After 26 years in production the last Lotus Elise came off the line at the brand's Hethel factory this week, and the final customer car was delivered to a very special woman: Elisa Artioli, the Elise's namesake.
Elisa's grandfather Roman Artioli was the chairman of Lotus from 1993 until 1996, after which he was Special Projects director, and he named the revolutionary sports car after his granddaughter. (He also ran the rebirthed Bugatti from 1987 to 1995.) Just two and a half years old when the Elise was unveiled in 1995, Elisa even assisted with the car's debut presentation at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The name fit in with Lotus' naming structure, where almost every production model has started with the letter E.
Her new Elise is a Sport 240 Final Edition that she has named Sunshine after its Championship Gold paint. It's got anthracite wheels, red brake calipers and a blacked-out exterior trim package, while the interior features black Alcantara upholstery with gold stitching and accents. In addition to her new car, Elisa also owns a Series 1 Elise that was gifted to her by her grandfather in 1997, over a decade before she was even old enough to drive it. Elisa has documented her Elise on her Instagram page and YouTube channel, which also features some great interviews with her grandparents.
While the Elise may be no longer, Lotus' replacement, the, is set to hit dealers in the US this spring. The Emira will be Lotus' last internal combustion sports car, being offered with either a supercharged V6 engine or a turbocharged inline-4. I wouldn't be surprised if one ends up in Elisa's driveway, too.