Lotus F1 on Monday unveiled their new E20 with a Renault engine at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain with new driver tandem Kimi Raikkonen, the Finnish former world champion, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean hoping to push for honours this season.
"The 2011 season was a difficult one as we lost our best driver (Pole Robert Kubica, seriously injured in a rally in Italy)," said team principal Eric Boullier.
"The goal in 2012 is to continue our progression to become a 'top team' and win races in two or three years time," he added.
Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, is back after two years away from the circuit, and he will be hoping to recapture the kind of form which saw him garner 18 grands prix before he switched to the World Rally Championship in 2009 while Grosjean started off with Renault in 2009.
"Formula One is the best there is in motor sport," enthused a bullish Raikkonen, who won his 2007 crown with Ferrari before switching to the World Rally Championship in 2009 before a spell in Nascar racing.
He added he felt the team "has all the tools" to become a title player.
Team technical director James Allison said that in terms of design the E20 was the "most beautiful of ugly" Formula One cars in allusion to somewhat raised "boxer" nose cone compared with other teams.
Allison added: "There aren't many changes to the chassis over 2011, but the changes there are are profound."
With help from triple world champion Jackie Stewart the Lotus stable has managed to bring on board multinational corporation Unilever, two of whose marques will be advertised on the chassis.
As a result, "our budget is bigger than last year," said Boullier, who added he had "no doubts as to Raikkonen's motivation."