Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious.
A true but unfair assessment of one of our favorite marques: Lotus! Old British cars weren’t exactly known for their reliability. Although Lotus, Leyland and the like churned out some of the most iconic roadsters and saloons ever produced, most of them were built cheaply, broke down often, and at least here in the ‘States, were hard to find parts for.
Lotus seemed to hit it right on the mark with its Seven (now Caterham) and its Elan (what the Miata was based on) models early on. “Simplify and add lightness” were the marching orders around the Norfolk, UK factory. They even had supercar contention in the iconic Esprit, but it wasn’t until the early nineties that its most iconic modern era car was conceived. The awesome Elise.
The Elise seemed to hearken back to the early days of light, simple, and nimble sports cars. Things seemed to have gotten complicated during the reign of the Esprit and its wedge-shaped brethren. The Elise fixed all that. We were lucky enough to get in contact with the woman whom the Elise was named after. Her grandfather Romano Artioli was chairman of Lotus Group when the Elise was conceived, and sticking with the tradition of cars that begin with the letter “E,” Romano named the newest model after his beloved granddaughter, Elisa!
We got in touch with Elisa and naturally we had to send her the usual slew of Beater Life questions (and some others for fun too) to answer. Here’s what Elisa had to share with us:
What is your current daily driver?
Well, my daily driver is the Elise, even if I don’t use it everyday because to go to the university it’s better to go by metro.
Why did you choose that car?
I didn’t choose it, I received it as a present when I still was a child, but that does not make it less important. If I didn’t have one I would buy it for sure.
Why? Beside the fact that for me the Elise has a special meaning because of the story behind it, I love the Elise because it is simply perfect in all its imperfections.
It’s not just a car, it’s something more that gives you happiness and emotions.
I think everyone who has one can confirm what I say.
What is your favorite thing about your daily driver?
Simplicity is what I like the most.
Functionality is an aspect that I really appreciate in everyday life.
Even if many people see it as an unpractical car I don’t see it that way, the Elise is the perfect mix of aesthetic and functionality.
Of course there are more comfortable cars but that is something personal, I mean it depends on what you prefer.
Have you ever had a break-down in a sketchy/weird place?
No, luckily it didn’t happen yet.
How are you connected to Lotus Cars?
Well my grandfather was the chairman when I was very little. Because of that we moved to England and there is where my connection to Lotus began. The Elise was designed those years when I was just born.
And since my grandfather wanted to keep Chapman’s tradition of naming the cars beginning with the letter E and also because he wanted to give to the car an international character, he decided to name it after his little granddaughter that was just born, Elisa.
Of course I can’t take the credit for it and I always say that I’m really lucky to have such a great story to tell and be connected to Lotus.
What kinds of Lotus’ have you owned, were they all Elises?
I have my Elise and my grandfather has an Esprit.
Thanks again to Elisa for taking some time to answer a couple of questions.