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As far as I know, there are very few actual full-on replacements, at least in pairs that are exact matches--unless you put on the BF Goodrich TA Radial from Tire Rack; those tires are offered in the exact 195/60/15 (also a Ford Focus size, fyi) and 235/60/15 sizes our cars take. Another person is using Vredestein tires--there's a thread here I just read a few minutes ago, but while the same manufacturer, the fronts and rears are not the same type.

 

If you instead are shopping the fronts 195/60/15 and rears 225/60/15, there is the rather anemic Kumho Solus KR21, Fuzion Touring (H-or-V speed rated), or Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum available in the US in those sizes. These are, of course, far from perfect, and may affect the ride, handling, and balance of the car. 

 

If you want to get really crazy, and step up from the 195/60/15 to a 205/50/15 size front, with a 225/50/15 rear, you can try 1010tires.com. It'll pretty much empty your wallet, but they offer:

 

Toyo Proxes R888

Toyo Proxes RA-1

Yokohama Advan A048

 

Which as I understand you do not want to drive in a heavy downpour, snow, or temps colder than, say, forty degrees fahrenheit.

 

And the:

 

Kumho Ecsta AST or "KU25" (touring tire) offers a 195/50/15 front with a 225/50/15 rear.

Pirelli P-Zero Giallo (summer "max performance")**

 

Additionally, from 1010tires.com, in 195/60/15 and 225/60/15 (not ideal by any measure, but still...) you have:

 

Michelin Primacy MXV4

Cooper CS4 Touring

Ohtsu FP7000 (the Japanese parent company of Falken)

Falken Sincera SN211

Kumho Ecsta LX (KU27)

Kumho Solus KR21 (as with Tire Rack.com)

 

All are, I imagine, "acceptable" for padding about a suburban street or soft country lane, or for a nice, long cruise down a highway. However, given the nearly thirty years of tire and rubber compound development that has gone past since your '87's OEM tires were new, it remains to be seen just how poorly some of these modern replacements would fare. Thirty years is a great deal of development time, and one must wonder if the "best of the best" tire thirty years ago merely equals "middle of the pack" today. 

 

Please note that changing the size or tread/heat ratings of your tire to a non-OEM size may seriously change the handling characteristics of the car!!!

 

Cheers,

 

Scott


1986 Esprit HCI (Bosch-injected)

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I'm on Vredestein Sportrac 3 fronts 195/60/15 and rears 225/60/15. The added bonus is that they are designed by Giugiaro and his name is on the tyre.

 

Although trying to find them in the US could be interesting. I've been through the Vredestein website and there don't seem to be any available at the dealers listed.

 

225/60/15 for the rears are  approved by Lotus - see here half way down the page. Mine have also filled out to 253, so look right as well.

 

Good luck.

 

Chris

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Vredensteins are a popular option in the UK. If you can't have 'Goodyear' on your tyre wall, 'Giugiaro' is your next best bet.

 

I have heard that Nankang do a set with 235 rears and also Pirelli P600s are available in the correct sizes. Pirellis are not surprisingly the most expensive option. It's quite a big issue as tyres over a certain age will no longer get through the UK's MOT test.

 

I seriously think we should petition Goodyear, it would be worth a lot for the Goodyear brand given the number of us that will be painting the brand name in white on the sidewalls.

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Ah, I was trying to remember the "Lotus approved" size, and the link jogged my memory. I've seen Vredesteins advertised locally (Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania) as winter tires, so perhaps the local suppliers can source the others -- for a premium markup, no doubt.

 

It sure would be cool to petition Goodyear. What would probably have to happen, given how small the G Esprit community is (compared to, say, the Honda Civic community) would be for members to contact owners of other, radically different cars. For example, the stock rear size is a popular muscle car size. Maybe GM, Ford, Dodge/Chrysler groups could join the effort. As an owner of a GM muscle car, I know, at least locally, owners would certainly appreciate more choices than the BFG Radial TA, Cooper Cobra, and Mickey Thompson road tires.

 

 

Also, maybe a moderator can move this topic to the Wheels & Tires section.


1986 Esprit HCI (Bosch-injected)

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Jaguars used the same size as Lotus rear tyres...but they had 4 bands of tread and the Lotus ones 5!! The Jag ones were not approved for Esprit use, either....I've been using Vredestein Sportrac 3s for several years and they're fine; 225/60 15s rears as per Chris above.


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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HI all,

I got a letter from Group Lotus stating that 225/60/15 are an acceptable replacement and will not affect handling for my 1982 S3 N/A 

I went for Vredestein Sport trac 3's, very happy with them on my BBS option wheels,

dick

 

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