2006 Lotus Elise
The Lotus Elise is a roadster conceived in early 1994 and released in September 1996 by the English manufacturer Lotus Cars. The car has a hand-finished fibreglass body shell atop its aluminium extrusion and bonded frame that provides a rigid platform for the suspension, while keeping weight and production costs to a minimum. The roadster is capable of speeds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). The Elise was named after "Elisa", the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus at the time of the car's launch.
Announced on October 9 2000, the Series 2 Elise was a redesigned Series 1 using a slightly modified version of the Series 1 chassis and the same K-series engine with a brand new Lotus-developed ECU.
The design of the body paid homage to the still-born M250 project and was the first Lotus to be designed on computer. The Series 2 Elise is built on the same production line also created for the Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster in a newer facility at Hethel. Both cars shared many parts, including the chassis, although they have totally different drivetrains and powerplants. The Vauxhall / Opel version ceased production in 2004.