Elisa Artioli, the Namesake of the Lotus Elise

Photograph Courtesy Lotus

Spectators and journalists alike were surprised to see a 2-year-old girl sitting behind the wheel of the then-new Elise when Lotus pulled the cover on its latest sports car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show.

That little girl was Elisa Artioli, granddaughter of Romano Artioli, an Italian businessman who owned Bugatti and was the chairman of Lotus at the time.

Romano Artioli understood that Lotus models often had names starting with the letter E, so he jumped at the chance to name the mid-engined sports car after his granddaughter.


A post shared by Elisa Artioli (@iamlotuselise) on

Twenty-five years later, you can find Elisa on Instagram as @iamlotuselise, all grown up and enjoying a Series 1 Elise of her own.


A post shared by Elisa Artioli (@iamlotuselise) on


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