The Lotus Elise was modelled in Lightwave 3D as a project while working at Ark VFX.
The initial model brief was to model the Lotus Elise with sufficient detail to do an animated cutaway shot. My boss at the time photographed his Elise to provide some good reference. Owing to the shared DNA of the Elise and Exige, it seemed a natural and logical progression to create the Exige as well.
The obvious external appearance of the car was modelled, together with interior. Then additionally the chassis tub and suspension / brakes were modelled, along with a very basic representation of the engine.