Stuttgart-based purveyor of automotive perfection Porsche is back for the upcoming Formula E season, and it’s not here to play around. The
At the wheel of the new car will be two of Formula E’s quickest names. The team is once again enlisting the services of German-Mauritian driver Pascal Wehrlein — a logical move, given that he achieved the team’s very first race win, at the Mexico City E-Prix last season. As for the second seat, it will be filled by team newcomer António Félix da Costa. The Portuguese driver has been in the sport since its first season, and even won the championship title at the end of the 2019-20 season. Suffice it to say, the bar is set quite high indeed.
Now onto the car in question — named the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, it was developed at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, Germany, and unveiled in its final form on November 7 at a launch event at the Porsche Experience Center in Franciacorta, Italy. In Formula 1, teams have the freedom to (pretty much) assemble their cars from the ground up. Formula E cars, however, all share the same chassis and battery. The individual teams must then develop their own electric motors, gearboxes, inverters, and cooling systems. For all teams then, the new Gen3 car comes with a chassis developed by French manufacturer Spark Racing Technology, and a battery courtesy of Williams Advanced Engineering. The Porsche 99X Electric takes the light and agile Gen3 skeleton and pairs it with a new rear powertrain producing 350 kilowatts of power — that’s 100 more than the previous Gen2 car had. Combine that with the 250-kilowatt front powertrain, and you end up with a lean, mean, speed machine capable of recovering up to 600 kilowatts of energy, making it the most efficient electric racing car in the world.
Formula E isn’t just fun and games, though. The sport is a testing and development lab designed to push the envelope in terms of automotive and technological achievement — but obviously we live for the high-excitement televised sporting spectacle too. For example, Formula E’s new chargers developed by ABB for the upcoming season are almost twice as powerful as the fastest commercial chargers on the market right now. Intrigued yet? You can see it all in action during Formula E’s first race of the new season in Mexico in January.