Porsche's debut in the 2019-20 Formula E championship will mark its return to single-seater racing after a period of more than 30 years!
Here's the first look of the Porsche 99X Electric race car, which is set to make its debut in the upcoming 2019-20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. It was unveiled at the Porsche Digital GmbH premises in Ludwigsburg. Racing veterans Neel Jani & Andre Lotterer will drive the 99X Electric for the Porsche TAG Heuer Formula E Team. Sharing his thoughts on the milestone, Fritz Enzinger, VP at Porsche Motorsport & Group Motorsport Volkswagen AG, said, 'Today is an important day. With the premiere of the Porsche 99X Electric, we are taking a big step towards the Porsche works entry in Formula E. I am really proud of our team, which has shown a high level of commitment to the Formula E project. Now I am looking forward to seeing the Porsche 99X Electric on the racetrack.'
To give you a brief insight into Porsche's journey to the sixth edition of the Formula E championship (2019-20), this will be Porsche's first major international racing series entry since its exit from the LMP1 class at the end of the 2017 World Endurance Championship (WEC). Coming to the drivers, Porsche signed Neel Jani in December 2018, while Andre Lotterer was signed a few weeks ago. Jani has been associated with Porsche since 2013 and has won the 2016 Le Mans & World Endurance Championship with the Stuttgart-based outfit. Along with Porsche, this will also be Jani's debut in the Formula E championship. Andre Lotterer, on the other hand, has been in Formula E since 2017 (with Techeetah in 2017 & DS Techeetah in 2018) as a teammate of two-time Formula E world champion Jean-Eric Vergne.
In terms of design & nomenclature, the 99X Electric follows Porsche’s tradition. It has been finished in traditional Porsche Motorsport colours and the naming format continues to be of three digits. The highest number, nine, has been used twice, to emphasise the importance of the Formula E project for Porsche, while the 'X' stands for the forward-looking approach and prototype racing. Porsche also states that the 99X Electric will serve as a development platform for future electric production models.
The Formula E regulations (Season 6) stipulate a standardised chassis and a standard battery, while the drive technologies can be manufacturer-developed. Porsche engineers were able to use their LMP1 experience to develop the Porsche E-Performance Powertrain. ‘In hindsight, we laid the foundations for Porsche’s future involvement in Formula E during the LMP1 project. We used the insights gained during that time in the development of the Porsche Formula E powertrain. We focussed on building a highly effective powertrain with the highest level of efficiency,’ said Malte Huneke, Technical Project Leader - Formula E.
The 99X Electric uses the same 800V powertrain technology that forms the underpinnings of the upcoming Porsche Taycan electric car. It is worth mentioning that Porsche's first hybrid race car, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid of 2010, helped develop the 918 Spyder. The 918 Spyder then partially formed the basis for the 919 Hybrid, which in turn has influenced the development of the Porsche E-Performance Powertrain & the Taycan. Even the famed PDK gearbox, now a mainstay of numerous Porsche road cars, has been developed from Porsche's race cars.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will make its first official appearance in mid-October 2019 at the Formula E test at Valencia (Spain).