Lotus has taken the covers off its 2012 Grand Prix season challenger, dubbed the
Nokia E20, which it hopes will take it to fourth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship standings.
The Enstone-based team opted to broadcast an online launch from its factory, with its drivers, former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen and reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean, doing the honours.
Perhaps learning the lessons from its disastrous 2011 campaign, the E20 appears (on the surface at least) to be a fairly straightforward design, although team boss Eric Boullier hinted that it had a host of subtle innovations under the covers, which also sported new sponsor stickers from the Unilever group’s Rexona and Clear subsidiaries, as we had predicted on RichardsF1.com last week.
The car is the fourth released to-date that features the now-infamous ‘platypus’ nose, or what the team at GP Update have dubbed the ‘broken’ nose – although its ‘step’ is much more gradual than that shown off by Caterham’s CT01, Force India’s VJM05 or Ferrari’s F2012.
The car – the first to be designed by the team under its new ‘Lotus’ title after running for the last decade under its previous Renault moniker – keeps the black-and-gold livery it ran last year.
The team was known to have been working on an ‘active ride’ system – which they tested on its predecessor at last year’s Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ test – but the FIA subsequently banned the concept after a flurry of protests from rival teams
who hadn’t thought up the concept beforehand.