Lotus has become the first F1 team to unveil the car it hopes will take it to 2013 world championship glory, with the wraps coming off the new E21 at its Enstone base this evening.

The unveiling was streamed live via Lotus F1's official YouTube channel, and also broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports News. In layman's terms, the biggest change with the new car is the slightly tweaked livery, which now incorporates an extra touch of red.

Both Kimi Raikkonen and second-year team-mate Romain Grosjean were present at the launch, along with team principal Eric Boullier, technical chief, James Allison and Genii Capital CEO and Lotus F1 team owner Gerard Lopez.

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Speaking at the launch, Boullier said he was keen for the team to do better than in 2012.

"I think it is fair to say that great things are possible from the team and the E21. The leap we made from 2011 to 2012 showed what we are capable of. Add to this the continuity and potential of our driver line-up and we have a very powerful cocktail for the season ahead," he stated.

"Our ambitious plan to turn ourselves into one of the top teams in F1 is coming to fruition and now we need to harness this with strong and regular podium results."

Allison meanwhile added that the new car was quite evolutionary due to the limited changes to the sporting and technical regulations from 2012.

"We have continued with our design themes and tried to create a more efficient and faster racing car based on all the lessons we learnt last year," he explained.

"How successful we have been in this task will only be discovered when we take to the track at the winter tests and - more significantly - at Grand's Prix."

"The E20 proved itself to be an effective racing car though - particularly towards the end of last season - so there is an element of expectation from the E21 and plenty to build upon," he added.

Indeed the team stated in its launch press release that while the E21 does continue the design themes seen in its race-winning predecessor, the E20, it also 'pushes last year's concepts even further' as well as incorporating some 'innovative technical solutions'. Unsurprisingly, no further detail was given.

For more pics from the launch, CLICK HERE