Back in the 1990s, Lotus was in the midst of preparing a sports car.
Little did they know quite how significant this sports car would be as it went on to define the modern era of the company.
The only trouble was, Lotus didn’t have a name for it.
And as per tradition, the name for the car needed to start with the letter E.
Would they go for something similar to Mercedes and Jaguar and have something alone the lines of the E-Type or the E-Class?
No. They needed something original – something fitting.
And as it happened, then Lotus Chairman Romano Artioli didn’t have to look far from home.
His granddaughter’s name was Elisa. Lightning had struck.
While only two and a half years old at the time, Elisa took part in the car’s original presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Then, when she was four, Romano bought her an Elise – a silver Series 1 she still owns and drives today.
A couple of weeks ago, Elisa (now actually old enough to drive) personally picked up the keys to another Elise at Hethel – the final customer car.
The Elise Sports 240 is part of the special Final Edition Series of the car. This last one that Elisa has picked up has been finished in a rather striking Championship Gold.
As a car, it’s more powerful than the S1 revealed in Frankfurt back when it first came out. It has a supercharged 1.8-litre Toyota inline-four producing 240bhp.
While quite a bit heavier than the original, it’s still an exceptionally light car by modern sports car standards, weighing just 922kg.
After a quarter of a century on sale, more than 35,000 Elises were built by Lotus.
Elisa picking up the very last one seems like a fitting end to the car’s success story.