Romain Grosjean says "should be able" to win this season but concedes that is not entirely in their hands.
Lotus made headlines during pre-season testing with many rivals commenting on the E21's pace.
But whether Lotus will add to last year's Abu Dhabi win remains to be seen with Grosjean insisting the main target is to continuously improve.
"We should be able to [win], but you never know what the other teams have been working on as well," the Frenchman told The Age.
"That's the tricky bit. We want to achieve that, for sure, but I think the most important thing is to follow your weekend step by step and not think about the win before you've even started the [Friday] free practice sessions.
"Our target is to improve from the previous season. We finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship and we want to improve from there step-by-step.
"It's the goal for everybody on the team to get better and we are going to push in that direction, and score as many points as we can and see where we have chances to go for wins or podiums or just the points."
Pressed as to how he expects Lotus will go at the season-opening Australian GP, the 26-year-old was cautiously optimistic.
"It's hard to say so far, but the car has been well born, as we say. It is a step forward compared with last year, clearly, so I'm quite positive about the car.
"There are still a lot of question marks, but before the start of every season it is the same. But so far the car has been good in [northern] winter testing and I think we more or less achieved the most important things we wanted to.
"It looks good and it feels good to drive, and that's all we can say at this stage. I hope I'm right."