There were 35,124 Lotus Elise units ever produced, and the very last of them went to the very person the car was named after when it was launched.
The Lotus Elise was born in the mid-'90s. At that time, Romano Artioli was the chairman and owner of Lotus and Bugatti. The two-seat, mid-engined roadster was named after his granddaughter, Elisa Artioli, who was only two years old at the time the car was introduced.
Now, the last Lotus Elise built for a customer has been handed over to Artioli in a ceremony at its headquarters in Norfolk, England. Artioli gets the final Elise Sport 240 in Championship Gold color.
Gallery: Final Lotus Elise Handed over to Elisa Artioli
Artioli bids goodbye to the Lotus Elise in an emotional letter that shows her deep connection with the car, thanks to her grandfather.
In 1993, when I was born, you only existed on a sheet of paper. Still no one knew that we were destined to spend life together.
She then described the feeling at the time that the Elise was born.
It was September 12, 1995 and we were waiting to be revealed to the world because, up 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 from there I didn't want to get out. I felt in my world the way I feel today, when I am with you, I sit and I am at home.
Artioli's letter ended on an even more emotional note.
Dear Elise, I accompanied you from start to finish, just as you will with my life.
What's Next For The Elise?
In December 2021, Lotus announced the end of production of the Elise, Exige, and Evora. These three cars represented almost half of Lotus' total production during its 73 years of existence.
The Geely-owned automaker is now entering an electric era, with the Lotus Emira representing its farewell to the internal combustion engine. On the other hand, the limited-run Lotus Evija hypercar welcomes the marque to electrification.