Lotus E20 launch – first pictures of Lotus’s 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars


The Lotus E20, the team’s 2012 F1 challenger, has been revealed today. See the video above for the first images of the car.

The team which competed as Renault in 2011 has changed identities and has an all-new driver line-up for this season.

The E20 will be raced by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Raikkonen will be first to drive the car in testing at Jerez in the coming week.

Lotus were known to have been working on a reactive ride height system for the E20, which they tested on its predecessor in Abu Dhabi last year. However the system was banned by the FIA last month.

Lotus E20 pictures

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123 comments on Lotus E20 launch – first pictures of Lotus’s 2012 F1 car

  1. bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 5th February 2012, 18:29

    Still fugly IMO. but that’s the rules for ya.
    Mclaren may pay the price for keeping the nose “smooth”.
    But like all teams, we know they have continuous on-going dev for replacement parts, so this could (will) all change.

  2. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 5th February 2012, 18:39

    Well that’s not too bad looking actually. I fear we are going to get used to the step noses just the way that we have gotten used too the massive front wings and tiny rear wings. That’s not a good thing I’m affraid.

  3. George (@george) said on 5th February 2012, 18:42

    Wow, the livery looks great in those close-up shots under the lights, very pretty car.

  4. Toro Loco (@toro-loco) said on 5th February 2012, 18:43

    Looks pretty basic to me. I have the same feeling I had when looking at last year’s Ferrari. Too conventional…

  5. west (@west) said on 5th February 2012, 18:55

    4th car with step nose ridiculous, Mclaren 100% classic.

  6. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 5th February 2012, 19:07

    Beautiful car. Should be interesting. The Enstone team seem pretty capable and skillful. Just the results missing. Hopefully that can change. Wouldn’t bet against atleast 1 podium for them this year.

  7. Aldoid said on 5th February 2012, 19:10

    I don’t think it looks bad… this & the Force India have probably the best looking versions of the stepped nose so far (although I think the black on the Lotus masks the effect a bit). The Mclaren definitely has the most cohesive design by far, IMO. It seems a lot of folks assume that because McLaren don’t have the ugly nose, they’ll be slow: I don’t agree. Their nose is very similar to the one on last year’s car & that one performed great (& if I remember correctly, when it was launched quite a few people laughed at the long, low design). They should already have a good idea of the flow characteristics of it, rather than those just trying out the stepped nose. I’m just speculating, of course, but it seems logical that their learning curve will be less steep. I hope the performance gap between the top four teams will be less this year though, so rather than watching a parade for most of the events we’ll actually be treated to some RACING at the front.

    • Randy (@randy) said on 5th February 2012, 20:08

      Actually the fight between the top four bothers me. I just cannot see cars as radically different as MP4-27 and F2012 going through the season with similiar performance levels.

      As some knowledgeable people on the matter pointed out, Ferrari gave themselves mother of a challenge to make front pull-rods work. It’s insanely great that they went all in on radical innovation, gives a great perspective for the mixed season.

      Sorry for going off-topic. As for E20, well… Do conventional mean bad? It looks good and sorted, i like the livery although i was quietly hoping for some radical shot in this area, i.e. matte pitch black instead of glossy metallic. As i can see from Kimi’s hat, the rubbish red is here to stay as a part of this new livery. I suppose the two-tone livery is not an option in Enstone.

      • Aldoid said on 5th February 2012, 20:47

        I don’t think conventional means bad at all… just like radically new doesn’t mean automatically good either. A perfect example is last year’s McLaren: their radical side pods seemed to work, but their complex exhaust didn’t even complete any worthy test miles without breaking. As always, different designers will come up with different concepts within the rules. As previous seasons in F1 has shown us, there are more than a few ways to skin the same cat :)
        It’ll be interesting to see if any of the remaining teams opt against the stepped nose concept though, as well as seeing if the pull-rod front will pay dividends for Ferrari. If it does, that’ll be one advantage that the competition won’t be able to copy easily.

  8. peru-kowalsky said on 5th February 2012, 19:21

    very beautiful f1 car, even with the step nose. I imagine it will be fast in the hands of kimi. A team and a driver that could capture my imagination if i was a little younger. But an exciting prospect nevertheless.
    Go kimi, and please don’t change too much so we can keep loving you.

  9. Snafu (@snafu) said on 5th February 2012, 19:25

    faith in 2012 grid look restored!

  10. west (@west) said on 5th February 2012, 19:46

    I think RB will look more similar to Lotus & Mercedes AMG more of a mclaren thats my prediction.

  11. QuadQuantum said on 5th February 2012, 20:08

    What a stunning looking car! They’ve made the best job so far of the ‘Prost’ nose, and the front wing elements looks great in black and gold.

    Having said that, for me this team will always harbour the bitterness of stealing away the Lotus brand for Tony Fernandez’ team, and great looking or not, I hope it’s slow as hell :(

  12. Boomerang said on 5th February 2012, 20:22

    Beautiful car I’d say too. Good job done by the engineering squad from Enstone. But, I’m afraid that this car will have loose rear in fast corners. With McLaren you never know, even they themselves, don’t know sometimes. So far, I think, quickest car should be Force India. We’ll see, it will be interesting for sure…

  13. Eren (@arcybg) said on 5th February 2012, 21:08

    The best nose sight i think.Presentation was not what i expected but i’m happy with the display of the car.We see the real performance in Melbourne,pre season tests can’t give us certainly who has the best package but thats good to see the cars on the track.
    I hope that car has a good potential.

  14. BBT (@bbt) said on 5th February 2012, 21:26

    I like it, however it doesn’t seem to have any of the features others have gone for (other than maintaining the nose as high as possible) to get the rear DF back. Maybe its the colour but those sidepod don’t look slim and theirs no big undercut.
    Maybe their trickery is not visible, looks a safe but not a quick design to me, time will tell.

  15. Very nice, nice smooth, elegant shape with some very good features. Gold and Black livery is also perfect, this year will hopefully be a lot better for Lotus-Renault, Lotus should aim for podiums,

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