Lotus Élan. Lotus was just a decade old when the Elan launched. The marque had not yet earned its first Formula 1 championship or Indy 500 win, and its first production street car, the fiberglass-monocoque Elite (1957–1963), was a costly flop that almost ruined the company. By 1962, Lotus founder Colin Chapman had been building giant-killing racing cars for a decade. Like Enzo Ferrari, he went into street cars solely to keep his racing department alive.

élan /eɪˈlɑːn; eɪˈlæn; French: elɑ̃/ n. A combination of style and vigour: he performed the concerto with élan. Etymology: 19th Century: from French, from élancer to throw forth, ultimately from Latin lancea lance.

The idea was to better the performance, vehicle dynamics, handling and ride comfort, whilst producing a car that could, genuinely, be used every day.