanted �113.93 and �139.25 for the same thing.Both a bit out of my league at present!

Now, SI et all desperate tyre seekers.
There is oe thing I am going to do when I finish my current set: try Kumhos.
Now, don’t laugh, I saw them and they look pretty good.
They also are track-developed.
Pros: cheaper (about �420 for a full set), potentially good.
Cons: “potentially”, and they ony have 5mm of thread instead of the A048’s 7mm

Check out Kumho here

You want the ECSTA V70A in Exige normal sizes and Medium compound (yes, they have several hardness).
Your contact is Tony Mekwinski at 01253 761362

I will try, somebody brave wants to do it as well?



I honestly do reckon that you will give these tyres a good testing, so I will be interested to learn how you rate them. Will you be running on a set at Donington on the 24th?