Heikki Kovalainen believes the Renault team can continue to compete at the top of Formula One despite world champion Fernando Alonso's departure to McLaren.
Kovalainen is hopeful the R27 will keep Renault at the front
The team unveiled their 2007 car in Amsterdam on Wednesday and the Finn, who drove it last week, said his first impressions were encouraging.
"The car feels very good," he wrote in his column for the BBC Sport website.
"It's early days and we haven't seen what the others can do, but I have a feeling we have made a good car."
Kovalainen and veteran team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella both tested the new R27 car in Jerez in southern Spain last week.
Kovalainen, who is making his debut in F1 this season after two years as Renault's test driver, added: "My first impression was that it was better than last year's car.
"And looking at the lap times and consistency in the long runs its certainly a big improvement.
The team are hungry to continue winning, and the R27 reflects that determination
Renault technical director
"That suggests the car is good. We obviously still need to learn more but the first impressions are good and that's the main thing."
Kovalainen said the lap times produced by the R27 on its debut were "very encouraging".
Renault technical director Bob Bell said: "We have enjoyed two seasons of remarkable success, but there is no complacency at Renault.
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"Finding progress under stable regulations always obeys the law of diminishing returns, but our technical group has worked hard to innovate and ensure that the new car represents a genuine step forward in every area.
"The team are hungry to continue winning, and the R27 reflects that determination."
Renault have won both the drivers' and constructors' titles in the last two years but are not expected to be such a force this season following Alonso's departure.
Renault have found a new approach to wing mirrors on the new car
Fisichella won only one race in each of the last two seasons, and although Kovalainen is highly rated rookie drivers always find it difficult to win in their first season.
But Renault F1 president Alain Dassas said he was keen for the team to continue winning.
"Consecutive double championships are concrete proof that Renault can win in a demanding environment where success demands quality, technical excellence and reliability," Dassas said.
"We must now live up to that reputation. On track the challenge will remain the same - we will be asking our technical teams and drivers to make Renault a championship contender in 2007."
Team boss Flavio Briatore said he was confident the team would be able to continue competing at the front.
Maybe it's the best chance I've had in my life
and I need to do it
"We have always said that our philosophy is that you need the right team to win, not just one person," the Italian said.
"This year is the chance to prove that our philosophy is the right one.
"At Renault, we know we are a top team and that we have the ingredients we need to fight at the front in Formula One.
"Every year people write us off because we have to adapt to big changes. And in the last two years, we defied their expectations. We are aiming to do the same again in 2007."
Fisichella said he realised it was important for him to make the most of his position as the most experienced driver in the team.
"Hopefully, it's not the last chance (of winning the title)," the 34-year-old Italian said. "Let's say maybe it's the best chance I've had in my life
and I need to do it."