Lotus Elise, the last specimen ends up in Elisa Artioli’s garage: a love story

The history of the Lotus Elise began in 1995. The small sports car that everyone knows well in 2021 ended its long history of success. A bit like a “fairy tale”, the latest model, one Lotus Elise 240 final editionwas purchased by Elisa Artioli who has a very special bond with this English sportswoman. Elisa, in fact, she is the niece of Romano Artioli, an Italian entrepreneur who bought Lotus from General Motors in 1993 with the aim of relaunching it. We are talking about the same entrepreneur who in that same period also tried to relaunch the Bugatti.

And it was Romano Artioli himself to give away the Elise, a car that would later become a real symbol for Lotus. And for the choice of the name, “grandfather Artioli” he was inspired by his niece who was just two years old at the time. Elisa, therefore, became Elise. With the purchase of the latest model intended for private customers by Elisa Artioli, the history of the small sports car Lotus has come full circle.

In fact, the young woman already owns a Lotus Elise, a gift from her grandfather. As told in the past in an interview with Auto Class Magazine, in 1997 Romano Artioli gave his granddaughter who was 4 years old at the time an Elise S1 which Elisa then kept in her garage until she was of age before being able to drive it. Model which, now, will be joined by the latest model of the Elise.

To tell about his particular relationship with the Lotus Elise, the young one wrote a letter in which she retraces the steps that led to the birth of the little sportswoman and of which she was the protagonist, even if at the time she was still a child.

After the farewell of the Elise, the latest endothermic from Lotus, as we know, is the new Emira that goes to pick up the legacy of the small sports car. The future of the English brand, however, is linked to electrification. An electric SUV will make its debut in the course of 2022.

Dear Elise, in 1993, when I was born, you existed only on a sheet of paper. Still no one knew that we were destined to spend life together. My grandfather had his work cut out to save Lotus. For a moment you ran the risk of never being born and I always wonder what my life would have been like today without you. To get the Lotus back on its feet, you had to roll up your sleeves by following a simple but captivating recipe: putting a beautiful and fun-to-drive car on the road that could bring the brand back to shine. I don’t know if that was the case or if it was written in my destiny, because not only was I born at the same time you were born, but I also had the name that began with the letter E, as per the tradition of Colin Chapman for the models of Lotus. Since luck also plays a role in him, the grandfather has seen fit to give the name of his first granddaughter to you.

Since that time, I have moved to England and would often come to the Factory to see how you were growing until the long awaited moment of the Frankfurt presentation came. It was September 12, 1995 and we were waiting to be revealed to the world because, until that moment, no one had ever seen us, above all, no one knew that under the cloth there would not be just any person, but the 2-year-old elisa. I was attached to your steering wheel proudly showing my T-shirt with the words “I am Elise” and I didn’t want to get out of there anymore. I felt in my world the way I feel today, when I am with you, I sit and I am at home. It took us a few years to realize I wasn’t really the Lotus Elise, but our bond continues to grow. I was only 4 years old and I was already admiring you in the garage waiting to be able to drive you. The first time we went out of that garage together my hands were shaking with agitation, it had been 15 years during which I imagined that moment many times.

Since that day, driving has become my passion, driving with you, I emphasize this because no other car gives me the same emotions. How many mountain passes we have covered together, how many places we have seen and how many people we have met. You are one of a kind, and so that you no longer feel alone when you wait for me in the garage, you will soon have a little sister. I worked hard to make my dream come true: to buy the latest Elise. I learned from my grandfather that we have to reconquer our dreams, and I owe this to him. Dear Elise, I accompanied you from start to finish, just as you will with my life.