Lotus team co-owner Gerard Lopez believes getting back into the top four in the Formula 1 constructors' championship is a realistic initial step for the squad in 2012.
The former Renault team was fifth in the standings for the past two years, having slumped to eighth in 2009. Prior to that, it had been in the top four for seven straight seasons, winning the '05 and '06 titles. The team had high hopes for last year, but its radical exhaust concept did not work and lead driver Robert Kubica suffered horrific injuries in a preseason rally crash.
Lopez said he hoped the team could make up for the false start of 2011 and start making progress with the E20, which will be driven by F1 returnees Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
"The hopes are to be able to get one season together and do what we were expecting last year," he said. "We hope to have a strong car, and have strong drivers, one of which is, of course, an ex-world champion. We hope to bring the car up to the front of the pack and probably try to aim for fourth as a reasonable goal for this season."
The car is the first from the team to bear the full Lotus name after the end of the dispute over the use of the brand in F1.
"We're obviously extremely proud that finally the Lotus name is a clear concept for everybody in Formula 1 now," Lopez added.