Lotus technical director Nick Chester has revealed that the team's 2014 challenger will not be in action at the first test of the year at Jerez.
Chester, who was promoted last year after the departure of James Allison to Ferrari, has overseen the development of Lotus's E22 for the past two years.
The E22 is likely to be unveiled prior to the second of the three tests in Bahrain, which takes place next month.
Lotus finished in fourth place in the 2013 championship and will field Romain Grosjean alongside Pastor Maldonado this year.
"We’re going to keep our car under wraps a little longer than some other teams. We’ve decided that attending the Jerez test isn’t ideal for our build and development programme," said Chester.
"We are likely to unveil the car before attending the Bahrain tests, and in Bahrain we should really be able to put the car through its paces in representative conditions."
Chester added that the team is making good progress with the E22 and now only needs to undergo a front nose crash test.
"We’ve made very good progress with the various homologation tests which took place before Christmas including chassis squeeze and side impact loading tests as well as the rear crash structure, meaning we just have the nose test to complete the car’s homologation," said Chester.
"We’ve undertaken chassis fits for Romain and Pastor. Certainly, our partners who have seen the car have reported themselves to be very impressed with the layout and various solutions to the new technical challenges."
Chester believes that the Lotus E22 initially looks like a promising contender.
"From our perspective the figures look promising and development has been positive. That said, we are very much working with very little idea of what the other teams are doing."
"This is the first year of radically different regulations which means that all teams are developing their cars along potentially quite different avenues. It’s fascinating for us engineers and I hope it is fascinating for the fans too. We think we have a very good solution to the challenge and hopefully this will be seen when the E22 turns its wheels in anger."
The second test of the pre-season programme will take place in Bahrain between February 19th and 22nd. The first test begins at Jerez on January 28th and will last for four days.
The E22 will therefore have a maximum of eight days of track running prior to the opening event of the season in Australia in March.