On September 17, 2010 at a ceremony held at the British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, Group Lotus plc CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Akio Toyoda with a Lotus "Elise R" to mark the two companies' fruitful relationship. The car was fitted with the last ever unit of the 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine, which TMC supplied to Lotus, starting in 2003.
At the ceremony, attended by HM Ambassador to Japan David Warren, Bahar expressed his hopes for continued relations with TMC. Toyoda thanked Bahar, saying the car would be made available to all TMC executives to experience its "flavor". Toyoda also said he wanted to help develop an automotive culture in Japan—similar to that in Europe—that will increase opportunities for people to connect with vehicles and enhance the joys of vehicle ownership and driving.
After accepting the key, Toyoda got into the Elise R and said, "Everyone will soon forget my words, but they will always remember the sound and smell of this car", and turned the key.