Valencia: Team Lotus unveiled their 2011 Formula One car ahead of Lotus-backed rivals Renault on Monday with an online presentation setting a target of scoring points and fighting for seventh place overall.
"This year's car is a much more contemporary design," said technical director Mike Gascoyne over images of the T128 car in classic Lotus green and yellow livery.
"The car really will be a midfield runner. It's a modern F1 car, I'm very confident it is a big step up and it's the start of a process that takes Team Lotus back to the front of the grid."
The team competed as Lotus Racing last year but, despite being the best of the three newcomers, failed to score a point in their debut season.
Since the team reintroduced the iconic Lotus brand to the sport for the first time since the late Colin Chapman's creation departed in 1994, there has been a falling out with the Malaysian-owned sportscar company.
Group Lotus have become title sponsors and major stakeholders in the Renault team and both they and Team Lotus are due in the London High Court in late March in a case to determine who has the right to use the brand in F1.
In the meantime, the season is scheduled to start in Bahrain on March 13 with two teams using the Lotus name and each powered by Renault engines.
Renault were due to launch their black and gold car, colours harking back to the 1970s and 1980s when Lotus were race and title winners with John Player Special tobacco sponsorship, at the Valencia circuit later on Monday.
"There has been so much focus off-track it's a thrill to be able to get back to talking about racing," said Team Lotus principal Tony Fernandes, putting his car in the spotlight first.
The drivers remain the same with Italian Jarno Trulli and Finland's Heikki Kovalainen, race winners with previous teams, due to test the new car for the first time in Valencia this week.
"Sitting on the grid in Bahrain this year will feel very different - a different tension," said Trulli.
"Last year we were just aiming to finish the race. This year we'll be aiming to finish in the points. But with the package we have, that should be achievable."
Pictures of the T128 indicated a more aggressive styling than its predecessor which was designed primarily with reliability in mind.
"There's been almost no carry-over of parts for the 2011 car, whereas normally you'd have a substantial carry-over and the chance to optimise last year's parts," said Gascoyne.
"It looks substantially different from last year's car. It has a much more current feel about it. And it's the basis of our cars for the future."
Chief operating officer Keith Saunt hoped the team could score between 30 and 40 points this year and target at least eighth place overall.
"I doubt there'll be a lot between sixth, seventh and eighth. Depending on how the other guys are doing, seventh could be achievable," he added.
Team Lotus will not be using the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) that is allowed this season and which the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes will have on their cars.
"If KERS was going to get us from eighth to sixth then we'd have it. But when you look at the weight of it and some of the engineering challenges, I think it's a good decision not to start with it," said Saunt.
"We might end up with it, who knows?"