Daniel Abt will move to GP3 with the Lotus - formerly ART - team in 2012.
The 19-year-old German raced for Signature in the Formula 3 Euro Series last year, taking seventh in the standings.
He will be part of an all-new line-up at Frederic Vasseur's team, which finished first and second in the 2011 GP3 standings with Valtteri Bottas and James Calado - who have moved on to a Williams Formula 1 third driver role and the Lotus GP2 squad respectively.
Abt said a Lotus GP3 drive was his ideal choice for this season, especially after he had been quickest in winter testing with the team.
"I am very happy for the chance to continue my career in the GP3 Series, which was my favourite solution," he said. "Making this step with the Lotus GP team is like a little dream because everyone knows how professional and successful this squad is."
He added: "The tests were good. But more important than the times on the screen was it was pure fun to drive the car and work with the team."
Team boss Vasseur expects Abt to be a title contender.
"Along with sporting and technical performance, the human aspect is an essential factor for success in an extremely competitive championship where there is no room for error at any level whatsoever," said Vasseur.
"Daniel combines three skills. He attracted Lotus GP with his speed, his technical baggage, and his human qualities. We have every confidence in him to help us defend our two titles."
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