Lotus on Monday took the covers off their new car for the 2015 season, releasing an image of the Mercedes-powered E23 on the internet.

Cloaked in the British marque’s iconic black and gold livery, Lotus published an image of the car on their official website along with the caption: “Pleased to meet you – First look at the E23 hybrid”.

They are counting on the fresh design to reverse the fortunes of drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado after disappointing results in 2014.

A lowly eighth place finish in the constructors’ standings last season came after fourth place finishes in 2013 and 2012, with the team winning a Grand Prix in each of those seasons.

“We are confident the new car will enable a huge leap forward,” chief executive officer Matthew Carter said.

“We are full of optimism going into the new season,” he added.

“It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport.”

Lotus will put the model, now powered by Mercedes rather than Renault, through its paces in the first batch of pre-season tests at Jerez in Spain starting on Sunday.

Technical director Nick Chester said: “It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue.

“We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling. We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor.

“We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”

Last week Lotus appointed Britain’s GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer, son of ex-F1 driver Jonathan, as their test and reserve driver.

The unveilings of new cars for the 2015 campaign continues this week with both McLaren and Ferrari revealing their cars on the internet on Thursday and Friday respectively.

The top two teams from last season Mercedes and Red Bull will unveil their cars in more usual fashion just before the first test session in Spain.

The new season gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15. – Agence France-Presse

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