The Elise is, or was, a car built the old way, but in the current day. To the end it was a well thought out package, good engine, light chassis, convenient features, and not much more.
In the 90s, this was the stuff you wanted. There was some whizz-bang stuff around for sure, the occasional party-piece digital dash or automatic climate control, but the "infotainment" system wasn't the point and the car wasn't an extension of your phone which is an extension of your computer. The best cars were the ones that combined the right engine with the right body, to produce the right package. The Viper and the McLaren F1 and the NSX, the 3 and 5 series of the time, the Lancer Evo, the Ferrari 550 and so many others.
This all changed maybe a decade ago as cars moved more and more into their role as tools. Hybrid, EV and CVT came along, dulling the experience to hit different goals, and more than ever cars were prized on the size and resolution of the screens within them, and the ability of the software that ran on them.
But the Elise didn't change, it kept to the old way. Some would call it outdated, but some would say it stuck to a working formula, eschewing the needless pivot that modern cars took. It's not part-EV or full of screens or tech, but that's intentional - because leaving those things out is still a good idea, and putting them in would compromise the formula.
More than just being an example of a bygone approach to car design, the Elise was true to itself. It didn't become an SUV with the name of a sports car (hi, Eclipse, Mustang), it didn't adopt the name of an old unrelated race car to extract profit (looking at you, 718 Cayman/Boxster, McLaren LT), nor did it bloat in size (3-series) or call itself a coupe while actually being a 4-door SUV (dammit, Mercedes). 'Til the end, the Elise was the Elise - sub-1000kg, bonded aluminium chassis, fibreglass body, high sills. Difficult to get in and out of, a bit cramped and noisy, but fantastic - and a hole in the car world that will never be filled.